According to cloud computing statistics, 74% of enterprises use a hybrid and multi-cloud strategy today. 69% of organizations were planning to use a multi-cloud environment. 62% of public cloud adopters are using more than two cloud environments and platforms. Despite all this, very few businesses optimize their cloud spending, which is why they fail to take full advantage of their cloud infrastructure.
Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments could result in loss of visibility as it continues to introduce complex interconnected networks. This means that you might not have a single point of control. Lack of knowledge and understanding about how data flows complicates things further. How can you overcome these cloud challenges? How can you protect your data in such an environment?
In this article, you will learn about how you can overcome data security challenges in a hybrid multi-cloud setup.
1. Dig Deeper into Cloud Service Model
Cloud computing has evolved dramatically in the last five to ten years. In fact, it has become one of the most important tools for digital transformation. Without a proper understanding of the cloud service models, you are more likely to choose the wrong cloud service model for your business and fail to make the most of your cloud investments. That is why it is important to understand different cloud service models.
There are four types of cloud service models
- Software as a Service
- Infrastructure as a Service
- Platform as a Service
- Database as a Service
Let us look at each one in detail.
Software as a Service:
The software as a Service model outsources all IT and enables organizations to focus more on developing their strengths instead of spending time and resources on managing technology. In the SaaS cloud service model, a service provider is responsible for hosting applications and making them available to different organizations.
Infrastructure as a Service
Infrastructure as a Service allows organizations to maintain their existing physical software, middleware platforms and business applications on the infrastructure provided to them by service providers. This infrastructure is also managed by the service provider. This service model can come in handy when enterprises must take advantage of the cloud by minimizing impact and using existing investments.
Platform as a Service
Platform as a Service lets businesses use the infrastructure and middleware or software, provided and managed by the service provider. This reduces the burden on the IT team and lets them focus on developing innovative business applications. Thanks to its cost-effective development, it reduces your time to market. In addition to this, users can also develop for multiple platforms and take advantage of scalability opportunities.
Database as a Service
In the Database as a Service cloud service model, the cloud service provider offers a hosted and fully managed database environment. For instance, an organization might subscribe to Amazon RDS for MySQL or Microsoft Azure SQL Database. Better security and tracking capabilities, rapid provisioning and cost savings make it a good option for businesses that prioritizes security scalability and cost.
As you move from IaaS to DBaaS, you tend to lose control and must trust third parties. This could increase your risk of data security. What is even worse is that most cloud service providers follow a shared responsibility model which means that they are not solely responsible for keeping your data safe. Users also have to play their part. On the brighter side, infrastructure as a service model allows its users to implement security measures but for SaaS and other service models, they must depend on cloud providers.
2. Data Access and Control
The threat landscape is evolving quickly, and enterprises need to adopt a unified approach to hybrid and multi-cloud security to keep their data safe. For this, you need to ask yourself some important questions such as:
- What type of data will be moved to the cloud?
- What data is stored on-premise servers?
- What are the security vulnerabilities you should focus on?
- How can we ensure compliance and fulfill regulatory requirements?
Answering these questions will give you a better idea of your data needs. This enables you to implement contextual data access controls according to the data types and location where the data is stored. As a result, you create data access policies for tokenization, encryption, data masking, data blocking and data redaction. More importantly, you can set the appropriate protection level based on your security and compliance requirements. Due to this, your controls might not be adding friction and making it difficult for users to access the data.
3. Speed Up Compliance
Complying with specific industry standards such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is not enough anymore. Enterprises will have to look beyond these standards. Since your data is spread across multiple clouds, it is also subject to privacy regulations.
Let us say, your data is stored in a public cloud. It is important for businesses to know how a service provider will protect their sensitive business data. Let us say, your data contains some information about finances, race and ethnicity of users, which is sensitive information and might be subject to specific processing conditions and requirements. Does your cloud provider fulfill those requirements? If no, then you are better off looking elsewhere because it can put that sensitive business data at risk. As a business, you don’t want that data to be leaked.
Irrespective of which cloud service model you choose, it is important to make data security a priority. If your sensitive business data is stored in multiple clouds, whether it is on-premises or on the cloud, data security, privacy and compliance controls should be in place to keep it protected. Manage access control and only assign users roles according to their tasks. This minimizes the risk of misuse and prevents internal threats. Increase employee awareness and implement firewalls, antiviruses and other security tools to safeguard your data from external threats.
Do you use hybrid or multi-cloud? If yes, how do you keep your data protected in a hybrid multi-cloud environment? Let us know in the comments section below.
Irfan Ak is an experienced digital content writer at Branex. A pro mobile app development company. He is a regular contributor on various websites. He has worked with several brands and created value for them.
Irfan is a guest blogger. All opinions are his own.