Taking a Hybrid Cloud Approach to Security

Posted By:  Joe Leonard, Vice President Cyber Security Solutions

The benefits of moving to cloud are clear to many organizations.  The flexibility and efficiency of cloud enables them to shift resources dynamically to meet changing business needs.  The bottom line is that a company can leverage new technologies and move quickly on emerging opportunities.  The question for these organizations is not whether to move to cloud but rather how.  Specifically, this is a choice between public and private clouds.

A private cloud is implemented in an organization’s own data center.  IT has full control over security and how services are delivered.  For companies that don’t want to manage their own private cloud, there is the option of using a managed service.  This is where equipment is installed in a company’s data center but is managed by an experienced cloud provider.

In contrast, public cloud services are implemented in a cloud provider’s data center.  A primary advantage of using the public cloud is that resources can be scaled dynamically without capital investment.  For example, during peak seasons, more servers can be placed online, then released once the rush is over.

A primary concern for many organizations is the security of public clouds.  They can’t afford to have sensitive data or digital assets exposed.  To this end, organizations have the option of creating a hybrid cloud. 

A hybrid cloud blends the inherent security of a private cloud with the dynamic flexibility of a public cloud. 

Sensitive data and mission-critical applications are delivered from a company’s private cloud.  All other applications can be delivered through a public cloud.  For example, a retailer might keep all customer data within its private cloud.  Online sales channels would be serviced through the public cloud.  This approach has the advantage of maximizing the security of customer data.  It also maximizes flexibility for online sales by enabling the retailer to cost-effectively scale up its online presence during peak seasons. 

Taking a hybrid approach gives organizations a means to transition to cloud in a manner that addresses their security concerns.  It also gives an organization time to become comfortable with the security of their chosen public clouds.  This in turn leads to confidence to extend further into the cloud.  As a result, organizations can maximize their competitive advantage in the marketplace as well.

Learn more about how Hybrid Cloud and Cisco Powered cloud and managed services can transform your business.