Hybrid Cloud Security

Security is of utmost importance for businesses. It’s crucial that you have proper technologies and practices put in place to protect your business from many things that can be detrimental to your productivity and success, such as downtime, cyber threats, and loss of data. This is particularly important when using a Hybrid Cloud as it uses a combination of on-premises, private and third-party cloud services. While there are many advantages to using a Hybrid Cloud, in order to maximize the benefits, it’s imperative to ensure proper security is put in place to avoid a breach.

What is Hybrid Cloud Security?

Hybrid Cloud Security can be defined as security measures that have been designed specifically for hybrid infrastructures. It offers protection of your applications, data and infrastructures across all aspects of a hybrid cloud – both the physical, virtual and cloud, as well as public and private clouds being used.

Why Is Hybrid Cloud Security Important?

Premium protection of data, applications, and infrastructure is imperative for all businesses using any type of cloud. For hybrid clouds, in particular, your environments are separate items that are connected to private and public clouds. As such, there are some unique challenges that come with hybrid clouds, such as:

  1. Data Protection
  2. Vendor Security

While your data is a separate entity, migrating between the different environments that make up a hybrid cloud means that you are still connected to other environments in some ways. As such, it’s crucial to limit data exposure through encryption, which can be done with hybrid cloud security.

Vendor security is also another challenge with hybrid clouds as such environments often include software and products from several vendors. The way such vendors test and manage their software and products can pose a risk if hybrid cloud security is not implemented.

Is Your Hybrid Cloud Strategy Secure?

There are many ways you can check to see if your hybrid cloud strategy is secure. The first is to determine whether or not your business has a detailed plan on how data will be transitioned to the cloud securely. If there is no plan, this is problem number one. It is vital to develop a plan that foresees the details of transitioning to a hybrid cloud so any discrepancies and concerns can be addressed before they impact your business.

If your organization does have a hybrid cloud strategy put in place, take time to analyze it. A superior hybrid cloud strategy must determine and have a plan for the following information:

  • Which applications can be moved directly to cloud-based servers
  • Which applications require customization or changes prior to migrating to the cloud
  • Which applications must be rewritten or migrated to a different cloud that is compatible
  • The destination for each asset
  • Risk assessment schedule

Additionally, you’ll want to analyze the hybrid cloud services you’re using. You must ensure the policies and compliance of your private cloud, public cloud and both cloud as one entity comply with your policies and requirements. It is also crucial to determine if your intellectual property on the hybrid cloud is protected.

Security tool compatibility is also a key component for a secure hybrid cloud strategy, as it enables the use of imperative security tools, such as antivirus software, IPS devices and firewalls.

 

Hybrid Cloud Security can be complicated to understand but it is mandatory to ensure the protection of your data, applications and infrastructures. Zycom is building out a hybrid cloud workshop that will provide you with valuable information about maintaining optimal security when using a hybrid cloud.

 

 

 

Why You Need A Cloud Based Security Broker (CASB)

Security is key when it comes to the protection of your company data. Especially if you house this valuable data in a cloud or multi-cloud infrastructure, it’s important that it is properly secured. With a cloud based security broker, you can rest assured that your sensitive information is safe and in the right hands.

What Is A Cloud Based Security Broker?

A cloud based security broker, more commonly known as a cloud access security broker (CASB) is a service that enforces industry standard security policies. These policies include authentication, authorization, device profiling, encryption, credential mapping, single sign-on, logging, alerting, tokenization and the detention and prevention of malware. CASBs are placed between your cloud service and your customers/users.

What Does A CASB Do?

A CASB ensures that the traffic between user devices (your employees’ hardware/computers and your customers’ devices) and the cloud are secure. Furthermore, a cloud access security broker ensures that your cloud provider complies with all security policies. CASBs also provide insight into what security measures are working and which ones need improvement, and they can identify users and applications that are high-risk.

In addition, CASBs will not interfere with the security apps that are already in use for administrative security control (firewalls, anti-malware software, data loss prevention etc.). A cloud access security broker will be able to tell you if one of these apps isn’t working but they’ll never override or control them without your permission.

What Does A Casb Do With The Data They Collect?

When your cloud access security broker gets the data they need to control and monitor the security of your information, they will share it with you. CASB will provide you with logs and reports that detail how your security can be improved, how your data is safeguarded etc. You can then take this data and use it as you see fit. For example, you can use the collected data to monitor cloud service usage. When you monitor service usage you have the ability to better allocate your budget.

Vendors like Netskope and SkyHigh Networks are two trusted names in the CASB industry. Most cloud platform providers work with one of these two CASB vendors to ensure that they are offering the maximum security possible for their clients.

Contact us at Zycom for more information about cloud access security brokers and what we can do for your company. Managing your data and keeping it secure is what we specialize in.

Multi Cloud: The Future Of Cloud Computing

Most companies use cloud based IT solutions to conduct their internal and external activities. These cloud based solutions are here to stay and like all technology, will continue to evolve, making it easier for companies to grow. The future of the cloud is multi cloud computing.

What Is Multi Cloud Computing?

As its namesake implies, multi cloud is a form of computing that involves using more than one public cloud. Instead of using a single cloud provider, companies use specific services from different companies.

The Benefits Of Multi Cloud Computing

As with all cloud based IT solutions, multi cloud computing offers many benefits that your company can use to grow and keep up with current practices.

  • Great ROI: With multi cloud computing, since you are using different cloud platforms instead of just one, you get a great return on your investment. You don’t have to make sacrifices by using only one cloud platform that might not have all the features to meet your needs. With multi cloud infrastructure, you can ensure that all your company’s data needs are met by leveraging only the necessary features from each service.
  • Less chances of failure: By using a multi cloud infrastructure, you are distributing your workload across many platforms. Should one platform fail or require maintenance, you still have the others to rely on. Your workday can continue without interruption and your bottom-line won’t be affected. Moreover, if something goes wrong, the disaster recovery process for cloud computing is far more advanced. So, if all factions of your multi cloud infrastructure fail at once (this is, of course, highly unlikely) you’re in good hands.
  • Fewer delays: Latency is a problem with some cloud based IT solutions since data has to travel before reaching users. These delays usually occur from the cloud that is housed on the server the farthest away from your user base. However, with multi cloud infrastructure, your data is split up between several clouds making delays fewer and far between.
  • Improved security: Because your data is housed in different locations, you get the added benefit of optimal security. Each cloud platform comes with their own security measures that are put in place to protect your company’s valuable internal assets. You can choose which data gets housed in which cloud. For example, sensitive data can be kept in one cloud while regular business data can be kept in another. Splitting up your data between different clouds is more secure than housing it on one server.

In terms of cloud based IT solutions, multi cloud infrastructure is the way forward. You will experience better performance with fewer delays, enhanced security and will have more control of all your business’ data needs.

The Relationship Between IoT and Cloud Computing

IoT stands for the Internet of Things. It refers to the connection of devices other than computers and smartphones to the Internet. Devices on the IoT range from cars, kitchen appliances, alarm systems, and medical devices like heart monitors. It is basically anything that can connect to the Internet that isn’t traditionally considered a thing you’d connect to the Internet. Conversely, cloud computing is a system that delivers data, applications, videos, and pictures over the Internet to data centres.

Both the IoT and cloud computing can easily streamline the tasks we perform everyday whether it’s for work, home, or as we’re driving to work or home. A strong relationship exists between the two, and it’s more important than you think.

A pathway to data

Yes, that sounds a little on the zen-side, but it’s true. Cloud computing provides a pathway for data to travel until it reaches its destination. Since the IoT is responsible for the generation of enormous amounts of data, the Cloud is there to make sure the data gets where it needs to go. In addition, this data gets to where it needs to go in a matter of minutes, and sometimes even seconds, so you’re not left waiting and watching while tapping your foot incessantly. There’s nothing worse than waiting for a device to update. At least with the Cloud, IoT devices won’t have you waiting all day.

Changing the way we do everything

The coupling of the Cloud and the IoT will change the way we go about our lives. Think about it this way: let’s say you buy one of those fancy, stainless steel smart fridges. This fridge is an IoT device that tracks everything you put in or take out of it. It creates grocery lists for you, sends you notifications when you’re low on staples like milk, and can even lock to keep your kids and significant other from eating the potato salad you bought specifically for the company barbecue. Without the Cloud, how would the data from your fridge get to you? The more IoT devices we bring into our lives, the more it changes the way we do everything. The Cloud is also how these IoT devices stay connected to you when you’re not home. If someone tries to break into your fridge and eat your potato salad, you’ll know right away even if you’re out.

Without the relationship between the Cloud and the IoT, you wouldn’t get a notification that someone has opened the fridge and you’d come home to an empty bowl of potato salad.

What’s Driving The Move To The Cloud?

By 2018, the Cloud will takeover. Cisco reports that by next year 76% of all data centre traffic is going to come from the Cloud. Moreover, Enterprise Tech claims that 50% of the global population will finally have access to the Internet by 2018. But enough with the stats. There’s more to it than fancy percentages. What is really driving the move to the Cloud?

Money, money, and more money

As with everything in life, money is responsible for making cloud computing more accessible. Prices for cloud storage are becoming more and more competitive, which creates a lower cost for the user. This decline in price by the major cloud providers will make the storage services more accessible to smaller and medium-sized businesses, so everyone gets in on the action. Every business, whether it’s a Fortune 500 company or a startup, wants to save money, and with cloud storage prices becoming cheaper and cheaper, it’s easy to do so.

The public will demand the Cloud

With half of the world’s population getting online by 2018, public cloud usage will soar. Everyone texts, takes pictures, and plays games on their phones and tablets, and with the prices of cloud storage coming down, it’ll be more affordable for the average person to take advantage of it. Businesses will take note of how the general public is responding to cloud storage and computing and think, “Gee, I should probably get in on that.” When your grandmother starts using the Cloud to store pictures of her grandchildren and cat memes, you know big businesses will follow suit.

It’s flexible and scalable

When it comes to businesses, there are two words you hear all the time: flexible and scalable. These are major business buzzwords, and you’d be hard pressed to find a TED talk where some experienced CEO doesn’t say these two magic words. The Cloud is both scalable and flexible, which is another factor that’s driving the move. The Cloud gives organizations a chance to scale up or down as needed, and it is flexible enough to grow as a company does. Cloud computing comes with many options like storage, data services, and operating systems that companies can easily adapt to their business model. In addition, the Cloud doesn’t need on-premise housing, which frees up potential office space and makes the job of the IT department a lot easier.

The cloud is taking over. The question is, are you ready for it?

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