BigID explains what is a hybrid cloud infrastructure and how to maximize its efficiency

The shift to hybrid cloud environments has been gaining momentum in recent years, as organizations look to balance the benefits of private and public cloud services. The global hybrid cloud market will reach $262 billion by 2025 from $85 billion in 2021.

The need for better data management and security is driving the shift to hybrid clouds. By keeping sensitive data in a private cloud and using a public cloud solution for less sensitive workloads, organizations can maintain better control over their data and reduce the risk of security breaches.

Hybrid Cloud Architecture: How Hybrid Cloud Works

A hybrid cloud deployment is where organizations use at least one public cloud service alongside their private cloud resources. Combining on-premises resources and public cloud infrastructure helps create a cohesive IT environment.

This means that some of an organization’s data, applications, and services may be hosted in an on-premises cloud managed internally, while others may be hosted by a third-party provider, like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, or Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Additionally, some data and applications may be hosted on physical servers located on-premises while others are in data centers off-premises.

By combining these different types of resources, organizations can leverage the benefits of both the public cloud and on-premises data center. For example, they can use the public cloud for cost-effective scalability and on-demand access to computing resources while keeping sensitive workloads and data in a private cloud that is more secure and easier to control.

Hybrid architecture offers organizations a flexible, customizable, and scalable computing infrastructure that can meet a wide range of business needs.

Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure: The Best of Public Cloud and Private Cloud

  • Enhanced security: The hybrid approach allows organizations to keep sensitive digital assets and software in a private cloud that is more secure and easier to control. This protects against security breaches, data loss, and other cyber threats.
  • Regulatory compliance: Organizations comply with industry-specific regulations and standards, such as HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI-DSS in a secure and compliant private cloud while using public cloud data centers for non-sensitive data.
  • Customized security policies: With hybrid cloud, organizations can customize security policies based on the sensitivity of data and workloads. This allows them to implement appropriate security measures, such as encryption and multi-factor authentication, to protect their data and applications.
  • Greater control: Hybrid cloud infrastructure gives organizations greater control over their data and applications, allowing them to monitor and manage access, usage, and security policies.
  • Reduced risk: By leveraging both private and public cloud services, organizations can reduce the risk of data loss and service disruption. If one cloud service experiences an outage or failure, they can switch to another service or use on-premises resources to ensure continuity of service.
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Common Challenges of Hybrid Cloud Models

  • Data privacy and compliance: One of the most significant challenges in a hybrid cloud platform is ensuring data privacy and compliance with industry-specific regulations and standards. Organizations should adopt a multi-layered security approach that includes encryption, access controls, and regular security assessments and audits to overcome this challenge.
  • Identity and access management: The hybrid cloud approach can make managing user identities and access across multiple cloud and on-premises resources challenging. To address this challenge, organizations should implement a centralized identity and access management (IAM) system that provides unified authentication and authorization across all resources.
  • Cloud service provider security: Public cloud resource providers may have different security protocols and measures than an organization’s private cloud or on-premises resources. To overcome this challenge, organizations should conduct thorough due diligence when selecting a cloud provider and implement security controls to monitor and manage the service provider’s security practices.
  • Network security: The complexity of a hybrid cloud can make it difficult to manage network security effectively. To address this challenge, organizations should implement a network security architecture that spans both public cloud environments and private clouds to get visibility and control over all network traffic.
  • Integration and interoperability: Integrating and interoperating between different cloud and on-premises resources can be challenging, especially for security. To overcome this challenge, organizations should adopt a standard security framework, such as the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Cloud Controls Matrix, that can be applied uniformly across all resources.

Hybrid Cloud Best Practices

Establish Clear Objectives

Define your business goals and objectives for adopting a hybrid cloud strategy. This ensures alignment with your organization’s overall IT and business strategy.

Assess Workloads

Evaluate your workloads to determine which are best suited for the public cloud, private cloud, or on-premises infrastructure. Consider factors like sensitivity, compliance, and performance requirements.

Implement Strong Security Measures

Adopt comprehensive security practices, including encryption, identity and access management (IAM), and regular security assessments to protect data across all environments.

Ensure Compliance

Stay compliant with relevant regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS. Use tools that help maintain compliance across hybrid environments.

Optimize Cost Management

Monitor and manage cloud costs by leveraging tools that provide visibility into spending. Optimize resource allocation to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Integrate Seamlessly

Ensure seamless integration between on-premises and cloud environments. Use APIs and middleware to facilitate smooth data flow and application interoperability.

Automate Processes

Leverage automation for deployment, scaling, and management of resources. Use orchestration tools to streamline operations and reduce manual intervention.

Prioritize Data Governance

Implement robust data governance policies to manage data access, quality, and security. Ensure consistent data handling practices across all environments.

Maintain Performance and Availability

Monitor performance metrics and ensure high availability of applications. Use load balancing and disaster recovery strategies to minimize downtime.

Foster Collaboration

Promote collaboration between IT teams and business units to ensure successful hybrid cloud adoption. Provide training and resources to help teams adapt to new technologies.

Regularly Review and Update

Continuously review and update your hybrid cloud strategy to adapt to evolving business needs and technological advancements. Regularly assess performance and make necessary adjustments.

Use Hybrid Cloud Management Tools

Utilize hybrid cloud management platforms to gain centralized control and visibility over your hybrid environment. These tools help in monitoring, automation, and security management.

GDPR and the Hybrid Cloud

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of data protection regulations that govern the collection, processing, and storage of personal data within the European Union (EU). The GDPR applies to any organization that processes personal data of EU residents, regardless of where the organization is located.

In a hybrid cloud, organizations may process personal data in both public and private environments, as well as on-premises resources. This can make it challenging to ensure compliance with the GDPR, as organizations must ensure that personal data is processed securely to comply with GDPR requirements.

To comply with the GDPR in a hybrid cloud environment, organizations should adopt a multi-layered security approach that includes encryption, access controls, and regular security assessments and audits. They should also implement data minimization techniques to reduce the amount of personal data processed and ensure that personal data is only transferred to third parties with appropriate security and privacy measures.

In addition, organizations should conduct thorough due diligence when selecting a cloud solution provider, and ensure that the provider has appropriate GDPR compliance certifications and controls in place before starting the cloud migration process. They should also implement clear data processing agreements with the provider to ensure that personal data is processed only in accordance with GDPR requirements.

Choosing a Hybrid Cloud Solution

When evaluating hybrid cloud computing platforms, look for the following attributes:

  • Compatibility and interoperability: Is it compatible with a variety of public and private cloud environments? Does it support interoperability between these environments? This feature allows organizations to easily move workloads between different cloud storages and manage resources from a centralized console.
  • Security and compliance: Does it provide robust security and compliance features, including encryption, access controls, and compliance certifications for industry-specific regulations and standards? Organizations must ensure data and applications are protected and compliant with regulatory requirements.
  • Scalability and flexibility: Can organizations easily add or remove resources as needed and adapt to changing business needs? Scalability and flexibility enable organizations to optimize resource utilization and reduce costs while maintaining performance and availability.
  • Integration with existing tools and systems: Does it integrate with existing tools and systems, such as identity and access management (IAM) systems, network security tools, and automation and orchestration tools? This allows organizations to leverage existing investments and processes while maximizing the benefits of hybrid cloud technology.
  • Comprehensive management and monitoring capabilities: Does it provide comprehensive management and monitoring capabilities, allowing organizations to monitor and manage resources across multiple cloud environments from a centralized console? This gives visibility into resource usage, performance, security, and tools for automation and orchestration.

Hybrid cloud products and services should provide organizations with a secure, scalable, and flexible environment while maintaining control over their data and applications. Organizations can achieve their business goals by selecting a platform that meets these attributes while minimizing risk and maximizing efficiency.

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BigID’s Approach to Hybrid Cloud

BigID is a data discovery and intelligence platform that helps organizations identify and manage sensitive data across their hybrid cloud environments. With BigID, organizations can gain visibility into their data assets, including personal data, and ensure compliance with data protection regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

BigID can be deployed across multiple environments as well as traditional on-prem stores. This allows organizations to discover and classify sensitive data across their entire IT infrastructure, regardless of where it resides.

BigID uses advanced AI and next-gen machine learning algorithms to automatically and accurately scan, identify, and classify cloud data. This data-centric approach provides greater visibility and understanding of the organization’s cloud assets, making it easy to prioritize efforts to protect them.

BigID also provides tools to manage data access permissions, enforce data retention policies, and track data movement across the hybrid cloud.

To see how BigID can ensure compliance and improve your organization’s overall security posture in the cloudschedule a 1:1 demo with our experts today.