Hybrid clouds are an elegant and adaptable technology solution for combining public and private cloud storage with more traditional IT infrastructure. While the hybrid cloud model provides a number of benefits, it requires a different security approach than private data storage options. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of hybrid cloud computing, as well as the best security measures for protecting the data stored there. 

What Is a Hybrid Cloud? 

Your company may already be using a private cloud, but hybrid clouds are a slightly different concept. A private cloud is a cloud used solely by your own organization. A public cloud, as the name implies, is owned and managed by a separate company and is used by multiple organizations. The hybrid cloud model integrates both, as well as any on-premises infrastructure you may be using.

A hybrid cloud infrastructure integrates your private data storage (either physical servers or your own private cloud)  with IaaS (infrastructure as a service) platforms such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). Hybrid cloud systems can look different from company to company; this adaptability is one of the many benefits of a hybrid cloud. 

Another benefit of a hybrid approach is the decentralization of data storage. By keeping data across multiple platforms, you can tailor security levels to your needs and assure that all of your data is not at risk in the event of a breach. Other benefits include easier access for remote workers, as well as the scalability of your storage to fit your future needs. 

What Is Hybrid Cloud Security?

Hybrid cloud security is the means by which a company protects data that is stored and accessed across multiple cloud environments. New innovations in data storage require new innovations in data security, and if your company is moving to a hybrid cloud environment, you’ll encounter new cybersecurity considerations that need your attention.  

If you’re in an industry such as healthcare (which requires adherence to government compliance guidelines) hybrid clouds can be more labor intensive because the cloud’s many connection points can create potential vulnerabilities. Any hybrid solutions you use must also be compliant, so before you enter any service level agreements (SLAs) with a cloud services provider, make sure that provider will work within your industry’s particular requirements. 

You also have less access to, and therefore less control over, data that’s stored on an IaaS cloud service. On the other hand, this allows you to share security risks and remediation with the cloud service provider, which can free up time and resources in your own organization. 

How can your company best address hybrid cloud security challenges? Consider the following:

  • Access management. Access to data should be granted to only those who need it. By tracking and minimizing access, you can prevent unnecessary vulnerability and react quickly in the event of a breach.
  • Endpoint security. The devices used to access your cloud services must be protected. Endpoints are particularly popular targets for malware and other security threats, so using password authentication and firewalls for these access points is a critical part of your security program. 
  • Data encryption. Encrypting sensitive data can be an extra means of protection in case of unauthorized access. 
  • Back up crucial data. Public clouds, like any technology, are occasionally subject to outages and failures. Any critical data should be backed up in case access to your cloud services is compromised. 

ZenGRC Has Your Cloud Security Solution

Whether you’re using a hybrid model or your own private cloud solutions, ZenGRC has the tools you need to keep your compliance and risk management streamlined and optimized. 

ZenGRC’s platform creates an integrated user experience that allows you to view all of your security controls and track risk in real-time, wherever your data is stored. Schedule a demo today and learn more about ZenGRC’s unique approach to cloud security and risk management.