November 14, 2018

On hybrid cloud nine, come rain or shine - but how?

Peter Österdahl

Business Developer, Tieto Security Services

Hybrid cloud is the next major step in corporate IT evolution. From a cyber security perspective, the transformation to the usage of more cloud computing resources brings multiple benefits, but also raises many issues. What are the key security challenges and their solutions?

In a hybrid environment, companies run their IT on a combination of on-premise servers and cloud services. This means that different IT assets reside partly outside of the traditional enterprise perimeter. Management-wise it is obvious that hybrid cloud makes the IT environment more complex and creates new challenges.

Within a few years, cloud will be the norm for most types of company IT. Anything else is going to be an exception to the rule. This paradigm shift also means security must be rethought.

What security issues must corporate IT pay attention to when going hybrid? What does the new approach to security look like?

Three key challenges

We can point out three areas that pose new security challenges when moving to a hybrid operating model:

1. Large and complex attack surface with multiple network entry and access control points. Hybrid means a move to more fine-grained processing architectures, which gives rise to many new entry points to the organization’s IT system. The dynamic nature of these access points renders traditional network-based methods of protection largely ineffective and moves the balance towards a solid identity and access-management regime.

2. The different cloud stacks use inconsistent and sometimes incompatible security architectures. The corporate IT must understand the scope of security controls offered by each provider and be ready to bridge the gaps by their own overlay of security controls.

3. Rapidly increasing complexity. The architectural inconsistency creates complex dependencies in infrastructure setup and maintenance. This is amplified by the fact that different parts of the infrastructure use different management systems and security models. Much of the infrastructure is not permanent. This creates new demands for logging arrangements for visibility to be maintained across the environment.

The above challenges raise some key security requirements that must be addressed in any hybrid cloud deployment. They mirror closely the requirements in traditional computing environments but must now take into account the increased complexity of cloud environments.

We will address the above challenges in detail in our forthcoming whitepaper. It will explain all aspects and much more about security in a hybrid environment. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch to hear about Tieto Security’s approach to hybrid cloud.

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