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Hybrid Cloud Security - What is it and why is it important?

Understanding Hybrid Cloud Security - What is it and why?

Learn about the key components of hybrid cloud security and the benefits and challenges of adopting a hybrid cloud environments and setups in business.

Olivia Tanner
Olivia Tanner
Content & Communications Manager
August 01, 2023

A hybrid cloud security solution tries to combine the best of both worlds, with on-premises and cloud solutions being intertwined to create a secure hybrid environment.

According to TechJury, 94% of organisations already utilise cloud services, and that the public cloud market is expected to exceed $623 billion by the end of 2023. If you combine this with the fact that over 98% of enterprises have contended with a cloud security breach in the last 18 months, one could expect that we may have a difficult time ahead.

In 2022, Cisco’s Global Hybrid Cloud Trends Report showed us that a massive 82% of organisations say they have adopted a hybrid cloud model.

These numbers together may suggest that the industry may be facing a wide range of hybrid cloud security challenges, so it’s increasingly important to make sure we have a good understanding of both the benefits and challenges ahead.

(Source: Gartner & Cisco)

What is Hybrid Cloud Security?

Hybrid cloud security refers to the use of both on-premises and cloud-based solutions to protect an organisation's data, applications and infrastructure. An example of this would be connecting resources in Azure to your on-premises active directory.

The Hybrid cloud model brings with it promises of choice and flexibility, really giving us the power to choose the environment that suits us the best, for our work and our data.

For example, the hybrid cloud model allows us to keep personally identifiable data stored on-premises, while still utilising and capturing the enormous potential of the cloud.

Nevertheless, as it always is with all new technology, comes significant security risks that must be adequately addressed when implementing a hybrid cloud security solution. So we must ask ourselves, what is the security risk of a hybrid cloud architecture?

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The challenges of a hybrid cloud environment

The challenges of a Hybrid cloud environment might not appear to be the most obvious, and will not always present themselves to be rectified in good time. Here is a quick oversight into some of the main hybrid cloud security challenges.

  • Visibility and Control

A hybrid cloud is a diverse infrastructure, which means lots of moving parts, both on-premises and in the cloud, and an increased level of difficulty when it comes to visibility and the monitoring of those services, especially across multiple platforms.

  • Compliance and Governance

Staying up to date with compliance and governance requirements across a cloud environment can often be a daunting and time consuming task for organisations.

  • Data Security

Hybrid cloud security involves protecting data, and there is nothing more critical in the cloud than keeping your data secure. In a hybrid cloud environment. Misconfigurations can often lead to data

being exposed to high levels of risk.

  • Supply Chain Security

You are as only secure as your weakest link - albeit it has become a rather cliche saying, it is absolutely correct. We must ensure our supply chain is not vulnerable by employing a complex hybrid cloud security infrastructure.

  • Maintaining Availability

Maintaining consistent performance and availability can be a difficult task, careful monitoring and management of the hybrid cloud environment is required to ensure that it is meeting the organisation's needs.

  • Increased Complexity

Hybrid clouds can be difficult to manage and administer due to the multiple platforms, data centres, and vendors often involved.

The best practices of hybrid cloud security

Let's have a quick examination of the best practices you can take when implementing and managing a hybrid cloud system. These hybrid cloud security steps are industry approved, but they still need to be implemented within your own cloud-based model.

  • Ensure all endpoints are secure.
  • Ensure adequate backups are regularly taken.
  • Ensure access controls are tightly maintained.
  • Make efforts to integrate automation.
  • Ensure all data is encrypted in transit and at rest.
  • Adopt zero-trust security features & implement least privilege access.
  • Run regular audits.

Sticking to industry best practices can help mitigate against hybrid cloud security risks.

The components of hybrid cloud environments

It is critical to have strong attention to detail at every level of the cloud infrastructure. When we talk about computer security in general, we are talking about the three components; physical, technical and administrative components. These components focus on different aspects of security.

Technical controls are some of the most important and effective tools we have at our disposal, such as encryption, VPNs, and user management tools.

Additionally, we have on-premises administrative components that are deployed to help us efficiently manage our risk. Examples of administrative components are; risk assessments, information security training and disaster planning.

Each cloud provider deploys a wide range of advanced security tools that can be utilised to protect customers and their assets. Tools such as fine-grained identity and access control, automated threat detection, continuous monitoring, encryption and many more can be used to manage hybrid cloud security risks.

Conclusions

Let me take you back to the start of this article, where I mentioned that according to Gartner, 98% of enterprises have had to deal with some kind of cloud security breach in the past year. I would also like to add that according to Mcafee, 44% of clients believe that their data is less secure in the cloud.

These are incredibly important statistics, as they outline why there is such a critical business need for rapid improvement of in-house hybrid cloud security deployments.

Getting the benefits of hybrid cloud security will depend entirely on how the environment is deployed, which technologies are being utilised throughout the infrastructure, and most critically of all, how well-trained staff are at managing and maintaining a secure hybrid environment.

How can OnSecurity help?

OnSecurity is able to provide penetration testing activities against your AWS, Azure and GCP cloud environments.

We assess best practices, potential misconfigurations and other security issues which may lead to data exposure or unauthorised access in order to ensure that your environment is configured in as secure a manner as possible.

Get started today and tell us what kind of test you need today

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