Best practices to secure your hybrid cloud environment
With cyberthreats rapidly evolving, not even the cloud is fully secure. If you’re using a hybrid cloud environment, however, you can customize your cloud’s security to mitigate the risk of cyber incidents. In this blog, we will talk about cybersecurity best practices you should implement to secure your hybrid cloud.
How secure is a hybrid cloud infrastructure?
A hybrid cloud environment combines public and private cloud setups. Public clouds cater to multiple users and are owned and managed by a third-party cloud service provider (CSP). You have little control over how your data is protected in the public cloud. For instance, even if you wanted to encrypt your cloud data, you won’t be able to do so if the CSP does not enable or support such functionality.
Hybrid cloud environments offset this handicap by incorporating a private cloud into the equation. A private cloud is dedicated only for your company’s data, so you have full control over the security measures that protect it. However, do note that this essentially makes you responsible for much of your own cloud data’s protection. It is therefore crucial that you know and apply cloud cybersecurity best practices on your hybrid cloud at all times.
How can you secure your hybrid cloud environment?
Observing the following best practices is a good start:
Implement the principle of least privilege
The principle of least privilege means that users and applications should be given access only to the resources they need to complete their tasks. For example, interns should not have access to the same scope of information as C-suite executives. Similarly, the apps used by your human resources department don’t need to have access to your sales team’s files.
Applying this principle limits the number of people with access to sensitive business information. This way, if hackers successfully penetrate your cloud servers using an employee’s stolen login credentials, they won’t have access to all your company’s privileged data. Instead, they’ll have access to only the information available to the employee to begin with, preventing a full-blown data breach.
Employ endpoint protection
Endpoints are literally the edges of a network. They are usually where users provide inputs and receive outputs — examples include computers, smartphones, wearable devices, sensors, and servers, among others. Endpoints, however, can also be exploited by cybercriminals to infiltrate your hybrid cloud servers, especially if these devices are left unsecured.
There are various endpoint security tools for different threats and purposes. Firewalls filter incoming and outgoing traffic, while anti-malware software detects and removes malicious programs. Endpoint detection and response solutions are another must-have solution. These are tools that continuously monitor your company’s endpoints and detect and analyze potential threats. Any confirmed threat is then removed, contained, or reported to your IT security staff.
Encrypt data at rest and in transit
Data at rest refers to information that is not being moved or accessed, such as the files stored in your cloud server. On the other hand, data in transit is information being transmitted from one location to another, such as a photo being downloaded from your cloud server to your laptop. Both types of data are at risk of being accessed, intercepted, and stolen by cybercriminals.
Encryption scrambles data and prevents it from being read by anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key. It can be applied to both data at rest and in transit. Even if hackers were to successfully breach your cloud servers or intercept moving data, encryption prevents criminals from being able to use or sell what they stole from you.
Backups are extremely crucial for critical business data, but you don't have to go through the trouble of manually duplicating your files. Instead, you can automate the process to ensure that copies are created at consistent intervals and that your backups are always up to date.
Perform continuous system audits
Just because you’ve successfully migrated to your hybrid cloud doesn’t mean things will always proceed smoothly. It’s possible that some parts of your hybrid cloud are not configured as properly as they should be. Not only can these small errors lead to data breaches, as mentioned above, but they may also lead to major system failures over time. Unfortunately, misconfigurations are sometimes difficult to detect.
For this reason, it’s important that you put your hybrid cloud through regular and continuous audits. This may sound like a lot of work, but constant evaluation is necessary to reveal inconsistencies. Besides, the time you spend will only be a minor inconvenience compared to the data breaches and other problems that may result from any undetected misconfigurations.
It takes effort to maximize the cybersecurity advantages of the hybrid cloud. If you need recommendations and suggestions on the best security solutions for your hybrid cloud, we at SimplyClouds will be more than happy to help. Consult with our specialists today.