There are many different kinds of cloud-based environments, and each one presents unique cloud data security challenges. Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments, for example, face unique migration and scalability issues. They also require complex configurations, monitoring systems and data protection protocols compliance in order to remain secure and receive regulatory approval. In this article, we’ll look at the hybrid cloud security best practices that security teams need to know in order to protect cloud-based data.
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8 Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Security Best Practices
#1: Consider interoperability
While hybrid cloud solutions make it possible to get the best of both worlds by combining modern cloud capabilities with existing technologies, those two distinct worlds don’t always communicate with each other smoothly. Make sure to consider interoperability at every stage of development. Baking in interoperability at the outset will help create a seamless solution that ensures both existing tech and cloud-based elements are securely configured.
#2: Prioritize automation and visibility
Hybrid and multi-cloud environments can grow to be much larger than traditional on-premises systems. That’s why cloud data security automation is so important; automating regular processes like producing logs and ingesting and processing everyday security data can make the highly-trained security professionals on your team even more efficient. That way, your team will be empowered to design security automations that yield precisely the kind of visibility they need across each and every element of a given environment.
#3: Run regular audits
No matter how much forethought goes into designing your hybrid or multi-cloud environment, it’s important to implement frequent and regular audits. Continuous checks ensure that you can evolve your security posture as your environment grows and present opportunities to adapt no matter how many times your needs change. That way, your security team will become aware of any vulnerabilities or risks as soon as they are introduced (or shortly after), instead of waiting until a breach occurs.
#4: Implement least privilege access
The principle of least privilege dictates that entities should only be granted access to the resources that are absolutely necessary for them to perform their duties. Least privilege access controls can be applied to users, applications, or devices in order to both prevent bad actors and limit the possibility of human error. Granular identity and access management (IAM) policies help enforce least privilege access, making it easier for security teams to manage and control access even after it has been appropriately granted.
#5: Standardize procedures
Standardizing protocols and procedures is one of the most important multi-cloud security best practices (that also applies to hybrid cloud environments). The same security protocols should be applied to each independent cloud in the network, and across both on-premises and cloud-based elements. Without robust environment-wide security standards and business processes, a vulnerability anywhere introduces risks everywhere.
#6: Encrypt data consistently
Encryption doesn’t just protect data once it’s being stored, it also plays a critical role in keeping data secure while transferring between clouds, users, or devices. If your encryption protocols aren’t coordinated across every element of your multi-cloud or hybrid environment, data can become exposed while moving through your network as traffic. Consistent data encryption will keep your most valuable assets secure, regardless of whether they’re at rest or in motion at any given time.
#7: Secure all endpoints
One of the benefits of hybrid and multi-cloud environments is their ability to support more devices than individual private or public clouds. Because every device added to a network increases the attack surface, it’s important to protect each individual endpoint. Computers, mobile and smart devices, routers, and web portals are all endpoints that need to be independently secured. Microsegmentation, firewalls, and antivirus (AV) and endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions are all good ways to strengthen your endpoint security.
#8: Create secure backups
Make sure that all the data in your hybrid cloud or multi-cloud environment is backed up and stored securely. Backing up both your cloud-based and on-premises resources ensures that everything is recoverable in the event of a breach or data loss. Keep all your backup storage distinct from the original data source in order to avoid creating a single point of failure — if both the source data and the duplicate versions can be compromised in the same way, that defeats the purpose of creating backups in the first place.
These multi-cloud and hybrid cloud security best practices are recognized industry-wide, but they won’t do much good unless you implement them within your own cloud-based architecture. Cloud data security can be intimidating, especially when dealing with the size and complexity that comes with hybrid and multi-cloud environments – but you don’t have to secure yours alone. Symmetry Systems partners with cloud security teams to implement industry best practices and protect their data everywhere it lives and moves. To learn more about how Symmetry DataGuard helps companies secure their cloud environments, contact us today.