The coronavirus is forcing more and more businesses to go digital. Like so many other areas of technology, this new, more intense wave of digitization has given cloud computing renewed fame and popularity. From medium enterprises to Fortune 500 companies, the trend of moving to the cloud has caught up with all kinds of businesses.
The shift to the cloud has given businesses flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, among other benefits. However, some CIOs and entrepreneurs are unconvinced that a traditional cloud environment can replace their entire IT infrastructure. That’s the reason many companies are considering the hybrid cloud. The hybrid cloud offers better flexibility. However, flexibility comes with some security challenges. In this blog post, I will discuss all these aspects of the hybrid cloud model. Keep scrolling to dive deeper.
How a Hybrid Cloud Environment Works
A hybrid cloud computing environment connects an organization's on-premise private cloud services and third-party public cloud into a single infrastructure. The hybrid cloud infrastructure provides a flexible platform for running software applications and workflows of an organization.
The hybrid cloud is based on the principle of efficiently mixing public and private cloud environments. These give organizations flexibility that traditional public or private clouds cannot provide. Using a hybrid cloud environment, an enterprise can meet its technical and business goals more effectively and cost-efficiently.
Key Benefits of Using the Hybrid Cloud Model
Adopting a hybrid cloud model can bring a diverse array of benefits. These advantages range from operational flexibility to cost reduction to innovation. Nonetheless, these benefits don’t come without challenges. But if you can strategically manage the challenges and capitalize on the benefits, the hybrid cloud can turn your business around.
Better Flexibility of the IT Infrastructure
By deploying a hybrid cloud environment, you can quickly add various resources and applications as per the changing demands of your operations. The hybrid cloud model provides you a virtually unlimited scope of scaling up and down. It also helps you to avoid delays and costs associated with the maintenance of your IT infrastructure.
Data Access and Security
Since the hybrid cloud model relies on multiple cloud environments and data centers, the chances of losing crucial data become minimal. Your access to business data also improves due to the combination created by public cloud, private cloud, and on-premise IT infrastructure.
Resource Optimization & Cost Saving
Building a secure and flexible IT infrastructure costs you a substantial amount of money. And such a secure and flexible technology infrastructure has now become a priority of almost every kind of modern-day business. With hybrid cloud solutions, you can easily create a flexible and secure IT infrastructure with a comparatively low development cost. You can also establish a cost-optimal division of labor across the organization. This will help you maintain workloads and workforce performance.
Business Continuity and Innovation
A cloud-based technology infrastructure enables you to fight disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic. It ensures business continuity even during some of the most challenging times for the business world. And while you continue business with a hybrid cloud infrastructure, your scopes for innovation multiply many folds. The hybrid cloud environment drives innovation in many ways. For instance, the cloud environment allows you to rapidly develop and test prototypes.
Security Risks in the Hybrid Cloud and How to Avert Them
Despite the wide-ranging benefits offered by the hybrid cloud model, security has been a major concern among users. Your hybrid cloud security needs to be focused on protecting all the components and workflows built in the cloud infrastructure. These include your business data, software applications, workflows, and overall IT infrastructure.
Here’s how you can bolster the security of your hybrid cloud environment.
Lack of Data Encryption
Non-encrypted network transmissions and data are vulnerable to attacks. Potential attacks can lead to third-party individuals becoming a proxy to internal communication. The attacker could impersonate endpoints and get access to sensitive information. Therefore, it’s important for businesses to encrypt all crucial communication to prevent security breaches.
Improper Security Management
Having weak security measures is one of the most common risks associated with the hybrid cloud model. Many managers and IT heads fail to deploy robust authentication, authorization, and identity management practices.
You need to develop a cloud security strategy. This is the most fundamental step towards ensuring security in your cloud environment. Hybrid clouds give you immense flexibility. You need to choose the flexibility to place workloads and applications where they are most suited. Highly sensitive data, for instance, is best handled in a private cloud with multiple layers of security. Low priority data can be stored in public clouds.
Poor Regulatory Compliance
The adherence to compliance and best practices becomes complicated when you use a hybrid cloud infrastructure. Since the data in a hybrid environment keeps going back and forth, demonstrating compliance can be tricky. Both the private and public cloud providers must ensure that they operate within the realm of compliance.
If you manage enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure, you can improve compliance by adhering to all the security best practices and guidelines. This not just saves you from the potential regulatory breach but also ensures better security.
DoS and DDOS Attacks
When your cloud environment faces a DoS attack, the infrastructure is disrupted temporarily or indefinitely. Such attacks leverage the weaknesses in shared components like RAM, CPU, data storage devices. Such devices make the network accessible to attackers. The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are more insidious than DoS attacks. In cases of DDoS attacks, there are numerous breaches distributed across different resources in your infrastructure. By the time the IT team finds out the breaches, the network usually gets into a virtual gridlock.
For dealing with DoS attacks, IT managers need to manage flow analytics and react directly to the breach. Then they should redirect the traffic to a mitigation platform. When it comes to managing DDoS attacks, you should deploy a robust DDoS mitigation device to fend off any potential attack. Such devices can continuously process all the incoming and outgoing traffic in your cloud infrastructure and identify every possible threat.
Weak Data Protection
Inadequate data security measures could make your hybrid cloud environment extremely vulnerable to attacks. Data breaches compromise the security of your entire cloud infrastructure. Practices like bringing your own device (BYOD) may make the data leakage risks more serious. It’s a big challenge for businesses. Always double-check the access and permissions you grant. Maintain data protection best practices at any cost. Make sure that your data security is not compromised under any circumstances.
The security of hybrid cloud solutions is a shared responsibility of the cloud service providers and the enterprise using the services. Security best practices like authentication and access management are your responsibility. The provider has the responsibility of protecting your data within the realm of their control. Before choosing any cloud service provider, do some research about their security best practices and clients. That will save you a lot of risks.