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Five Focus Areas For Hybrid Cloud Security

Transitioning and migrating your data/business into the cloud is one of the most critical methods of improving your business’s daily operations. A cloud service can streamline operational efficiency...
Five Focus Areas For Hybrid Cloud Security
Written by Brian Wallace
  • Transitioning and migrating your data/business into the cloud is one of the most critical methods of improving your business’s daily operations. A cloud service can streamline operational efficiency, provide better storage/access for data, and much more. But, there are times when the security of your cloud might end up becoming compromised. In these situations, it’s best to have an action plan ready to go in the event of a breach.

    Often, this involves a common-sense approach to reacting to a situation but being proactive it’s just as essential. A proactive security solution for your cloud will help you maintain its security and integrity over time without fail. Depending on your cloud deployment method whether it’s a public, private, community, or hybrid, you’ll need to take different security measures. Hybrid clouds are becoming increasingly common and are the ideal solution for most cloud-based applications. Here are five focus areas for hybrid cloud security in particular.

    Migration

    Migrating your business to the cloud might seem a little daunting at first. Some businesses are naturally resistant to change and migrating certainly is a challenge. But nowadays, more companies than ever are migrating operations to the cloud. So what type of security considerations should you make during this transition? It all starts with encryption. Encryption during migration is the most essential thing you can do with your data. Encrypting it transforms regular data into something unreadable.

    Encryption is wonderful for most of the migration process, but there are some other proactive measures you can take to ensure a secure migration. These include ensuring your compliance is up-to-date, monitoring things regularly, migrating your data in phases, and (perhaps most importantly) understanding the shared responsibility model between your organization and the cloud provider.

    Workloads

    Clouds were originally designed and built with security and flexibility in mind. Since you’ll be doing a significant amount of work in the cloud, securing your workloads is critical. Keeping workloads secure requires some diligence and having someone actively overseeing its security. User and role management is important here, as is constantly educating employees about security best practices.

    Monitoring also plays a vital role in workload security and you should strive to maintain things without disrupting the work itself. Largely automating security for your workloads is a solid method for improving their security, along with avoiding misconfiguration issues that could make your workloads vulnerable.

    Containers

    In the cloud, a container is defined as packages of software that has everything they need to run in any environment. They’re used in most of Google’s applications (which you’ve undoubtedly used yourself or at your business) and are an essential means of running virtualized environments in any type of cloud (public, private, or hybrid). They’re great for everything from development to simply running applications. But they do have some security risks.

    They’re regularly targeted by attackers and some of their attributes make them vulnerable. Unauthorized access and mixing workload sensitivity levels are also particularly dangerous. To fight some of these concerns, you’ll need to secure your network controls to avoid compromise, tightly control who can access containers, only allow signed images to be pushed to a registry, and always implement regular scans/compliance assessments.

    File Storage

    Ransomware and business email compromise, among other threats, can still affect a hybrid cloud environment. So there are some security measures to take in order to get ahead of such attacks. Focusing on identifying and classifying your data in all of your cloud environments lends itself well to reinforcing your cloud’s security. Using proper identity and access management (IAM) is also key to ensuring there is no unauthorized access to your files at any point during migration or use. 

    To really enhance your cloud security best practices, you may want to consider integrating a robust security solution into your normal cybersecurity practices. Doing so protects your files and maintains the integrity of your cloud without requiring much interaction on your organization’s part.

    Applications

    Securing applications in a hybrid cloud environment requires some due diligence. All of your IT team needs to understand the threats to applications on the cloud. From development and operations to security, everyone has a responsibility to ensure application stability and security. Some common threats to applications on the cloud include unauthorized access, misconfiguration (this is a BIG one), user account hijacking, poor encryption/IAM practices, and insecure APIs threatening the integrity of your infrastructure/endpoints. DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks are also prevalent, especially due to poor resource management.

    To get ahead of these issues, you’ll need to use a combination of encryption, threat monitoring, IAM procedures, and more to keep ahead of the game. Incorporating a security software suite with an emphasis on cloud security is almost essential to maintain consistent application security in your company’s hybrid cloud.

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