Tips to Protect Your Company Data Across a Hybrid Environment

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A growing number of companies are adopting hybrid work environments. In fact, according to Forbes, 28.2% of full-time employees are already working on a hybrid model. While the pandemic may have pressured companies into initially accepting the setup, it is no longer the primary reason why many companies are either still utilizing it or are planning to adopt it. 

While hybrid environments offer many benefits — such as increased productivity, expanded talent pools, flexibility, and improved work-life balance — they also come with certain challenges. The most serious of those challenges is protecting company data. Fortunately, there are also many ways to secure your hybrid environment. 

Why is securing data in a hybrid environment difficult?

You can break down ‌the challenge of protecting your data within a hybrid work setup into three main aspects:

  • Distributed data storage is the result of using private clouds such as Openstack in combination with public clouds like Google Cloud or Azure. Because you’ve distributed your data across multiple clouds of different security levels, you have a harder time monitoring data and implementing uniform security measures. This means security vulnerabilities and breaches in one cloud can go unnoticed or unresolved until it’s too late.   
  • Data leakage occurs when data is transferred by unsecured means or stored in an unsecure repository, compromising that data. The chance for data leakage rises with hybrid work environments because of the ease with which a private cloud may be shared with a public cloud, whether by accident or design.  
  • Regulation compliance can vary in severity depending on your industry. While cloud security has progressed to the point of satisfying even the most stringent of industry regulations such as government, healthcare, and finance, a hybrid setup can complicate issues. Specifically, because there are different systems on the premises and in the cloud, the already complex and tedious task of manually inspecting digital infrastructures becomes more complicated, which increases the likelihood of errors.

Protect your data

Though safeguarding your company’s data across a hybrid environment can be complex, it is by no means impossible. In addition to ensuring your cloud provider offers data protection solutions like those from Liberty Center One, use the following tips to protect your data:

Educate your employees

Employees are often a significant, though unwitting, risk factor in hybrid environments, as human error can lead to data leakages, disclosed credentials, and poorly designed passwords. Train your staff in security practices, regardless of their roles, to prevent simple mistakes such as forgetting to log out of a company computer or connecting to public Wi-Fi, which can compromise security.  

Implement automated security

Consider incorporating process automation to enhance data security. By automating tasks such as infrastructure coding and security compliance checks, your security teams can efficiently track databases and receive real-time threat notifications.

Standardize processes

Ensure the processes and practices used to administrate and secure your systems are the same and compatible across the entire hybrid environment. By standardizing these processes, you can prevent configuration errors and discrepancies that create vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.

Utilize encryption

Encrypt data during transmission and in storage as a general security measure. Encryption renders data unreadable unless someone has authorization. Make sure you coordinate encryption practices between public and private clouds to ensure consistent encryption levels throughout your hybrid environment.  

Conduct regular security audits

Regularly audit your security infrastructure to evaluate how well it detects and responds to possible threats. In addition, audits can help you identify vulnerabilities in your infrastructure. Use security frameworks to structure your audits, such as ISO 27001 and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, to ensure their efficiency and relevance. Annual audits help identify and address potential vulnerabilities in your hybrid environment.

Remember your on-premises infrastructure

Don’t forget to maintain equal security controls for the on-premises portions of your hybrid environment as much as the cloud portions. Collaborate with IT providers like Liberty Center One to configure and secure systems to avoid common assumptions about server capabilities.

Back up your data

Develop data backup plans to ensure operational continuity during emergencies. Implement automated data backups and‌ a disaster recovery site hosted in a remote location or secure cloud. Should a worst-case scenario occur, you can use these data backups to restore lost or corrupted data.

Control access

Carefully control data access rights to prevent unauthorized access. Implement measures such as multifactor authentication to ensure only authorized personnel can access specific data sets, keeping sensitive data secure. If you are especially concerned about data breaches, consider incorporating a zero trust setup, wherein all users have to verify their access credentials every time they access the system.

If you want to learn more about securing your hybrid workplace’s data, contact Liberty Center One to speak with one of our technical specialists.