Intranet Security and Cloud Hosting: Internal, Private or Public?

by Paula Darch on November 22, 2016

Beginners guide to intranet security

Online privacy and safety is becoming ever more important. When it comes to intranet security there are an array of hosting solutions available but it can be difficult to understand how secure they are. This blog will take you through the different hosting options available so you can decide which is the best solution for your business. For more detailed information about intranet security, get in touch or book a personalised demo

Which hosting option is right for my business?

The different hosting options offer different benefits and one option is likely to be most suitable for your organisation.

Internal hosting

Hosting your intranet internally can be the most secure option but is very dependent upon on your IT infrastructure, requirements and physical space.

The advantages of onsite hosting include:

  • Single sign on is easier to achieve
  • Access and future development of your intranet is easier as it’s readily available
  • The intranet can be brought into line with other business processes as it is on site and fully owned and controlled by you
  • If hosted on site you can review the intranet in line with other business systems, enabling greater integration and business efficiencies
  • Onsite hosting might see your operational costs reduced

External hosting

For some organisations, internally hosting your intranet may not be possible, maybe due to financial or time resources. If this is the case, then externally hosting offers an alternative solution.

Key benefits include:

  • No need to purchase additional hardware or software to accommodate your intranet (reducing capital expenditure)
  • Future maintenance of hardware is taken care of
  • Future operating system updates are also taken care of as part of your managed service

This option allows you to achieve all of the benefits of hosting onsite without having to worry about ongoing hardware maintenance and updates. But, the decision process does not end there, if you decide to opt for external hosting, there are further choices to be made. 

Private or Public Cloud?

Private cloud hosting enables you to decide exactly where your intranet will be hosted. You can source the supplier and location and either manage this through your software supplier or directly. Here at SORCE, we help by vetting the suppliers to ensure they are ISO accredited and can make supplier recommendations.

Public clouds are those offered by companies such as Google or Amazon, with infrastructures shared by millions of clients worldwide.

Both cloud options offer:

  • ReliabilityIf there are server issues they are unlikely to affect you as the provider will have multiple back up servers.
  • Scalability and flexibility - As your business grows or your needs change whether you opt for a public or private cloud your service can be increased with your demand.
  • Pay as you go costing - You pay for what you use.

Differences:

  • Security - One of the most important differences concerns security. A public cloud intranet software solution, means that you are, in effect, sharing access to the software with your providers other clients and users. You will have secured access but may not know where your data is being hosted. This may not be a concern for some, but for many organisations, that have sensitive data, knowing where your intranet is hosted is business critical.
  • Nature of the businessFor many organisations, public clouds are not allowed because of the nature of their business. The NHS and Banks for example can't use internet accessed clouds.
  • Data storage location - In a private cloud environment, you have your own server(s) in a known data storage location, often with additional security layers. Single sign on can be provided by making any server in your private cloud part of your company’s network. You also have full access to the server(s) allowing you to make configuration changes when you need to.

I hope this has provided you with some insight and things to think about when taking stock of your current intranet hosting and security, or for considering a new solution. To help further, SORCE have created a guide to managing your intranet for more detailed information. Alternatively, why not attend one of our intranet Showcase events?

Topics: intranet security, intranet cloud hosting, cloud

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