5 Tips for Ensuring Hybrid Cloud Security

By Joe Gillis - 26 Dec, 2017
Given that hybrid clouds can offer huge financial and operational benefits for companies, it comes at no surprise that they have exploded in popularity in the last few years. Rather than needing to build infrastructure to withstand occasional bursts of heavy data usage, companies can offload some of this data to public cloud offerings, paying for it only when they need it. By placing some of their data in a public cloud, companies also ensure that will still be able to continue to conduct business during an internal company failure or disaster. In general, switching to a hybrid cloud model has huge benefits for companies, but it does pose some potential new security risks. While many companies have valid concerns about the privacy risks that are involved in transmitting information across a public domain, companies can surmount these concerns by taking extra precautions in security protocol. Here are the five best tips to ensure hybrid security.
  1. Security at the endpoints
Every endpoint is a launch pad for a cyber attack on your network. The first step to endpoint protection is to have an understanding of what devices and software are being used in your infrastructure. The implementation of firewall rules, IPS signatures, and user identification/authentication, are all necessary to ensure endpoint security. By using a Extensible Service Proxy, based on NGINX, cloud endpoints can validate a variety of authentication schemes from JWT tokens to API keys. While APIs are crucial for endpoint security, when left unprotected they leave data vulnerable to malicious attacks that exploit an authentication key by manipulating personal information. To avoid a security breach, it’s important that API keys are handled in the same manner as encryption and code-signing keys.
  1. Multiple backups
Due to the risk of natural disasters, software malfunctions, and cyber attacks, data redundancy is a critical aspect of securing hybrid infrastructure. It’s important that network administrators properly distribute copies of data across all data centers from one cloud provider in order to prevent the loss of data if a disaster occurs in one center.  The utilization of multiple public cloud providers is another way to ensure multiple backups of data.
  1. Encryption
Hybrid infrastructures require data to move between private and public clouds, which make encryption, reliable virtual private networks (VPNs), and strong authentication for in-transit data all very necessary. Public cloud servers are vulnerable to cyber attacks that outsmart mutual authentication by impersonating endpoints. Given these potential security risks, all data that goes into the public cloud must be encrypted. There are many different encryption methods, such as using SSL/TLS to manage server authentication or using secure Shell (SSH) network tunnel protocols to send unencrypted traffic over a network. After determining what encryption method works best for your company, the next step is to find a cloud provider that uses the method you need.
  1. Risk assessment
Given the fact that cybercriminals are always ready to exploit any gaps in cyber security, network administrators must continually be assessing the system for any potential risks. Risk prevention and assessment technology, such as IDS/IPS systems that can scan for any malicious traffic, must be in place at all times. By making sure that log monitoring is activated and software updates are current, administrators can avoid security breaches.
  1. Management and monitoring
The implementation of network traffic introspection, SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), and security-trained machine learning algorithms, are all ways that companies can monitor and identify potential threats to their hybrid infrastructures. By having the proper IT infrastructure in place that can determine how a security breach occurred, administrators can manage and avoid any future attacks. While offloading data to public offerings can save you huge financial gains, as you move data to the public sphere, you must ensure there are adequate security policies and procedures in place. If you’re just beginning to set up the hybrid infrastructure for your company, the easiest and most obvious way to ensure data security at the beginning stage is to start by only moving lower risk data to the public cloud until you develop more stringent security policies. While moving data to the public domain does pose additional risks, by implementing proper encryption, insuring secure endpoints, and continually assessing risk, companies can rest assured knowing that their data is safe and secure.  

Author: Joe Gillis

Joe Gillis, a graduate of Loyola University, began his career with FTG Technologies, a New Era Technology company, in 2010 as an Account Executive. After proving his skills in team-building, client interaction, and developing strategic relationships, he was promoted to Sales Manager in 2012. Today, Joe continues to lead the sales team and serves as a member of the senior management team. When Joe isn’t leading the sales team he enjoys time with his young family and is an avid golfer. Prior to joining FTG, Joe worked for the PGA Tour within Tournament Operations.