Recent malware, ransomware, and other types of cyber-attacks underline the importance of cybersecurity in every organization. As companies modernize their infrastructure and adopt hybrid work culture, the issues of data, information and asset security become crucial and need to be given more importance than before as complexity increases. The threat landscape has evolved with advancements in technology and stringent measures need to be taken in terms of data storage, access and identity management, and others when it comes to securing remote working environments.
Cyber-attacks have an ability to disrupt business processes and result in financial losses. Leading global delivery company FedEx suffered an estimated loss of $300 million from the NotPetya attack in first quart of 2017. Moreover, businesses lose nearly $8,500 per hour due downtime incurred by ransomware attacks. According to PurpleSec, ransomware attacks are expected to cost around $6 trillion annually across the globe by 2021.
The growing implementation of hybrid cloud environments in organizations presents new levels of concerns and increases the need for extensive security measures. On top of this, the demand for comprehensive cloud security measures is expected to increase in the coming years as companies migrate toward hybrid cloud-based work culture. According to a report published by Allied Market Research, the global cloud security market is expected to grow considerably over the next few years. Below are four practices that can be adopted to ensure optimum security for hybrid cloud environments:
1. Multi-layered protection
In order to innovate, improve efficiency and achieve sustainable growth, companies have been adopting hybrid cloud infrastructure. When migrating toward the cloud, there may be vulnerabilities in different layers of the infrastructure that cyber attackers can exploit them to attack and disrupt business processes. So, deploying multi-layered security measures will enable companies to better protect their data and applications from cyber attackers.
As companies improve security on every layer, malicious attacks can be countered. Moreover, companies need to invest in exploit mitigation technologies to ensure security at different layers. Moreover, encryption technologies can be implemented at different layers to ensure there are no invasions from unauthorized people.
2. Automate security measures
Cyber attackers have been targeting cloud infrastructure continuously and constantly launch attacks in new and innovative ways. Warding off each attack through manual efforts is impossible, given the limitation of human efforts and the sophistication and volume of attacks.
Deploying automated tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) and others to eliminate and prevent attacks will play a crucial role in improving overall efficiency and security. The automation of processes will also help in keeping track of activities and countering attacks on their own. Moreover, tracking of databases can inform about the potential threats and additional security measures to be taken.
3. Educate your workforce about security measures
When cloud infrastructure is utilized for storing, accessing and modifying data by employees, there’s a possibility that employees are creating vulnerabilities inadvertently. There are various reasons for this, such as carelessness or lack of education, but regardless, these vulnerabilities can be exposed to cyber criminals.
To address this, it’s vital to train and educate employees regarding the cloud security. For instance, if employees are instructed not to connect to public Wi-Fi and they find their system connected to one of the public Wi-Fi, then they need to know how to disconnect from it and then connect to the private network in a hybrid working environment.
4. Give your undivided attention to on-premise as well as cloud environment
With adoption of hybrid work culture, it‘s not best practice to focus the majority of your attentions on purely security the cloud infrastructure. If on-premise systems are left unattended or lesser attention is given as compared to the necessary attention, you’ll be opening up the possibility of data breach or unauthorized access.
From management of firewalls to creation of backups, each and every aspect of the on-premise infrastructure needs to be taken care of by the security teams:
- Data access rights need to be controlled in both environments and sensitive data needs to be secured
- Security measures for employees working in the hybrid environments need to be strengthened equally to ensure data safety.
- Security frameworks for on-premise and cloud infrastructures need to be audited on a regular basis.
For maintaining relevance and enhancing efficiency with adoption of the hybrid infrastructure, it’s necessary to audit the frameworks at least once a year. This will help in consolidating the security network and keep data secure without going through the pain and consequences of business interruptions.