Hybrid cloud is the de facto means of operation for many complex enterprise organizations. It is usually an IT environment that combines the elements of public cloud, private cloud and on-premise infrastructure. The best feature of a hybrid cloud is it offers flexibility to move workloads into varied environments while leveraging the maximum benefits from those environments.
There are many strong reasons why you must use a hybrid cloud. However, hybrid cloud security also comes with a few challenges, which is a prime concern for many. Let’s start with its use cases first and then we’ll move on to discuss its challenges and best practices.
Hybrid Cloud Use Cases
Any organization that hopes to thrive in this digital era must have the cloud as a part of their IT infrastructure. Here are the three common hybrid cloud use cases for most organizations today.
Moving to Public Cloud Systems
Most organizations start their cloud journey using their on-premises infrastructure. They do it by installing Kubernetes and virtual machines in data centers and then converting their monolith applications into microservices. Finally, they deploy it to the on-premises systems.
However, with the help of a hybrid cloud, you can simply move a couple of workloads to the public cloud systems. In that case, you don’t have to go through the tedious process of managing and scaling the on-premise instances. In short, you get to use the hybrid cloud while benefiting from the scalability of a public cloud service provider.
Lets You Use Various Cloud Vendors
Each cloud provider has got its specialty in either service, support levels, SLAs, or pricing. Therefore, by using multiple vendors, you get to enjoy the benefits of more than one cloud provider.
However, using multiple cloud providers isn’t easy as each has its own APIs and management portals, and managing them from a single place would be difficult.
That’s when the hybrid cloud comes to your rescue. Its flexible and mix-match model makes it possible to enjoy the benefits of multiple cloud vendors without having to worry about management.
Helps Keep Workload On-Premises
While cloud providers do provide scalability and flexibility, the infrastructure is someone else’s property. However, businesses often have the need to store sensitive data on their systems on-premises. In that case, the hybrid cloud can provide help by offering the best of both worlds. It means that organizations can store data in-house while running scalable workloads on external cloud systems.
Hybrid Cloud Security Challenges
Following are the different hybrid cloud security challenges.
- In a hybrid cloud, the data passes to and from public and private clouds which may result in vulnerabilities leading to cyberattacks.
- Since hybrid clouds are complex, it is more difficult to effectively create and maintain compliance protocols.
- When you’re using a hybrid cloud, it means that your public cloud service provider is solely responsible for your data governance and accountability. In that case, any compromise in security can lead to critical data loss.
- DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service is another hybrid cloud challenge that comes from multiple sources and targets a single location. As these attacks have multiple sources, it is difficult to trace or detect them, thereby posing a high-risk factor.
Hybrid Cloud Security Best Practices
Since hybrid cloud security is challenging due to its distributed nature and multiple components, the ideal way to start using it is by using the best practices according to industry standards.
- Plan carefully when it comes to managing the credentials, passwords, keys, or certificates.
- Thoroughly review the network topology with the aid of network and security experts.
- Scan the container images to see if there is any vulnerability. Finally, ensure to deploy only the secured ones.
- Put a zero-trust approach into practice when it comes to new tools, applications, or environments.
- Go for continuous audits to ensure compliance checks and real-time visibility.
Employing a hybrid cloud is indeed beneficial. But it also comes with certain security challenges that are quite less compared to running everything on the cloud. However, the benefits offered by a hybrid cloud setup are worth the additional expenses needed to secure the system.