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    How to Secure Your Company’s Hybrid Cloud Environment?

    How to Secure Your Company’s Hybrid Cloud Environment?

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    Asha Devi N D | Jul 04, 2018 | 330 Views | 0 Comments
    How to Secure Your Company’s Hybrid Cloud Environment?

    ‘Be On the Cloud to Be On Cloud 9’


    Yes!


    It’s Agreed for Today’s Tech Industry!


    But how secure is your Cloud environment?


    Just Keep Ticking Here and Let Your Heard Rumors RIP!



    Streamlined IT management, strategic IT decision, elevated service delivery, reduced infrastructure costs, competitive advantage, and what not? These are the very often heard hit words in the boardroom[s] of IT domain.


    And, ‘Cloud’ is the one-word answer for all these hitting strategies.   

     

    Cloud delivers returns on investment, that is not achieved in traditional IT infrastructure models. It could be for either a] Moving the development environment b] Testing workloads or the c] Production environment.


    The cloud has become so trendy and is useful for businesses that almost all companies are set to go shopping on for cloud services. On shopping with different types and providers of cloud, the hybrid cloud seems to be the first preference of many.


    The concept of hybrid introduces data migration, distributed security models, multi-cloud management, and, so forth. The hybrid approach facilitates the businesses in terms of scalability and cost-effectiveness with reference to the public cloud and a strategic decision to have the server operations on-premises in regards to the private cloud. And, this seems to be the main reason for preferring hybrid cloud.
     

    In addition, the other benefits of the hybrid cloud include:
     

    • Enhanced Security: End-to-end monitoring make it reliable and secure
    • Flexibility: The hybrid cloud architecture could be easily tweaked as per the needs
    • Cost Efficiency: One can easily switch between public/private as per the budget needs
    • Scalability: It delivers scalability and could be taken most out of the technology
       

    However, in a hybrid cloud, the security concern has to be addressed strategically.
     

    Recommended for You How to Find the Best Hybrid Cloud Talent for Your Company?  

    Now, let’s go forward and know how to secure the company’s hybrid cloud environment and start ticking as it tallies with your strategy.  
     

    Secure Your Company’s Hybrid Cloud Environment
     

    1. Shared Responsibility:

    As a first point, it is a shared responsibility between the cloud service provider and the company, even though it is dealt with the best service providers. One must not assume that the data is protected by the providers as a default.
     

    This approach is important because of increasing complexity and adoption of hybrid cloud these days.
     

    Hybrid cloud protection is a holistic approach altogether where the managers assess the storage, sharing, and, movement of the data. This involves double checking of the configurations, lock down access, and visibility of data across the platforms along with its access benefit.  
     

    Moreover, it is important to know about the cloud provider and data too. Some of the points to be pondered over include

    • Multi-tenancy handling
    • Inspection of physical facility
      • [generator, fuel tank, crisis management, corridor, reception area, perimeter, and, etc.]
    • Location of the provider
      • [natural disaster prone area/crime area, and, etc.]
    • Certifications of the cloud personnel
      • [CISSP, CISA, ITIL, and, etc.]
    • Compliance, access, and, protective measures
    • Data backup and retention plans
    • Detection and handling of incidents, DDoS
    • Handling of application and data security
    • Metrics for monitoring and security measures
       
    shared responsibility

    2. Creation and Protection of Your Intellectual Property Right:

    It is quite obvious that a company has its own proprietary software code created by the software developers and other sensitive data.
     

    In order to protect this, there is the necessity to create a permission matrix as per the roles played by the intruder either external or internal.
     

    It is crucial to possess approved security and industry standards. The rights to audit, name the location, approve subcontractors, processing and storing of applications, change control process, liability for nonperformance, and, etc., must be cited authentically.
     

    Intellectual property issues are viewed as "lawyer issues’. "In reality, a cloud provider"s ability to protect intellectual property rights should receive as much scrutiny as the information security, price, and technical solution," says Mayer Brown"s Eisner.
     

    Its your IPR

    3. Protection from Device Failure:

    The risk of device failure is evident and it is essential to make all the efforts to protect and prevent data loss.
     

    A 2015 study by EMC found the top causes of data loss were accidental deletion (41%), migration errors (31%) and accidental overwrites (26%).
     

    Data loss may occur due to:

    • Corrupted by viruses
    • Corrupted by ransomware
    • Accidental deletion
    • Overwrites unintentional
    • Errors during migration
       

    In order to protect data, the following measures could be taken.

     

    • Solid-state storage using the flash device
      • [Limitation: Flash devices wear out]
    • Redundant array of independent disks [RAID technology]
      •  [Limitation: Less effective with large drives]
    • 3-2-1 Backup storage
      •  [Limitation: Expensive in time and cost]
    • Save the data in a geo-redundant location
    • Configure with versioning and make immutable
    • Consider business interruption insurance
       
    beware of device failure

    4. Risk Assessment:

    It is critical to assess the risks consistently for the entire cloud system and its every facet as well.


    It is recommended to have the following assessments on regular basis.

     

    • Software Composition Analysis: Examine 3rd party code libraries.
    • Pentesting: Determine the complete system posture
    • Vulnerability Assessments: Assess all the possible weakness of the system[s]
    • Vendor Risk Assessments: Understand vendor’s approach to security


    The hybrid cloud system is bound to change over the time. For instance, server machines, applications could be introduced newly from time to time. Even the data also changes. Henceforth, it is necessary to assess the risks frequently and implement mitigation so as to keep the entire cloud secure.
     

    Access your risk

    5. Cloud Compliance Audits:

    Cloud is remaking the business approach today and is the choice by default. It’s adopted as a technology, a collection of technologies, an operational model, or the business model owing to its potential benefits like the agility, resiliency, and economy.


    However, these benefits could be derived only if you could adopt a complete and accepted security strategy. To do so, the Cloud and security experts have put compliance standards and best practices such as
     

    As you secure your hybrid-cloud storage, the job does not end. Constant vigilance is needed to ensure its consistency. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct regular cloud compliance audits for on-premise architecture and off-premise as well.


    The Cloud Security Alliance [CSA] promotes implementing the best practices in order to provide security assurance. It delivers the practical and actionable roadmap for your organization for cloud paradigm adoption.
     

    It actively supports the business goals by managing and mitigating the associated risks while the adopting the cloud technology.
     

    audit cloud

    6. Disaster recovery/file level recovery:

    The businesses leverage two storage backup and disaster recovery strategies. One is for primary storage and another for backup and recovery.
     

    Owing to flexibility, hybrid cloud accommodates the backup and disaster recovery. The hybrid-cloud storage architecture consolidates the files into a single store which is beneficial for the organizations having multiple sites. That is, it enhances the disaster recovery capabilities.
     

    Still, it comes with its own challenges.
     

    A few of the challenges to be addressed include:
     

    • Creation of the compliant audit trail for all the data
    • Budget planning for recovery from a remote system
    • Assuring the bandwidth costs as storage footprint gets increased
    • Deliver seamless and automated work for all the end users
    • Making of copies that are instantly consumable by the business
    • And more
       

    A systematic and organized model is necessary to meet these challenges while deriving the benefits of hybrid cloud.
     

    disaster recovery

    7. Shift-left security:

    It refers to a simple concept wherein security considerations are moved closer to the development stage of a product.
     

    By doing so, the potential issues could be avoided or resolved even before the code is committed.
     

    "In other words, security is truly embedded with development and operations practices and infrastructure (a practice sometimes called SecDevOps or DevSecOps)," writes Shackleford, the strong proponent of Shift-left security.
     

    "Security and DevOps teams should define and publish IT organizational standards for a number of areas, including application libraries and OS configurations that are approved for use."
     

    shift left security

    The Final Vigilance:

    There is no limit to enlist the monitoring. However, there are priorities and significant strategies that must be on alert always and alarmed instantly to prevent loss.
     

    To sum up, they are:


    • Login Failures
    • Unusual logins
    • Imports of large data
    • Exports of large data
    • Check on privileged user activities
    • Alert changes to encryption keys
    • Alert changes to access
    • Identity configurations
    • Monitoring configurations
    • Third-party threat intelligence
       

    The Next Thought:

    Who can do all these?
     

    Yes! You are Right!
     

    The Cloud Security Professionals

     

    Let’s make a final note by knowing what the cloud security professionals must know.
     

    The cloud security professional must be subject matter expert in:
     

    1.Cloud Computing

    A few of the in-demand cloud certifications to excel in cloud computing are


    • AWS Certified Solutions Architect
    • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
    • VMware Certifications
    • Google Certified Professional: Cloud Architect
    • IBM Cloud Certifications
    • Salesforce Certifications
    • Cisco Certifications
       

    A few of the cloud security certifications are Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), Certified Cloud Security Specialist (CCSS), CCNP Cloud/CCNP Security, (ISC)2 Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), or the Professional Cloud Security Manager (PCSM).
     

    2. Cybersecurity:

    Cloud security professionals must be knowledgeable in the areas of access control, identity management, authentication, encryption, data loss protection, and the usual security domains that could be addressed with a certification in CISSP.
     

    Recommended for You Ultimate Guide to CISSP Certification  

    3. IT Governance:

    The professionals working with the specific industry must focus their interests in services and regulatory environments.
     

    For instance,


    • IT professionals in e-commerce industry: PCI-DSS
    • IT professionals in Healthcare industry: HIPAA
    •  

    So, it would be an agreeable statement if it is said that we have not completely taken the advantage of what cloud could offer.
     

    For, it’s still a continuous and evolving technology.
     

    What do you say?

    This content is brought to you by Mercury Solutions Limited, one of the best IT Training Company in India. Mehar Ahluwalia, the founder, with a vision of making the professionals’ career more fulfilling, is dedicated to delivering world-class IT Training programs and Certifications to the global participants.
    Tags : hybrid-cloud security solutions, hybrid-cloud security

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