Security in hybrid cloud environments differs from single cloud environments in several ways:
- More complex network topology – Hybrid clouds connect both public cloud and on-premises infrastructure, which makes the network topology more complex. This introduces additional challenges in configuring networking and security between different environments.
- Multiple components from different vendors – Hybrid clouds combine elements from multiple cloud providers and on-premises infrastructure. Each component may have its own security features and tools, requiring integration and management across the hybrid environment.
- Physical security responsibilities – In public clouds, providers are responsible for the physical security of the infrastructure. In hybrid clouds, organizations must also secure their on-premises components themselves.
- Difficulty in visibility and monitoring – It is harder to get a unified view of security across multiple cloud providers and on-premises systems. Organizations need to use third-party tools to monitor the whole hybrid environment.
- Management of credentials and secrets – Credentials and secrets need to be distributed and managed across the hybrid cloud. This requires additional tools and processes to securely store and rotate credentials.
- Networking complexities – Creating secure network connections between different cloud providers and on-premises systems introduces additional challenges. Configuring networking features like VPCs and VPNs becomes more complex.
- Increased risk of misconfiguration – The more complex hybrid cloud infrastructure increases the likelihood of misconfigurations that can create security vulnerabilities.
To secure hybrid clouds, organizations need to implement comprehensive security strategies that cover all components of the environment. This includes tools for visibility, identity and access management, network security, encryption, and auditing across public clouds and on-premises systems.
Basic security best practices like continuous monitoring, implementing least privilege, and following a zero-trust model still apply. But organizations need to consider advanced strategies specific to hybrid clouds, including unified security management, use of open technologies, and automation/AI tools.