How to Protect Data in a Multi-Cloud Environment

According to research by IBM Institute for Business Value from 2018, 85% of companies were already using a multi-cloud plan, and 98% had plans to use multiple hybrid clouds by 2021.

how to protect data in a multi cloud environment

With time, we’ve all found that operating in a multi-cloud environment has rapidly become the norm for most companies. Fast-forwarding into 2021, the push to develop a comprehensive multi-cloud strategy has even more urgency due to the pandemic and its repercussions. Businesses are somehow managing their way through distributed workforces and relying on multiple cloud platforms for both internal and customer-facing applications.

Must Read: What is Multicloud and What are its Benefits?

The fact is that remote working is most likely to remain a permanent fixture in the new normal. And as much as that sounds interesting, a multi-cloud environment makes it possible for businesses to function in such scenarios.

Multi-cloud environments offer your business the flexibility to mix and match software for optimization whether it’s based on performance, scalability, or cost savings. Did you know other SaaS applications, used for tasks like email, CRM, marketing, ERP, and product management, can also be hosted on any of these cloud providers? But did you know that maintaining multiple cloud providers can also expose your company to serious security risks?

Well, cybersecurity becomes challenging as your applications and data live in multiple locations and can be accessed in a variety of ways. But there are ways to identify and reduce such risks. Also, you need an approach that focuses on visibility, standardization, and automation across all of your cloud environments. So, let’s take a look at the 5 tips that will help your organization in protecting data in a multi-cloud environment:

1. Policy
Identify and enforce a unified security policy configuration that connects all of the cloud providers that your company uses. That being said, you must also ensure that you create intelligent and dynamic policies that can detect risks and apply pre-defined rules based on different types of threats.

2. Tools
Think of using consolidated security tools for the entire environment which have the ability to cover multiple cloud providers and on-premise servers. Centralize data encryption, in-transit, and at-rest, with the same policies for data backup across multi-cloud providers. Along with that, assign identities & access management for IT staff and implement controls that can monitor and alert all cloud providers of security breaches.

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3. Automation
While deploying applications across multiple cloud providers, make sure to set up fully automated security audits, controls, patching, and configuration management. With that, every DevOps and product management phase shall be completely integrated with automation throughout.

4. Flexible Cloud Solutions
Use open-source platforms for deployment that are flexible rather than cloud-specific servers. This is because independent solutions allow you to centralize your security configurations and minimize managing numerous security options across all platforms.

5. SaaS
Instead of building and deploying solutions on the cloud, use SaaS products to consolidate security policy, reporting, deployment, and other anticipating functions. The versatility of these products helps in eliminating cloud providers’ limitations, improves IT staff understanding, and effectively manages data privacy and backup.

Conclusion: Protecting data in a multi-cloud environment is dynamic and complex. So, you must evaluate both internal and external components, identify and assess various risks, and then implement measures to prevent data breaches. It’s also important for you to audit and adjust security measures regularly. Not to forget, automation is crucial to a successful multi-cloud security plan because it’s by removing human error from deployment and management that you can significantly reduce your company’s risk.

Recommended Read: Solutions to Cut Out Complexities of Multi-Cloud Management

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