What is Hybrid Cloud Security?

Published August 24, 2020 • 2 min read

Hybrid cloud security involves protecting the data, applications, and infrastructure related to an IT architecture that includes some level of orchestration, workload portability, and management across multiple IT environments.

A hybrid cloud is a computing system that integrates multiple cloud-based platforms that are used in tandem. These could include your organization’s private cloud, any public cloud-based services used by your staff, or the physical infrastructure in place at your facility or office. 

A hybrid cloud refers to a cloud computing environment that consists of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services, and a public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, with orchestration among the various platforms. A hybrid cloud environment requires hybrid cloud security solutions.

Hybrid clouds allow workloads to move between private and public clouds as an organization’s computing needs and costs change. Hybrid clouds also let companies reduce the potential exposure of their data by letting them keep sensitive data off the public cloud but still take advantage of the cloud for data that isn’t mission-critical.

The hybrid cloud is appealing to many enterprises because it offers the customizability and flexibility of the data center along with the convenience of the public cloud. However, since organizations customize their hybrid clouds differently, the security requirements that organizations need will likely vary. 

When it comes to hybrid clouds, information technology staff members should know exactly what type of setup their organization uses, and where the data is located – stored in a data center or hosted on a public cloud network.

But no matter what kind of setup it uses, a company has adhered to a very important principle of cloud security: shared responsibility.

Enterprises sometimes assume that their cloud providers will handle every aspect of cloud security and they won’t have to do anything to secure their clouds. But the reality is that cloud security is a shared responsibility. While the cloud provider offers security for the underlying infrastructure, the company is responsible for securing its sensitive data.

This means an organization has to implement policies around who can access the data, use proper encryption, and manage the overall configuration of the cloud service to fit its needs. This also extends to other aspects of cybersecurity, including updating and patching its machines and monitoring the software installed on these machines.

An organization may need to procure and operate third-party solutions to meet security requirements not met by the cloud services provider.

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