Top 5 best practices to securely manage a hybrid cloud environment

Over the past decade, cloud computing has grown to form the foundation of digital strategy and transformation. But to be effective, you need robust cloud security.

Depending on your company’s specific needs, you can now choose between hosting everything on a private cloud, public cloud, or a fully integrated hybrid cloud environment (that supports on-premise networks and a cloud provider or two).

What started as an initiative to cut costs with enhanced efficiency has matured into a business priority that hosts the blockchain, data analytics protocols, IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platforms. 

However, as organizations still have legacy applications supporting core business processes, to avert disruption, hybrid cloud environments are necessary to ensure business continuity. Today, multi-cloud environments are the norm and leveraged by 94% of enterprises (surveyed by McKinsey & Company).

Securely managing hybrid cloud environments come with their own set of challenges. Here are five best practices to overcome them effectively.

1. Automate the scanning and remediation of security controls

Even if you’re not in a highly regulated sector like finance, government, or healthcare, maintaining compliance and governance is a critical part of daily business operations. This creates a situation where IT and security teams have to efficiently juggle a mix of heterogeneous systems and various regulatory requirements.

Many companies engage in this process manually. However, manually checking custom regulatory security baselines are tedious and error-prone. For example, when configuration changes are made manually, there’s a high probability that these go undetected, making it unrepeatable, reproducible, or shareable.

All of the above are critical to passing a security audit. To meet security compliance and auditing demands efficiently and cost-effectively, enterprises must automate the scanning and remediation of security controls.

The primary objective here is to achieve crystal-clear visibility into workflows and tasks and enable seamless scalability of these tasks, for example, from a container level to individual infrastructure, to a hybrid cloud environment.

By leveraging automation, businesses can save money while boosting efficiency and security. In this scenario, you’ll deploy both infrastructure and security as code. When you automate whatever you can, you’ll benefit from repeatability, share and verifiability, and improved security.

2. Apply uniform policies for migration and configuration

In complex hybrid cloud environments, it’s challenging to ensure that all configurations are secure and standardized. To overcome this challenge, apply policies uniformly and check if your deployment enables the performance you expect.

When engaging in applications and data migration, you also have to take steps to ensure that these digital assets are migrated completely and securely. A robust cloud migration strategy helps achieve smooth migration and optimal configurations.

In this scenario, take your time and research best practices for configuration and migration across services thoroughly. A phased process also helps leverage testing protocols to ensure that data assets aren’t corrupted or left unprotected during transit.

3. Achieve enhanced visibility and control

If you can’t see the whole cloud environment, how can you securely manage and control it?

When companies move beyond physical machines and embrace virtualization, there’s a potential to introduce risk. If administrators, for example, are manually patching and configuring systems, the risk exposure grows exponentially.

It’s not just about security as the lack of visibility and control of infrastructure also leads to inefficiencies. You also won’t know for sure what changes were made and when it was deployed. 

A centralized hybrid cloud management platform is vital to achieving transparency across the entire heterogeneous infrastructure.

4. Take a security-first approach to data

Whether your sensitive data is stored on-premise, in a public cloud, or a private cloud, robust encryption is one of the best ways to protect your data. Technologies like Artmotion’s military-grade encryption systems go a long way to ensure enterprise security and regulatory compliance. 

On-premise, you can use Network Bound Disk Encryption to enable the user to encrypt root volumes of hard drives on physical and virtual machines. This approach helps negate the manual entry of passwords to encrypt the drives.

5. Embrace real-time monitoring of the entire hybrid cloud

Use powerful security and monitoring tools to monitor your cloud as thoroughly. This must be achieved without hampering the everyday performance of your network. 

Corporations usually have thousands of users working on the cloud at any given moment. So it’s essential to ensure enhanced availability of cloud assets and uptime. Real-time monitoring is key to achieving continuous availability and reliability.

Key takeaways:

  • Automate anything and everything 
  • Automate scanning and remediation of security controls
  • Apply uniform policies for migration and configuration
  • Check if performance meets expected standards
  • Formulate a robust cloud migration strategy
  • Research best practices for configuration and migration across services
  • Take a phased approach to migration and engage in testing every step of the way
  • Adopt a centralized cloud management platform
  • Deploy robust encryption protocols
  • Engage in real-time monitoring of the entire hybrid cloud ecosystem

Request a commitment-free call back now to learn more about securing cloud environments with military-grade encryption.

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