By Ivan Pittaluga, Chief Technology Officer, Arcserve
The benefits of the cloud—reduced capital expenditures, more IT flexibility, and business efficiency—are compelling. And it wasn’t that long ago that IT experts were predicting organizations would move their entire computing infrastructure to the cloud. That never happened, but Cisco’s 2022 Global Hybrid Cloud Trends Report did find that 82 percent of survey respondents have adopted hybrid cloud, calling it “the new normal.”
Companies are choosing a hybrid-cloud strategy because of its advantages compared to complete reliance on third-party cloud vendors. And today, many tools make it easy to host an on-premises cloud-like data center. But, while hybrid clouds are appealing because of their flexibility, they are also very complex to manage. The same Cisco survey found that 35 percent of respondents viewed increased operational complexity as their top challenge when using multiple clouds.
At the top of that list of serious challenges you’ll find security, backup, and disaster recovery. The Cisco study found that 37 percent of the respondents see security as a significant challenge. With the threat of a data breach or data loss always present, companies that run hybrid cloud environments need to mitigate their risks.
Security: A Shared Responsibility
While there are many misconceptions about cloud security in general, the most common is that the cloud is secure by its very nature. Nothing could be further from the truth—just check out our post listing the seven most infamous cloud security breaches. When organizations transition to the cloud, they must understand that cloud security is a shared responsibility between the cloud provider and the customer. Cloud service providers like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS typically secure the core infrastructure and services as part of their responsibility. But when it comes to securing operating systems, platforms, and data, that responsibility falls to the customer.
Of course, cloud providers don’t exactly advertise this fact. You need to read the fine print in their T&Cs to find the legal language that explains who is responsible if anything happens to your data. Whether it’s data corruption, a security breach, or even an accidental deletion, you are responsible for recovering your data—not your cloud provider.
Think of it as you would a car. While automakers are required to meet quality and safety standards, it’s your responsibility to buckle up and drive safely. The same holds true for your data. It’s your data and your responsibility. The fine print protects cloud providers from lawsuits, but it doesn’t protect your business from the consequences of a data loss.
Managing Cloud Complexity Isn’t Easy
Returning to management complexity, as the saying goes, “more money, more problems”—more clouds can also mean more problems. And the more clouds you try to blend, the more unwieldy your environment becomes.
Some organizations standardize on up to four different public clouds and numerous private clouds and data centers. Those clouds typically operate differently from each other and have very different interfaces. You may be able to manage each cloud environment seamlessly. Still, monitoring and supporting all those disparate cloud platforms and getting them to play nice with each other can be an overwhelming challenge.
Of course, other issues come with hybrid cloud environments, especially compliance and regulatory concerns. Keeping a single cloud compliant is hard enough. With the complexities of hybrid clouds, those challenges ratchet even higher as industries adapt to rule changes and security and certifications requirements.
A Security Solution for Every Cloud
You need to address security and compliance early on in your implementation process. Playing catchup later can be costly—even catastrophic. The optimal backup and recovery solution for your hybrid cloud environment should comprehensively protect and give you complete control over your data. It’s worth considering cloud storage that safeguards data by taking continuous snapshots that provide multiple recovery points. That means your data is protected at all times while giving you easy access and visibility.
Some data protection solutions specifically target private, hybrid, and multi-cloud computing environments. The solution you choose should combine security controls, ransomware detection, and data protection across private cloud, public cloud, and SaaS-based environments. It should also include backup and disaster recovery services, including protection for your physical, virtual, and cloud workloads.
Every business needs to step up and take responsibility for managing its data storage and backup requirements, no matter where that data resides. You can’t place your trust solely in your cloud providers. You need to implement a data protection and recovery strategy that adds an extra layer of protection so you are confident of recovery in the event of a disaster.
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