Data Security and Hybrid Clouds

As more business migrates to the cloud, host providers are creating new ways of serving their customers. One of the latest involves the creation of the “hybrid” cloud model. This is a combination of the public cloud, the private cloud and on-premise infrastructure and brings with it new advantages for host providers and customers alike.

One of the chief concerns for many business owners considering a move to the cloud involves data security. The thought of proprietary or sensitive data residing on a “public” server is enough to prevent them from migrating.  For those business owners, the concept of the hybrid model may make perfect sense.

While no enterprise is 100 percent risk free, or safe on or off the cloud, there are certain security measures that the hybrid cloud offers over both the public or private models. Let’s examine how host providers are addressing security concerns using the hybrid cloud model.

Is Data Safe In The Cloud?

While most host providers are hyper aware of and addressing security concerns on the public cloud, there is always a risk of breach. Recent news stories involving Apple, Target, and Anthem Insurance have shown the potential risks of security breach via the cloud. Enhanced security is actually one of the primary drivers for the recent growth in the hybrid approach.

By maintaining a public/private infrastructure, your most sensitive data can be kept in the relative security of the private cloud. This means that your data is kept off of the public space and away from the risk of breach by various additional security measures such as firewall protection and data encryption. It also allows your business complete control over that data. The key issue here is, what are the implications if that data crosses between the two zones as in the case of credit card information on an ecommerce site?

While the initial request may come through the “public” cloud hosted online store, the data must pass through to the private portion for eventual storage and may be subject to different security protocols as a result.  In other industries where compliance issues may arise, the hybrid model may allow for meeting those issues. Data needing to adhere to strict storage regulations may be kept on the private cloud, thereby meeting compliance standards.

Host providers operating hybrid cloud networks are busily implementing the latest security advancements. One innovative approach known as split-key encryption calls for the data encryption key to be split in half. This allows the customer to maintain the encryption key confidentially, while allowing sensitive data to be stored safely in the cloud. In fact, the latest cloud security models allow data storage in the cloud to be as secure, or more secure than it was in a data center environment.

In the future most  IT will reside in the cloud. Host providers are working to make the space more secure. The hybrid cloud and new security models offer a level of safety that rivals both private and in-house networks.