Top 4 Hybrid Cloud Security Challenges

Some companies that choose to migrate to the cloud still need to maintain on-premises operations, whether due to compliance mandates or a variety of other reasons. In such scenarios, opting for a hybrid setup is the natural solution.
Yet while going hybrid can offer the best of both worlds and ultimately improve an organization’s security posture, it also presents some specific challenges.

To help you navigate these issues, let’s take a closer look at the hurdles that need to be cleared when using a hybrid cloud model.

1. The Visibility Problem Creating Hybrid Cloud Security Issues

Mixing public and private clouds or infrastructure can sharply increase complexity and heighten risk. Organizations need to have deep visibility and control to handle this complexity and ensure that security gaps do not develop. Think about it: If you can’t see it and evaluate it, you certainly can’t properly secure it.

Maintaining full visibility and control is also essential for tracking changes (such as configurations) and ensuring that each member of the team collaborates effectively. By automating wherever possible and using the right mix of tools, it’s possible to maintain a transparent and smooth-running infrastructure.

2. Insecure Cloud Data Transmission

Data flows between public and private clouds create vulnerabilities that may lead to eavesdropping or cyberattacks. Robust encryption is the best way to ensure that data remains secure, even if it ends up being exfiltrated.

By using hardware security modules and other cryptographic tools, it becomes possible to encode data with super strong encryption keys and firmly control access to that data. The end result? Peace of mind for IT managers, who now can sleep easily knowing that intra-cloud data transfers have been secured via tough to crack encryption, making the prospect of hybrid cloud breaches less frightening.

3. Falling Out of Compliance

Given the sky-high stakes associated with hybrid cloud security risks (devastating reputational harm or financial penalties), it’s critically important to remain compliant when operating a hybrid cloud model. However, the complexity of hybrid cloud also makes it more difficult to establish and maintain effective compliance protocols.

To solve this problem, it’s important to view everything from the prism of compliance starting at the beginning of the hybrid cloud deployment. When each step you take is viewed through the lens of compliance, it becomes much easier to avoid the simple-in-retrospect errors that can lead to terrible consequences. Another key step: Viewing each part of the hybrid model not only as single components, but also as a unified system. Even if each component is compliant in a vacuum, the interplay between them may create issues that lead to compliance risks.

4. Supply Chain Risks

You’re only as strong as your weakest link — and smaller vendors down the supply chain are almost always that link. While your security team may be skilled and well-resourced and practice smart hybrid cloud hygiene, you can’t be certain that your partners are so fortunate.

Attackers know this, and often target the supply chain as a backdoor into larger targets. To prevent this, it’s essential to have testing capabilities that offer a continuous window into emerging vulnerabilities.

Using Breach and Attack Simulation Software to Help Solve These Problems

As mentioned above, operating a hybrid cloud system presents specific challenges, especially with regard to data security and infrastructure visibility. Breach-and-attack (BAS) simulation platforms, such as the one offered by XM Cyber, are ideally suited for addressing these challenges.

An advanced BAS platform helps mitigate the risk presented by data leakage, eavesdropping, breaches etc. by providing automated security testing that runs continuously. Much like an automated purple team, BAS platforms simulate attacks along likely paths using advanced adversary techniques, allowing organizations to test their defenses and maintain 24/7 visibility into the true state of their security posture. In complex hybrid cloud environments where changes occur with great frequency (and new security gaps are an ever-present threat), maintaining this kind of deep visibility into evolving vulnerabilities is critically important.

After identifying any vulnerabilities, BAS platforms provide prioritized remediation guidance, helping organizations quickly address any issues that emerge. Because of its automated and continuous nature, BAS technology is the obvious choice when dealing with complex hybrid deployments. A BAS platform helps protect from the start of migration all the way through daily operations.

Cyber Defense for Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid systems require special attention and the right hybrid cloud security platform. We urge you to contact XM Cyber to learn more about how our industry-leading automated breach simulation software can help protect your hybrid systems.

Rinat Villeval is Customer Operations Manager at XM Cyber


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