As an IT asset manager, staying on top of the latest cybersecurity trends and hybrid cloud technology is crucial—especially as user demand for secure remote working continues to grow. This topic is significant as the number of cyberattacks seems to be growing each year.
A report by Check Point found that global cyberattacks grew by 38% in 2022, and with the acceleration of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies this year, it will only increase with time. Understanding how these two aspects overlap will help ensure your team is adequately supported and gets the most out of your hybrid cloud without compromising business-critical data and systems.
In this article, we will look at five key considerations all asset managers should know when it comes to hybrid cloud cybersecurity so that you can develop a more robust security strategy for your organization.
What is a hybrid cloud, and how do you implement it?
Hybrid cloud combines public and private cloud platforms and enables you to use the right tools for the job, scale up or down as needed, and provide security and privacy. It can comprise one or more types of clouds (public, private, or community) interconnected via virtualization technology.
It allows organizations to maintain control over sensitive data while taking advantage of the scalability and cost savings of the public cloud. With a hybrid cloud environment, businesses can deploy workloads across different environments and optimize usage. The main benefit of these environments is their flexibility in managing resources across multiple platforms while maintaining control over your data at all times.
Organizations can implement a hybrid cloud by clearly understanding their current infrastructure and assessing IT needs. Once those needs have been identified, organizations can create a hybrid strategy considering both on-premise and public clouds.
This strategy should incorporate elements such as choosing an appropriate mix of infrastructure resources, designing practical applications for seamless integration between environments, and establishing governance policies to ensure data security and compliance. Organizations should also consider scalability, reliability, performance monitoring, cost optimization, and disaster recovery factors when designing their hybrid architecture.
With an effective hybrid cloud implementation plan, businesses can benefit from improved agility, scalability, availability, cost savings, and increased flexibility in managing workloads across multiple clouds. As such, it has become one of the most attractive solutions for enterprises looking to take advantage of modern cloud technologies without sacrificing control or security.
5 hybrid cloud security considerations for asset managers
Here are five key security considerations when it comes to deploying a hybrid cloud infrastructure:
Interoperability and collaboration capabilities
Before deploying a hybrid cloud infrastructure, asset managers must consider interoperability and collaboration between architecture components. The idea is that these components should interact with each other without infringing on security. It can be done by establishing secure links between different cloud systems, such as identity management (IAM) protocols for authentication and authorization, and using encryption for data-in-transit.
Plus, it is essential to ensure that data is stored securely, whether in the private or public clouds, with robust access controls so that only authorized personnel can access sensitive information. Asset managers should also consider how they can create trust models between different cloud systems while enforcing security rules. It means they should think about how they want users to authenticate themselves and what type of data should be shared to allow collaboration while protecting the system’s integrity.
When it comes to interoperability, consider how application programming interfaces (APIs) will be used for communication between different systems to work together effectively. As these interfaces can create a vulnerability in the environment, it is crucial to monitor them.
You should also keep an eye on compliance requirements depending on the country or industry their organization operates—this is especially important when considering different cloud providers and services, as each one may have its own set of regulations and standards.
Automation within the infrastructure
Before deploying a hybrid cloud infrastructure, consider how security automation capabilities can be implemented without compromising existing data privacy and security controls. Automation can help address the scale of a hybrid cloud environment, but you should not do it at the expense of sensitive data or system integrity. Cybersecurity and hybrid cloud is important to remember that automation does not guarantee perfect security. It means policies must be applied to monitor changes and detect any possible anomalies actively.
For instance, misconfigurations and inadequate change control are significant issues when automation is deployed. To avoid this issue, it is best to test the deployments before making them live and regularly identify systems needing patching or other repairs. It is crucial as specific systems need to be live for the automation to work, and if they are not—that could impact the entire automation workflow.
You should also pay close attention to authentication methods used in the deployment process. It includes authenticating users and automated services within the hybrid cloud, which require strongly enforced rules to ensure that only known, trusted entities can access services on the platform.
Consider potential attack surfaces when implementing an automated system in a hybrid cloud environment. Automation can provide an efficient way to identify threats or suspicious activity quickly. However, this can open up new attack vectors if not appropriately supervised by an experienced team of analysts familiar with traditional and cloud-based security solutions.
Data security and data residency
Data must be protected from unauthorized access, and there are several measures that you can take to protect the data and the systems and networks used to store and transmit it. For instance, encryption is essential for safeguarding data in transit and at rest. Multi-factor authentication should also be established wherever possible to ensure that only authorized users access sensitive information. Plus, IAM policies should be implemented across all environments—on-premise and cloud—with the configuration tailored appropriately to each environment. Cybersecurity and hybrid cloud allows organizations to manage user accounts better and restrict access to certain areas of their network while still providing users with the resources they require.
You also need to consider how to maintain data residency without compromising the security of your data. To do this, understand regulations and privacy laws in the countries where data is stored and ensure those laws are met. Take steps to encrypt any sensitive data and ensure only authorized personnel can access it. By implementing measures to review the security of their cloud and on-premise servers and measure outbound network traffic, you can detect malicious attempts to siphon off customer information.
Out-of-date and unpatched systems
Asset managers should know their organization’s security baselines and ensure all deployed images comply. Keeping track of patching cycles and prioritizing actions based on the threat model and risk, performance, and time considerations is vital to avoid any vulnerabilities. Regular vulnerability scanning should also be conducted. Plus, while applying patches, ensure they have been appropriately tested to identify potential issues before deployment in a production environment.
As cloud and containerized resources are deployed from base images, take appropriate measures to update those images regularly so they are free of known vulnerabilities. Updating base images eliminates potential security problems and helps keep hybrid cloud infrastructures up-to-date with technological advancements.
To hasten this process and add a layer of efficiency, consider setting up automated patching systems, which will help reduce human error during patch deployment and save valuable time.
Use of open-source technologies
Before deploying a hybrid cloud infrastructure, you need to consider which open-source technologies you’ll be integrating into your network and their potential to compromise security. As these technologies are a boon to the hybrid cloud infrastructure, their use increases with time. However, it can be vulnerable to cyberattacks, where malicious code is inserted into legitimate software or malicious updates that can exploit weaknesses in third-party services and software.
To prevent these attacks, inventory all open-source technologies used in the organization and stop using those from untrusted sources. Plus, it is vital to deploy the remaining open-source technologies securely by allocating resources and defining policies that will bring them back under the control of IT and security teams.
You should also stay up-to-date on the latest vulnerabilities associated with different open-source technologies and ensure that additional security patches or updates are applied as soon as possible. It is best to implement continuous monitoring solutions like IT asset management software (ITAM) with cybersecurity capabilities to detect any malicious activity associated with open-source technology usage.
Secure your hybrid cloud infrastructure with Virima
IT asset managers must consider several security considerations before deploying a hybrid cloud infrastructure. These considerations include securing access management, monitoring user behavior closely, regularly scanning for vulnerabilities, and adhering to compliance regulations. As cybersecurity and hybrid cloud infrastructure is spread over multiple clouds, it is crucial to use robust scanning technologies that can help you monitor it at all times.
Implementing an ITAM tool with cybersecurity capabilities is important to help IT professionals protect their environment from potential threats and catch any issues before they become serious. Such tools can offer advanced features such as automated vulnerability scans, user access audits, and streamlined compliance processes—all of which make it easier for IT asset managers to ensure the security and success of their hybrid cloud infrastructure.
This is where tools like Virima’s ITAM can help you easily manage your cloud infrastructure. It scans your network continuously to detect assets that might act as a vulnerability. Once it pulls all the data, it catalogs the asset in your inventory, allowing you to review its details and decide whether it is a threat or not. Moreover, it monitors your assets throughout their entire lifecycle, ensuring there are no missed patch updates or licensing needs—maintaining a compliant network at all times.
Book a demo with Virima now to understand how our product suite can help you keep your hybrid cloud infrastructure secure.