We are at the beginning of a new decade, but some things never change. When it comes to cloud computing, security remains the number one priority for decision-makers across business, IT and cybersecurity functions.
According to TechTarget’s 2020 IT Priorities Survey, security and risk management will receive the highest budget increase among all IT initiatives in 2020, cited by 36% of respondents.
When asked specifically about digital transformation initiatives, 38% of respondents said they are increasing their investments in security to address new threats and compliance/regulatory requirements, a total second only to improving employee productivity and experience.
While security is one of the top priorities, other aspects of business continuity are not far behind, including data protection, backup, disaster recovery and high availability of applications. These are also key areas of investment for 2020, cited by more than 20% of respondents to the TechTarget survey.
There are good reasons for that focus: More than 70% of IT decision-makers say their organizations fail to meet user demands for uninterrupted access to applications and services; 69% have a gap between how fast they can recover applications and how fast they need applications to be recovered, according to Veeam’s 2019 Cloud Data Management Report.
Benefits of hybrid cloud security
Public cloud is a shared responsibility security model, meaning the cloud provider is responsible for security within its own infrastructure and the customer is responsible for the security of its data, applications and workloads everywhere else.
In reality, however, the customer is responsible for everything: If you suffer a major breach, try pointing the finger of blame at a cloud provider. Your customers won’t care.
For companies in highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare, this has long been an issue with moving mission-critical apps into the cloud, specifically concern about losing visibility and control of critical data and workloads.
Security is still an important concern and one reason why IDC says hybrid cloud is becoming the “de facto architecture for enterprise cloud adoption.” Nearly 70% of respondents to an IDC survey are worried about the security of their data and applications in the public cloud.
Hybrid cloud platforms successfully address these concerns by giving organizations the flexibility to deploy workloads in the appropriate platform. IDC says a majority of hybrid cloud customers observe improvements in security and risk reduction as addressing their top challenge with “all-in public cloud usage.”
Choosing the right hybrid cloud solution
However, not every hybrid cloud solution boasts an architectural design that can strengthen security and business continuity in today’s multi-cloud environments.
The key is to utilize a solution that unifies public and private cloud platforms under a common operating environment and management framework. This will strengthen visibility across all platforms, from the data center to public clouds and to edge environments.
A consistent hybrid cloud will automate and simplify your ability to establish and enforce policies, while providing consistent deployment of tools and technologies that strengthen security and business continuity. These include software-defined networks, encryption, cloud-backup and recovery, lifecycle management and more. IDC’s research shows that organizations that modernize IT for cloud consistency have:
- 39% more efficient IT security teams;
- 94% more effective bandwidth;
- 64% faster data backups;
- 86% faster data recovery;
- 56% improvement in ability to meet data recovery objectives;
- 51% more productive data protection teams;
- 87% less frequent unplanned outages;
- 90% less productive time lost due to unplanned downtime;
- 85% of their environment managed by modern data protection solutions.
Because security and business continuity are at or near the top of the list of IT investment priorities for 2020, it is important for decision-makers to ensure they are making the right investments. Just adding more individual security tools is a proven recipe for unnecessary risk and complexity.
Instead, it is important to start with the right foundation, specifically a consistent hybrid cloud. This will give you the ability to leverage consistent security and data protections across all platforms and achieve significant improvements in security, business continuity, backup and recovery.