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Hybrid Cloud Security The Best Of Both Worlds

Hybrid the best of both worlds

The hybrid cloud provides a best of both worlds solution

The use of the cloud has been increasing day by day due to the facility and convenience it brings along with its utilisation. While a major portion of the global marketplace was not keen on the idea of a complete shift to the cloud initially, the contemporary trend certainly indicates a change in this attitude, with research predicting that by the year 2020, no enterprise will be harbouring policies that isolate the use of cloud and most will be on-premise and hybrid clouds. Going to the hybrid cloud is akin to adopting a middle ground that is bound to help organisations make the most of a situation.

According to a ‘State of the Cloud’ report by RightScale, the adoption rates for hybrid cloud systems have gone up to 71%, with more correspondents now attracted towards it than before. In fact, the growth of the cloud is as such that cloud service vendors are having a field day with providing this technology. It is anticipated that 30% of the total revenue generated by Microsoft will be owed to its cloud based software services while Amazon has experienced an annual growth of 68% for its cloud based services and this value is only expected to go upwards from here onwards.

The direction that cloud services and cloud providers are heading in at the moment can quite accurately be described as two major points. Cloud providers seem to be focusing primarily on, number one: expanding their infrastructure and make it available in a number of different geographical locations, and number two: ensuring a variety of options and services be available for their users including IaaS and Paas layers so they are not turned away. One may raise the question of cloud providers not as actively working on creating security solutions but it is negated by the shared responsibility model currently adopted by them which envisions cloud security to be both, the provider and the user’s responsibility, equally. This is why a hybrid cloud system seems to be the ideal solution as it allows enterprises to remain on top of the tech race with the cloud yet be able to retain critical work on-premise to ensure its utter security.

Despite a great number of entrants finding a haven in the cloud and data centre technologies, a proper and flexible security solution for the hybrid cloud systems still remains to be formulated. Whichever architecture is found to be suitable, it is necessary that it addresses the following salient questions and is able to provide a solution for each one of them in order to be effective and dynamic enough:

  • Can workloads be moved onto cloud services such as AWS or Google safely, regardless of differences in security practices between the cloud in question and the data centre?
  • Can a hybrid cloud network be created that is spread across the resources on the cloud and the data centre while having a singular security objective?
  • Does it allow businesses to create a canonical security model when the need arises to utilise a number of clouds that differ in their ways of computing and storage? According to a survey conducted amongst more than a 1000 enterprises, cloud users are increasingly utilising multiple clouds, with an average of 1.8 public clouds and 1.3 private clouds.
  • How will it be able to evolve and adapt to the new generation of ever evolving and emerging technology trends such as containers and hyper-converged infrastructure?
  • How will it be able to stay up to the mark with the constantly developing and changing regulatory and security standards, for example, the PCI?

The security architecture that is formulated as a standard needs to be able to keep up with the benchmarks raised above and in order for it to be capable of doing so, the framework must possess a number of basic yet integral characteristics, some of which are as follows:

  • The architecture must be in the form of a platform rather than a mere tool.
  • It should be able to spread out to a heterogeneous infrastructure for security assessment while posing minimum invasion.
  • It must offer a diverse multitude of APIs for its services to be used.
  • It should show the ability to adapt and extend with evolving technology instead of acting as an anchor or a roadblock in the path of innovation.
  • It must prove to be canonical in its methods of security management.
  • It should be capable of being easily integrated with systems that have already been put into place and are running in enterprises.
  • It should be possible for relevant security data to be fed into the platform from internal or external sources to improve security assessment.

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Brad Nelson