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Security Challenges In Hybrid IT And The Role Of Managed Security Services

Security Challenges In Hybrid IT And The Role Of Managed Security Services

Using hybrid IT architectures enables businesses to leverage the best of both private and public infrastructure. Unfortunately, it also creates a new range of security challenges. The good news is that managed security services can take care of this for you. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know about security challenges In hybrid IT.

Understanding security challenges in hybrid IT environments

Hybrid IT environments are environments that combine two or more of the following elements: on-premises infrastructure, private clouds, and public clouds. This creates three key security challenges In hybrid IT environments. These are:

  • Larger attack surface
  • More data movement
  • More complex management

The first point is largely self-explanatory. Here is a closer look at the second two points.

Data movement in hybrid IT environments

In principle, it’s possible to implement hybrid IT environments where data always stays within a particular environment. In practice, however, it is more likely that at least some data will travel between the two environments at least some of the time. This may need to include sensitive data.

For example, if a hybrid cloud consists of on-premises infrastructure and a public cloud, then the public cloud may act as the backup solution for the on-premises infrastructure. Even though the public cloud might only be used as a very short-term solution, consistent, robust security standards must still be maintained throughout.

In many hybrid IT environments, data will flow regularly between the private and public systems. Again, this may (need to) include sensitive data. This regular flow of traffic increases the risk of interception. (It also leaves the data more exposed to technical failure). As such, it needs to be carefully managed.

Management challenges in hybrid IT environments

In a best-case scenario, all the environments used in hybrid IT systems will be based on modern infrastructure. If this is the case, then they will probably use similar hardware, operating systems (OS), and software systems. This means they will probably support the same security tools and protocols.

This best-case scenario is likely to apply if a business is using colocation services. Colocation service vendors are expected to provide top-quality data center infrastructure so they generally upgrade it regularly.

If, however, a business is using true on-premises infrastructure, then it is very likely to be based on legacy technology. In this case, it is likely to be significantly more challenging to implement security measures that are effective across the hybrid IT landscape. Moreover, they must do so in a way that does not excessively (or unnecessarily) inconvenience users.

Role of managed security services in hybrid IT environments

Managed security services (MSS) are managed service providers that specialize in network security. They typically focus on continuous monitoring, thus facilitating early threat detection and rapid incident response. The managed security services provider may or may not handle incident resolution. This depends on the agreement between the MSSP and the client.

Benefits of managed security services in hybrid IT environments

There are three benefits of managed security services that are particularly relevant to hybrid IT environments.

Access to specialized expertise

This is arguably the most relevant benefit of managed security services in hybrid IT environments. As previously mentioned, hybrid IT environments are invariably complex to implement and run. The more environments are included (and the greater the extent of the divergence between them), the more complex they become. This is a strong argument in favor of using specialist expertise.

Not only do managed security services use people who focus exclusively on cybersecurity, but they also ensure that these people are supported as much as possible. In particular, they will ensure that they have access to the latest tools and that they are well-informed on current developments in advanced threat intelligence. They will also continually train and develop their staff.

Managed security services providers also tend to offer additional, value-added services, such as consultancy. They may therefore be able to help with the security aspects of the initial implementation and/or undertake regular security audits. Even if they can’t, they will probably be able to refer you to someone who can.

Value and convenience

Not only is using managed security services typically excellent value for money, but it also makes for straightforward pricing. It therefore makes forecasting and budgeting much easier.

This is highly relevant to hybrid IT environments as the complexity of these environments can lead to very complex cost structures. These then add to the overall complexity of managing them. As a result, anything that simplifies the management of hybrid environments is, hence, a benefit, potentially a significant one.

Scalability and flexibility

Generally, one of the most significant drivers behind the adoption of hybrid IT environments is the need for scalability and flexibility. It therefore makes sense to prioritize solutions that support this such as managed security services.


Related Resources:

Hybrid IT Security: Safeguarding Your Business

Hybrid Cloud Solutions and Data Center Integration

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