How should businesses respond to the security challenges of multi-cloud?

More and more, hybrid multi-cloud is generally accepted to be the IT architecture of the future.

Only multi-cloud offers the flexibility, the scalability and the security benefits that modern businesses demand. But a decision to embrace a multi-cloud-first strategy is only the beginning – companies need to spend serious time on careful preparations to optimise this approach. For instance, there are security challenges that inevitably follow when data is spread across multiple cloud environments, and companies need to be certain that they are protected from cyber-attacks.

But how can companies be sure when their data is spread across distant networks? How can they keep their data fully under their control? How best can they make encryption work for them?

Nothing is more important to the operations and reputation of an enterprise than protecting its data. But that can be complex and costly when that data is globally dispersed, extremely mobile and, at times, out of its control. According to Equinix’s Global Interconnection Index, over the next three years enterprises will require 50% more traffic capacity. The growth of IoT and all those connections with clouds, IT providers and third-party network destinations eats ups a lot of bandwidth, and this explosion of data is certain to make companies nervous about the degree of visibility and control they have over their data.

As data grows, fear often grows. Security challenges are one of the main barriers to cloud adoption for businesses with McAfee reporting that 49% of businesses are delaying cloud deployment due to a cybersecurity skills gap. Businesses need to reimagine how they manage data and decide on operational models that best fit their business needs, inside or outside of data silos. With so much on the line, the best defence against cyberattacks is to take a “trust nothing” approach. Similar to an international airport, companies must erect security checkpoints in all the places where their data is being exchanged, whether that’s inside or outside of their organisations.

Given the cybersecurity risks of today's distributed application, cloud and data environments, customers are turning to encryption as one of the most effective controls to protect their critical information.

In response to the increasing adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud environments by many organisations and the need for private, secure, globally available key management, Equinix has developed a software-as-a-service encryption and key management service called SmartKey. Companies are using SmartKey to securely host encryption keys separate from, but in close proximity to, the data located across networks, hybrid and multi-cloud environments. This protects enterprise data wherever it resides and keeps it under the enterprise’s control, while locating that data and a company’s encryption keys in proximate but separate places for better security and compliance. In doing so, SmartKey solves a variety of data sovereignty issues and puts an enterprise, not an external service provider, in control of both its data and its keys. It overcomes security challenges by making a hybrid multicloud future a lot more secure and a lot less complicated. Leveraging data encryption and identity key management platforms for multiple clouds through services such as SmartKey is vital to an enterprise’s data protection plans.

You will remember that 2017 brought on painful security lessons of unprecedented scale to numerous businesses. Literally billions of online accounts were hacked, and sensitive personal data for hundreds of millions of people were exposed. It’s vital for companies to always remember that any online technology is subject to compromise. So, establishing a global infrastructure of manageable security control points that can scale quickly and securely is key. Services such as SmartKey help to ensure that enterprises enjoy both the flexibility and scalability of multiple cloud environments, whilst getting the control needed over dispersed data to mitigate potential security challenges and achieve peace of mind.