Key Considerations for Moving to a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Posted by Fuel HQ on Oct 3, 2019, 10:00:00 AM

Thursday, October 3, 2019

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The national conversation around cybersecurity is perpetually changing, but most data security professionals can agree that it is a daunting task to lock down systems in the cloud. In fact, there is often a discrepancy between a company’s stated cybersecurity policy and the reality of what that company does to secure its data, simply because it is so difficult to stay ahead of changing cybersecurity standards. If it seems like a breach is in the news every other week, that’s because many companies have been burned by inadequate security, resulting in embarrassing public disclosures of vulnerabilities.

It is understandable, then, that many companies would be reluctant to make the jump to a new cybersecurity system — like hybrid cloud infrastructure — given that it is increasingly difficult to determine what sufficient security looks like. But in a recent Fuel webinar, Tim Woods, vice president of technology alliances for Firemon, laid out a few reasons a hybrid cloud infrastructure is beneficial to a company’s continued growth.

Hybrid cloud infrastructures contain a combination of two or more private and public cloud services. The separate clouds are linked through the company, allowing the company to deploy management tools across both platforms. They are becoming increasingly common in the business world. If a company seeks to embrace innovation and remain competitive with its peers, it should move to a hybrid cloud environment.

But there are more benefits to hybrid cloud infrastructure than just “keeping up with the Joneses.” Hybrid cloud infrastructure allows cybersecurity teams to shift certain data to a public or a private cloud, giving a company great flexibility over where it can store its data. Moreover, cybersecurity professionals can use a hybrid cloud infrastructure to enhance automation and reduce rule redundancies, making the security process smoother while lessening the load on individuals.

As with any new technology, there are several important considerations for companies looking to switch over to a hybrid cloud infrastructure. First and foremost, a business interested in a hybrid environment must prioritize security from the start of the transition process. Executives should meet with the cybersecurity team to ensure all key players are on the same page regarding the implications of switching to a hybrid environment and the expected return. Only then should companies start to build their own cloud infrastructure.

When a company has transitioned to a hybrid cloud infrastructure, key players of the transition process must be constantly aware of who has access to that cloud and what that cloud looks like. Woods noted that when a cloud deployment is permitted to grow organically, it will often turn into cloud sprawl — an ill-defined shape with data in far-flung corners, invisible and forgotten to security professionals — which can then turn into a security liability. Cybersecurity professionals must always be aware of the shape of the cloud and know exactly where data is being stored.

The third consideration for cybersecurity professionals is the human element of the hybrid cloud infrastructure. Companies can sink significant amounts of money into the transition to a hybrid environment, but if they do not employ qualified and trained individuals to manage that environment, it will all be for naught. Just as teams should know where data is kept, they should also know exactly who has access to the data, and complete regular checks of access to ensure that only people previously authorized to view the data are able to do so.

At the end of the day, it may seem daunting to switch over and use a hybrid cloud infrastructure, but it will only support business growth, not stifle it. Companies should ensure that cybersecurity is a priority from the very beginning and remain as committed to stated security protocols a year (or more) after the transition as they were on the first day the move began. If security is consistently emphasized and protocols and policies are routinely followed, hybrid cloud environments can be a business enabler.

 

To learn more about the hybrid cloud environment, watch the Fuel webinar related to this blog post.

Webinars are available to Fuel members. Not a member yet? Learn how to join today.

 

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Topics: Cloud Security Management, security, hybrid cloud

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