Hybrid clouds enable rapid scalability, enhanced agility, and significant cost-savings. They also come with the ability of seamlessly integrate with present on-premise networks. This makes it highly attractive for businesses across industries.
But like anything else, leveraging hybrid cloud technologies also comes with its own challenges. For example, managing workloads and storing data on both public and private cloud comes with significant security concerns.
These can include any or all of the following:
- Application outages
- Data breaches
- Unauthorized access
However, the biggest concern when it comes to security is the fact that hybrid cloud environments lack visibility. As a result, it’s also difficult to effectively manage security policies on a consistent basis.
Effectively securing hybrid clouds require heightened data-security orientation and personnel with related security skills sets (that go along with it). This means that you can’t simply expand your current security policies to fit your hybrid cloud architecture.
It’s also important to increase encryption and data access control without building a siloed solution. As a lot of enterprises also have to deal with ensuring regulatory compliance, maintaining hybrid cloud security is now a priority.
But how do you achieve this?
Here are five key steps that can go a long way to help maintain hybrid cloud security.
1. Automate Security Processes
It’s a challenge for IT teams to consistently manage security policies across hybrid environments. This is because it’s difficult to orchestrate change processes across a mix of security controls in a hybrid cloud.
In this scenario, automation can help expedite the process while maintaining accuracy when managing changes across hybrid environments. Accelerated cloud migrations are also much easier to achieve when leveraging automation technologies.
If your company doesn’t have enough staff to efficiently manage, enforce, and audit regulatory compliance, automation will quickly help you overcome this challenge.
2. The Right Workloads Should Be Matched to the Right Environments
Hybrid cloud infrastructure is known for its key characteristics like enhanced scalability and flexibility. This is essentially what helps enterprise IT leaders rapidly meet evolving business needs while keeping costs down.
These features also play a key role in enabling greater control of the data. This means that you can decide which environment best suits the type of data you’re dealing with.
So whenever it makes more sense to keep sensitive data on-premises, you have to choose that option. The deciding factors include the following:
- Data access
- Data access requirements
- Type of data
- Data volume
Matching the right workloads to the right cloud environment will go a long way to help maintain hybrid cloud security. However, to achieve this, you have to identify your providers’ capabilities to make sure that they have the right protocols to meet your specific requirements.
3. Enable Enhanced Visibility into All Enterprise Networks
Clear visibility is key to securing hybrid environments, so security teams must strive to gain visibility across different environments and security controls both on on-premises and in the cloud.
To maintain visibility, tools and policies must be implemented to ensure a 360-degree view of your hybrid infrastructure in real-time. Whenever blind spots come up during the adoption process, these must be resolved immediately.
The ownership of all assets is also a critical part of this whole process. This is because without ownership clearly assigned to individuals or IT teams, risks can easily go unaddressed (leaving a gaping hole in the cloud).
4. Enable Faster Mitigation by Tying Cyberattacks to Business Processes
The cloud always comes with significant concerns about cybersecurity. To address these concerns, IT teams can take advantage of policy management solutions that integrate easily with SIEM tools.
For example, malware can often stay active for months moving laterally across enterprise networks without being detected.
However, when it’s detected by a SIEM solution, a robust policy management solution can help quickly map out the movement of the attack and identify the servers and applications that have been (potentially) affected.
Once identified, the threat can be effectively mitigated by isolating it to only the affected servers or devices on the network.
5. Conduct an Extensive Hybrid Cloud Security Audit
Enterprise technologies demand regular security audits and hybrid clouds aren’t any different. So if you haven’t done one already, it’s high time that you did!
If you’re thinking about moving to a hybrid cloud, use this opportunity to evaluate current security practices and overhaul all existing security tools.
Whether you’re working on public, private, or hybrid clouds, security needs to be at the forefront right from the planning stages and should never be an afterthought. This is fundamentally the only way to ensure a high-level of data protection across all cloud environments.