Hybrid cloud management: the next generation

person holding cloud

How IT managers can achieve enterprise level security for the hybrid cloud.

The hybrid cloud holds enormous potential for the financial services industry. However, regulation and compliance can prove to be stumbling blocks for many institutions. So, here are 12 ways to ensure your cloud strategy is secure and ready to go.

1) Perform a risk-assessment

You must perform a detailed risk assessment before you get started. Identify all the technology that is used and establish clear protocols for their use. Ensure software scans constantly for malicious threats and that it is always kept up to date.

2) Encryption

Moving data between cloud providers leaves it open to attack. Data must be encrypted using secure SSL/TLS to manage the authentication of service and prevent the interception of data over the wire. You can set up a virtual private network (VPN) and ensure all devices which connect to the cloud are secure.

3) Set out clear security measures

Poor security management can cause problems. Ensure clear authentication for both private and public cloud. Educate staff and make sure they are aware of the dangers and their responsibilities. Draw up clear protocols regarding access and what devices can and can’t be used.

4) Implement redundancy

Ensure data is backed up and you have redundant copies of data across all data centres. If something happens in one cloud provider, you don’t want it to bring down your entire system.

5) Disaster recovery

If something does go wrong, make sure you have clear measures in place to recover systems and maintain operations while the emergency is ongoing.

6) Keep IP safe

Your most valuable intellectual property must have the highest levels of encryption and security. Classify data manually according to risk, develop a model of your risks, audit any third parties and ensure all network infrastructure is secure.

7) Monitor all cloud providers

Once you share data across clouds you will lose control over some of that data. Make sure you understand what security protocols each cloud provider uses. They must be compliant to industry best practice. This is not always the case with public and private cloud providers. Security is only as strong as the weakest link.

8) Establish clear technical support

Maintain a clear line of communication with your cloud provider. Make sure they have easily accessible technical support and you will be able to contact them quickly if something goes wrong. Establish clear resolution protocols in the event of an emergency.

9) Define SLAs

The service-level agreement between you and your cloud operator is crucial, but it’s often overlooked. This tells you what you should expect, and what happens if there is a problem. Negotiate SLAs with a cloud provider and make sure it has been viewed by a lawyer before you sign.

10) Cross cloud management

Managing across multiple cloud platforms creates all sorts of problems. Develop migration tools to smoothly migrate information between apps.

11) Handle your employees

Disgruntled employees could be your biggest threat, especially if you fail to manage access. For example, if you fire an employee, revoke access privileges immediately to avoid the risk of malicious action.

12) Review management practices

Last but not least, once you have established practices, review them constantly. Threats evolve and technologies improve. Put processes in place to ensure new employees are quickly brought up to speed with their obligations and duties.