This combination of the public and private cloud makes the hybrid cloud an excellent choice for modern businesses. But there are various potential hybrid cloud security challenges.
From network cloud security and cyberattacks to cloud cyber security and human error, the potential vulnerabilities of a hybrid cloud environment must be managed.
But what exactly are these risks? And how can organisations enjoy the benefits of the hybrid cloud while dealing with security threats?
Hybrid cloud data security
Protecting data does not begin and end with the private cloud storage resource. While safeguarding data at rest is critical, you must also secure data as it transits across your network.
One vital protection is encrypting your data. Cloud data encryption protects data both in storage and transit. With the average organisation now employing five or more cloud resources, protecting data moving between clouds is a vital security step.
Along with end-to-end encryption, hybrid cloud users can employ the following safeguards:
- Automation to monitor and protect systems
- Multifactor access controls for all users
- Virtual private networks (VPN) to ensure additional privacy
- Endpoint verification protocols for security teams.
Hybrid cloud service level agreements (SLA)
One of the biggest benefits of a hybrid cloud environment is the increased control over private cloud resources. But what about the public cloud infrastructure? You might use multiple providers for many different workloads – each with its own protections and expectations.
For this reason, it’s critical to understand and review your public cloud vendor’s service level agreement (SLA). Ask about their data governance and accountability should things go wrong. You need to know:
- What security controls, monitoring and encryption processes are in place
- How any infrastructure or software is tested
- What physical security is in place to prevent intruders from tampering with hardware or stealing data
- How regularly updates and patches are applied to hardware and software
- Any uptime and data integrity agreements that will be in place.
This information will help you secure those workloads – and the rest of your hybrid environment. How does your provider ensure data protection at every stage of the journey? Finally, it’s essential to agree on remediation or shared responsibility measures before signing.
Hybrid cloud risk management
The next step is to identify the ongoing risks to your network security. This hybrid cloud security risk assessment should include things like:
- Educating users to avoid any social engineering, ransomware or shadow IT apps compromise system security
- Monitoring and reviewing security policies to ensure the latest protections are in place
- Keeping other aspects of your environment – such as operating systems – updated
- Robust identity and access management policies that minimise the risk of stolen or lost credentials
- A thorough plan, with individual responsibilities, to address any security concerns that may occur.
You should also aim to constantly improve your private cloud security. Work with your data centre provider to implement your company firewall and security policies, using real-time monitoring systems where possible. Your cloud architecture might also benefit from segmentation or orchestration tools that protect vital data and minimise the damage from any breach.
Hybrid cloud data redundancy
Finally, a robust hybrid cloud data protection strategy should include multiple tools to avoid data loss. You might store sensitive personal information on customers, key financial details for audits, or company data key to business continuity.
Whatever the information, your hybrid cloud model must prioritise data protection. Under legislation like GDPR, you should know:
- What kind of sensitive data is stored, understanding what potential harm could come to individuals should data be lost
- How to inform the officials and data owners should a breach take place
- How you could access and dispose of that data, if requested
- What data retention scheme is in place to prevent total data loss.
When hosting your private cloud resources on-premises, you should also have a plan for disaster recovery. How could you access critical information should that location suffer an incident? Would this mean a total loss of data with no backup plan in place?
In this situation, many organisations choose to work with a third-party data centre provider for their data privacy benefits. Ensure a robust data backup policy is in place, running at set intervals and saving key data across multiple redundant cloud storage devices.
An additional disaster recovery step should include storing backups across multiple locations. Should an outage or incident strike one provider, backups will continue across others. Working with a multi-site data centre provider can make this process simpler, giving your key data the highest possible redundancy.
How Interxion can help
The hybrid cloud leverages the benefits of both private and public clouds. Users can place everyday workloads in public cloud resources while protecting critical data in private cloud storage.
When planning your environment, there are five key hybrid cloud security challenges to consider:
- How you will achieve data compliance
- How to design your system to protect your data
- How your cloud service providers work to protect your data
- How you will manage and react to ongoing and unforeseen risks
- How to design your system to provide data redundancy at all costs.
Working with a multi-site data centre provider is an excellent way to protect your critical data. At Interxion, our range of data centre locations gives you access to cutting-edge technology with data protection at its core. Contact us today or visit our resource library to learn more.