An estimated 82% of IT professionals say they use a hybrid cloud model. With more businesses deploying hybrid cloud infrastructure, it’s essential for organizations to be aware of the top hybrid cloud security challenges to maintain and protect their hybrid cloud environment.
Our guide to hybrid cloud security covers the benefits of hybrid cloud infrastructure, as well as the top hybrid cloud security risks businesses face. We also offer some best practices for maintaining private and public cloud security.
What Is a Hybrid Cloud Environment?
A hybrid cloud environment refers to a cloud computing model that incorporates local private and third-party public cloud services or combines cloud and on-premise solutions.
Below is an explanation of the differences between the three:
- Private cloud: Private clouds are hosted on servers only accessible to people within the organization, such as through private third-party infrastructure or proprietary cloud infrastructure. These private clouds are considered more secure than public clouds, but they’re more expensive to deploy.
- Public cloud: Public clouds refer to third-party storage and software providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure. Public clouds are inexpensive or free up to a certain limit, though they are less innately secure. Customers of third-party public cloud services are responsible for securing their own data.
- On-Premise: On-premise solutions store data on servers physically placed at a business’s location of operation. On-premise solutions are costly to set up and maintain, but they have the advantage of data never leaving your premises making them the most secure data storage option. Because they are so costly, however, they are increasingly becoming a boutique option for organizations with unique security needs.
Though the public and private clouds remain separate, a hybrid cloud environment ensures they’re able to communicate with each other via encrypted APIs or containers.
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With a hybrid cloud model, organizations can restrict or increase deployment over either cloud solution to accommodate new business objectives or financial needs.
One of the main advantages of hybrid cloud architectures is that they provide backup solutions should one avenue fail. Additionally, businesses can control the types of data that might be exposed by limiting the amount of sensitive information that’s held on a public cloud.
Having the ability to choose which cloud holds which datasets is also beneficial for companies that want more control over where data is stored for compliance, auditing, or governance reasons. Hybrid cloud solutions also help organizations manage workloads more effectively.
Security Challenges in Hybrid Cloud Infrastructures
Despite the benefits of a hybrid cloud environment, there are critical cloud security risks that businesses must be prepared for.
With both on-premise and public cloud services, businesses must take the necessary steps to protect sensitive data, as well as applications and network infrastructure. Network and cloud security issues can compromise your business processes, workloads, and IT components.
Some of the top cloud security challenges facing businesses today include:
- Data leakages: Data security is a top priority for businesses operating on a hybrid cloud model. Whether through malice or human error, sensitive data stored in a private cloud may be leaked to the public cloud where it’s susceptible to being corrupted, destroyed, or compromised in some way.
- Visibility and control: Storing data in separate locations makes it difficult to control, resulting in poor visibility. As the level of data control decreases, risks of undetected data breaches increase and they become harder to mitigate without appropriate security controls.
- Supply chain security: Businesses that deploy a hybrid cloud model often use software from multiple vendors. Maintaining an ecosystem consisting of various platforms can complicate security matters. Security teams must be aware of how software vendors manage their updates and how they deploy patches.
- Compliance and governance: In particular industries, including those with external regulatory bodies, hybrid cloud data protection is a matter of compliance. Having security controls in place that demonstrate proper governance in protecting highly sensitive information is essential.
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Hybrid Cloud Security Solutions
Though there are numerous risks involved in a hybrid cloud model, there are also solutions that are designed to directly combat these threats. Solutions for improving security in hybrid cloud environments aim to prevent, detect, and stop threats by anticipating where key vulnerabilities are present in the cloud ecosystem.
Some of the top solutions for private and public cloud security include:
- Automated security tools: To prevent human errors that lead to data leaks or breaches, invest in security tools. Certain tools improve security in hybrid cloud environments by automating workflows while running standard security tests.
- Identity and access management: A critical hybrid cloud security practice is Identity and Access Management (IAM), which controls who accesses which apps, systems, and data. Businesses should apply IAM principles to both private and public cloud security protocols.
- Business continuity and disaster recovery: A vital aspect of hybrid cloud security is recovery from natural disasters or events that destroy public or private data centers. Businesses should work with security teams to implement a disaster recovery plan that includes automated backups to maintain business continuity.
- Zero trust policy: Modern hybrid cloud computing security solutions are based on the philosophy of zero trust. In the zero trust framework, every user is authenticated and authorized before being granted access to systems. Their authorization is then revalidated on a continual basis to maintain least-privileged access to data at all times.
- Risk and vulnerability assessments: In addition to installing the right security tools and protocols, businesses should also conduct routine risk and vulnerability assessments. Internal and external security audits identify weak points in the hybrid cloud environment so businesses can take corrective action.
- Staff cybersecurity training: The number one cause of data breaches is human error, usually the result of being defrauded by a hacker. With the appropriate cybersecurity training, staff will learn to recognize social engineering attempts and be more vigilant against cybersecurity threats.
Solve Hybrid Cloud Security Challenges With Redpoint Cloud Security Services
Get the best hybrid cloud security solution for your business with Redpoint Cybersecurity. As a military-grade managed cybersecurity services provider, we have the technology and expertise to develop custom hybrid cloud security plans for organizations in high-risk industries.
From healthcare and financial services to intelligence and defense, Redpoint Cybersecurity understands the unique threats these industries face in cloud computing.
Our cloud migration, incident response, and cyber risk advisory services ensure your organization has the most robust and tailored plan needed. Learn more about our business hybrid cloud security services or contact us today to speak with a cloud security expert.
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