Why Cybersecurity Matters in the New Hybrid Multi-Cloud Digital Era

When the Cloud first appeared, it took the world by storm. Most organizations today do not only use cloud technology but have moved to newer multi-cloud solutions. The reasoning is clear – each company requires the cloud for different means, so the new multi-cloud solution was born.

However, multi-cloud solutions are already no longer enough. Multi-clouds are isolated from each other, and coordination and interoperability in business is key to most organizations, as I’m sure you can agree. In such a cloud environment, it is not possible.

However, the hybrid multi-cloud is already becoming the solution, as it offers a connection between various clouds, be them hybrid clouds or multi-clouds. In a hybrid multi-cloud, everything is connected, but everything also operates in an environment best suited for it. Thus, flexibility and interoperability are at its maximum.

However, these new solutions also pose new problems, cybersecurity being the main one. Managing the hybrid multi-cloud is already tough enough due to its immensity and flexibility, but cybersecurity is proving to be a much bigger problem. To improve data security, changes must be made, and new practices need to be implemented, not only in this department, but through the entire organization.

With all of that being the case, let’s explain the most important reasons why you should start being focused on cybersecurity in the new hybrid multi-cloud era before it’s too late.

Focus on Data Sovereignty Will Increase

The regulatory landscape is quickly evolving and improving, and in time it will drive more changes and specific control requirements in various markets. The cloud will be further used to solve sovereignty challenges. However, it can easily lead to sprawl and complexity in any type of multi-cloud model.

In this very near future, every IT organization will have to become hyper-focused on where its data is, and it will have to ensure that all appropriate controls are applied.

The hybrid multi-cloud leads to an increased risk of non-compliance, in the sense that it goes far beyond the reasonable likelihood of a breach. Furthermore, non-compliance can result in significant financial risk in the future, including regulatory fines. However, with regular audits, every IT organization could ensure enough controls are in place.

A Shift to a Data-Centric Security Model Is Required for the Cloud

A data-centric security model has proved in practice to be more secure than other models, and organizations will need to shift to improve security. The problem here is that there are not enough subject matter experts nor enough toolsets that can manage consistent controls across cloud providers. It will have serious repercussions, in the sense that it will impede adoption and increase the risk of control gaps.

Organizations will have to create new tools and will probably require multiple tools for any multi-cloud environment. They will also need to invest more in requisite in-house and partner talent. Also, security partners and cloud providers will play a more significant role in defining the managing controls.

New or More Federated Areas of an Organization Will Have to Bear the Responsibility

Cloud operating models will break down traditional organizational security firewalls with security or infrastructure departments as application areas have more control of their deployments. Due to this, there is a greater need to adopt cultural changes that breed a culture of compliance with all the areas. If this doesn’t happen in your organization, you will have a much higher risk for code and infrastructure vulnerabilities.

The solution for this already exists. By infusing security into the DevOps/Agile methodology (Dev/Sec/Ops), you can help reduce the risk and through time, get to a more secure type of code. In addition to that, the risk can further be reduced with automated testing procedures.

A Greater Opportunity for Sprawl

In this new hybrid multi-cloud digital era, strong control sets that can discover usage and enforce policy will be required as applications and business areas will have a more prominent ability to consume the cloud rapidly.

It will require a sort of shift from manual and reactive processes to more proactive and automated ones that can discover usage, then apply and enforce compliance with the code.

If organizations ignore this, multi-cloud sprawl can devalue their data – which is why a more comprehensive way to organize the hybrid multi-cloud environment is necessary.

All in all, these are some of the reasons why cybersecurity needs to adapt to the new hybrid multi-cloud world. Every IT organization needs to seriously consider it and look to adjust to secure their data and their entire company. If not, the consequences will not only be limited to the ones we described here – they will be far higher.


Author's Bio

Chris Moretti

Executive Managing Director, Global Infrastructure at Cigna