Organizations operating in the Hybrid Cloud integrate on-premise infrastructure with the public cloud environment to leverage both fields’ functionalities at their best. Think of it this way: A public cloud offers scalability, cost efficiency, and flexibility. On the other hand, an internal infrastructure ensures security and control over your data. This allows organizations to produce internally but test, deploy, and scale using public cloud services. Or utilize private structures for operations including sensitive data and maximize public cloud for less sensitive information.
Hybrid cloud infrastructure provides multiple benefits, incredible flexibility, and scope to innovate your operations, but it comes with its own set of security challenges. The organization’s data keeps moving across different environments, which makes it crucial to keep your security controls intact and consistent at all times.
Hybrid Cloud Security acts like a fence to the organization’s assets against cyber threats. A few of the mandatory ones include:
- Data Protection: Organizations store large amounts of sensitive information like customer/client information, organization or intellectual property, or financial information. Security measures protect the data from corruption, theft, and unauthorized access.
- Complying with Regulations: All organizations must comply with their respective industry regulations on protecting their data. Security solutions ensure organizations comply with all the guidelines and avoid the penalties imposed by failing to do so.
- Mitigates Risk: Hybrid cloud security protects the firm’s reputation, customer trust, and bottom line by mitigating the risk of incidents like data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Considering the potential threats and the trust and reputation at stake, let’s look into how an organization can secure its data and infrastructure from cyberattacks. We’ll understand best practices to secure infrastructure, applications, and data.
Securing Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
The complex and dynamic nature of hybrid clouds demands different components of the network to be independent and isolated to secure the infrastructure from cyber threats.
Network Segmentation divides the network into several smaller and isolated subnetworks. Considering the scale of the hybrid cloud, segmentations make it difficult for the attackers to move across the network.
There are multiple approaches to network segmentation. A few common methods include:
- Firewalls: Based on predefined criteria like IP address or port number, we can configure firewalls to monitor traffic and create boundaries between subnetworks.
- VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks): They can isolate data, management, and other similar traffic by creating multiple logical networks on a single physical network.
- Microsegmentation: It uses technology like network visualization and creates isolated networks for individual applications or workloads. It’s considered a more granular approach when compared to the usual network segmentation.
These methods protect the organizations by isolating critical assets, restricting malware outspread, and improving compliance.
Identity and Access Management (IAM):
IAM solutions provide a single platform to manage user identities and permissions across the hybrid cloud, ensuring only authorized users have access to data and resources.
This reduces complexity, improves security, and increases compliance with industry regulations by:
- Strong authentication: Practices like Multi-factor authentication create stronger security, restricting users from authorized access.
- Role-Based Access Control: RBAC systems ensure that users access the data based on their specific roles. Meaning: Even within an organization, the individuals won’t get access to databases that don’t concern their current responsibilities.
- User Activity Audit: IAM audits user activity, helping organizations observe any suspicious activities that can turn out to be potential threats.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM):
SIEM analyzes security data from multiple sources across the hybrid cloud to detect anomalies, identify potential threats, and alert the organization about the vulnerabilities seeking attention.
The solutions monitor network, application, system, security device, and cloud audit logs. They also correlate data from different sources to identify threat-indicating patterns.
SIEM results in improved visibility, enhanced threat detection, and reduced response time.
Securing Hybrid Cloud Applications
Application security includes a wide range of activities like secure coding, input validation and output encoding, session management, vulnerability scanning and patching, data encryption, authentication and authorization, etc.
Along with various best practices, organizations can implement DevSecOps approach that integrates security in all aspects of the development cycle. This allows us to identify and fix security vulnerabilities at an early stage.
The lightweight and portable nature of containers makes them a popular option for packaging and deploying applications, but sharing resources with other containers on the same host makes it easy for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities.
The threats are countered, and the applications are secured with practices like:
- Image Scanning
- Runtime Security
- Access Control
- Security Orchestration
- Network Security
Moreover, organizations can implement a zero-trust model and conduct security audits to secure the containers.
Securing Hybrid Cloud Data
Data encryption protects the data from unauthorized access and reduces data breaches, irrespective of the data being at rest or in transit.
Organizations deploy data encryption based on different use cases like the type and level of encryption required, ease of use, etc.
Moreover, data loss prevention, backup, and recovery ensure that sensitive (and all) data is protected and recovered in case of any security accidents.
The threats to organizations hosted on hybrid clouds are immense compared to the internal clouds, but a proper security structure ensures major aspects like infrastructure, applications, and data are protected.