What are you up against?

Hybrid cloud computing offers many benefits to businesses. It also opens the door to many new security vulnerabilities. How can you take advantage of the benefits, but also get out in front of the security challenges? Let’s first examine the unique vulnerabilities in a hybrid cloud environment.

Dispersed Information

In hybrid cloud environments, data is typically distributed across numerous virtual and/or physical servers. This decentralization of your company’s data makes it difficult to monitor and increases attack surface.

Fragmented Computing

The proliferation of computing options – from public clouds to operating systems to applications – available at reasonable costs has created an unruly computing environment. Companies are trading consistency and control for cost reduction, increased performance, and improved efficiency. While this trade-off has many benefits, it also comes with a price in terms of increasing complexity in security controls like logs analysis, access management, and configuration management to name a few.

Oversight of Employee Activities

One of the benefits of the cloud is how easily and quickly new projects can be implemented and company problems can be solved. But the easier and less expensive the solution, the more likely your employees will not run it up the decision-making chain. As a result, these projects often fly under the radar of security controls and may put the company at serious risk.

Lack of Visibility

In today’s fast-paced development environments, DevOps are regularly spinning up and deleting virtual machine (VM) instances making it difficult to maintain a true inventory of workloads. Without an accurate inventory it is impossible to know what your real security posture is and whether security vulnerabilities exist.

Shortage of Hybrid Cloud Security Experts

Available hybrid cloud security experts are hard to find and many companies do not have the resources to hire someone with the skills they need. In some hybrid environments, multiple public cloud providers are used, which means your security personnel need to utilize a number of different security management tools, and inexperience with a particular tool could lead to mistakes and security gaps.

Incidental Exposure

Due to the difficulty of keeping track of changes made to system configurations across multiple environments, there is always the threat of exposing applications that are hosted on systems connected to the Internet.

Patching is a Problem

Patching across your public clouds and on-premise environments creates added complexities as one patch doesn’t fit all.

What can you do?

Strive for consistency and control.

Centralized Oversight

One of the problems with the security industry is the proliferation of multiple point products that don’t communicate with each other. Point products create priority issues and security chaos, and don’t give you enough context to make intelligent decisions. You need a solution that aggregates security indicators from all disparate systems and workloads with the enhanced capability to detect material changes, detect intrusion using log analysis, detect access violations, alert you to unintended application exposure, and stay on top of vulnerabilities.

If you implement a security control, for example log analysis, then it should be one solution that aggregates logs from disparate environments not different point products that don’t talk to each other. If you want visibility into user activity and workload activity then it should be achieved with one solution across all your environments that host or process critical data.

Automation

With a few easy policies and the right automated solution, you can improve consistency across your hybrid environment and regain control of your security without compromising productivity or efficiency.

Hybrid cloud security doesn’t have to be as difficult as it first appears. You just need to understand the vulnerabilities and implement a solution that allows you to create consistency and control over all your environments.

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