Picture this: An object storage misconfiguration has left thousands of customer records fully exposed. Your company is about to face costly compliance consequences and a loss of customer trust. How should you respond? More importantly, how could a secure hybrid cloud strategy have helped prevent such an incident from happening in the first place?

As IT teams face significant pressure to develop a successful cloud migration strategy, organizations are treating security as an afterthought in their rush to quickly move to the cloud. Today, 81 percent of organizations have a multicloud strategy, according to RightScale. Migration without cloud security services for visibility and governance can significantly increase the complexity, costs and risks of adoption.

In This Article

When Unsecure Cloud Migration Becomes Disastrous

Too often, security is forgotten in the excitement to capture the hybrid cloud’s remarkable potential. Perceptions that secure processes can slow digital transformation may lead to security being treated as an afterthought. While effectively managed cloud adoption can improve data security and disaster recovery, many organizations are wary of public cloud providers’ shared responsibility models with third-party security providers, which can increase the complexity for users and complicate processes for access and governing compliance compared to on-premises deployments. A Cybersecurity Insiders survey found that 43 percent of cloud adopters lack of visibility into infrastructure security, 38 percent report compliance troubles and 35 percent struggle to consistently enforce security policies.

Learn more about how to secure your hybrid cloud

Misconfigured cloud servers and other improperly configured systems were solely responsible for the exposure of 2 billion data records tracked by IBM X-Force researchers last year. In addition, inadvertent insider error has contributed to an over 400-percent year-over-year growth in cloud security risks, due in large part to misunderstandings about shared responsibility models to protect data in the cloud. Ultimately, if a data breach or disruption occurs, the organization is liable for the loss of customer trust, regulatory fines and other expensive consequences.

By rushing cloud adoption, business are more likely to generate risks than gain a competitive advantage. In fact, 74 percent of organizations reported that they likely experienced a data breach in the past year due to a lack of secure cloud migration processes. Secure cloud design, a full understanding of responsibility models and solutions for proactive risk management are critical to realizing cloud benefits.

How to Adopt Hybrid Cloud With Confidence

The organization’s ability to develop a successful cloud migration strategy depends, in part, on the IT team’s ability to effectively manage competing priorities of speed, cost efficiency and security. Across industries, hybrid cloud adoption is a necessary tool to balance expanding workloads and data assets. As cloud threats increase, managing hybrid cloud infrastructures requires the enterprise to develop new processes and adopt new solutions for visibility and control.

Strive for True Hybrid Cloud Visibility

Hybrid cloud environments can host a wide array of resources and application programming interfaces (APIs), which can make it challenging to orchestrate effective security controls.

The need for visibility necessitates management solutions designed to capture a diverse view of storage, networking and provisioning activities across public and private cloud environments. Cloud security services should offer visibility and analytics to proactively manage compliance, identify threats and accelerate remediation activities.

Proactively Manage the Cloud Life Cycle

Effective data governance in a hybrid cloud infrastructure requires comprehensive security policies that are proactively and consistently implemented across apps, services, databases, users and endpoints. Cloud security tools should support the organization’s transition to a DevSecOps model where security works alongside DevOps so that proper security controls are built into the design process from the beginning. In turn, this simplifies the process of access management, authentication and authorization in native and migrated cloud apps. To manage threats and compliance risks, organizations need solutions that automate policy enforcement and strengthen compliance posture in a hybrid cloud environment post-deployment.

Why the Enterprise Is Responsible for Protecting Customer Trust in the Hybrid Cloud

The revolution toward a digital economy is underway, and organizations recognize the potential of the hybrid cloud to introduce agility and scale. As IT teams face pressure to deploy a hybrid cloud infrastructure that supports digital transformation activities, many are rushing to the cloud without a comprehensive approach to protecting critical data by design and default.

To fully realize the potential benefits of the secure hybrid cloud, organizations must recognize and understand that the responsibility for protecting customer data and a secure move to the cloud continues to rest with their organization and IT teams. Implementing secure processes during migration and adoption can reduce the costs and risks that result from treating security as an afterthought. Cloud security services for visibility and orchestration are a necessity to proactively manage policy, compliance and access across cloud apps and services.

Listen to the Defense in Depth podcast on securing hybrid cloud

More from CISO

CEO, CIO or CFO: Who Should Your CISO Report To?

As we move deeper into a digitally dependent future, the growing concern of data breaches and other cyber threats has led to the rise of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). This position is essential in almost every company that relies on digital information. They are responsible for developing and implementing strategies to harden the organization's defenses against cyberattacks. However, while many organizations don't question the value of a CISO, there should be more debate over who this important role…

Everyone Wants to Build a Cyber Range: Should You?

In the last few years, IBM X-Force has seen an unprecedented increase in requests to build cyber ranges. By cyber ranges, we mean facilities or online spaces that enable team training and exercises of cyberattack responses. Companies understand the need to drill their plans based on real-world conditions and using real tools, attacks and procedures. What’s driving this increased demand? The increase in remote and hybrid work models emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the priority to collaborate and…

Why Quantum Computing Capabilities Are Creating Security Vulnerabilities Today

Quantum computing capabilities are already impacting your organization. While data encryption and operational disruption have long troubled Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), the threat posed by emerging quantum computing capabilities is far more profound and immediate. Indeed, quantum computing poses an existential risk to the classical encryption protocols that enable virtually all digital transactions. Over the next several years, widespread data encryption mechanisms, such as public-key cryptography (PKC), could become vulnerable. Any classically encrypted communication could be wiretapped and is…

6 Roles That Can Easily Transition to a Cybersecurity Team

With the shortage of qualified tech professionals in the cybersecurity industry and increasing demand for trained experts, it can take time to find the right candidate with the necessary skill set. However, while searching for specific technical skill sets, many professionals in other industries may be an excellent fit for transitioning into a cybersecurity team. In fact, considering their unique, specialized skill sets, some roles are a better match than what is traditionally expected of a cybersecurity professional. This article…