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By Rob Otto, Field CTO EMEA at Ping Identity

In the first three months of 2022 alone there were 266 security incidents, resulting in 75,099,482 compromised records. It’s clear that cyberattacks are on the rise and remain an important way for hackers to earn a profit. Worse, because cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to steal information, it’s getting harder for financial institutions to put in place foolproof security measures.

And many of these breaches result from insecure hybrid-cloud networks. As cloud adoption grows significantly due to the pandemic and the need to embrace hybrid working, businesses are finding themselves with bigger distributed networks than ever before. And when more individuals have access to business data, the danger of social engineering and attacks by “bad internal actors” grows exponentially. However, there is a price to pay for resilience; businesses want to reduce dependency on specific cloud service providers, but multi-cloud architectures are difficult to design and manage.

How, then, will the growing popularity of cloud computing change the cybersecurity industry, and how can businesses remain secure?

Altered demands for workloads on premises

Because of the large variety of cloud computing services available today, IT teams may use several platforms to handle a wide range of cloud workloads. A cloud workload is a particular application, service, capability, or quantity of work that may be executed on a cloud resource. Cloud workloads include virtual computers, databases, and apps.

IT teams can improve application performance, lower consumption costs, and prevent vendor lock-in by matching the resources of a cloud service with the demands of a given workload. But keeping track of this huge multi-cloud architecture could be chaotic and hard, which would add a lot of costs and make it harder for cloud investments to speed up innovation.

By 2024, more than 45% of IT spending on infrastructure software, application software, and business process outsourcing will transition to the cloud. Enterprises have embraced numerous cloud solutions to handle particular workloads as cloud services evolve. Certain cloud resources can handle particular cloud workloads better, boosting performance and decreasing costs. But managing many cloud platforms may be time-consuming, costly, and difficult. A hybrid cloud approach balances cloud and on-premises workloads as IT demands and prices change and provide businesses control over their private data as well as a single location to manage and adjust capabilities across domains. But this growing dependence on the cloud also brings with it serious security concerns.

The risk of unauthorised access to data

Business networks and firewalls have traditionally been used to restrict access to sensitive information to those physically present at the office. But it’s not always practical to have everyone on-site these days.

Protection against social engineering and assaults by bad actors becomes more challenging as the number of individuals with access to data grows. The 2020 Verizon Data Breach Incident Report found that misconfiguration of cloud services was the second most common source of breaches, behind only hackers. In 2020, for example, a security breach at MGM Resorts happened when an unauthorised user got into a cloud server. This put the personal information of up to 10 million customers at risk.

Using risk-based authentication to restrict access to public networks is an easy way to reduce security concerns. Risk-based authentication might look for new devices and use multi-factor authentication to make sure the user is who they say they are.

The future cost of ensuring stability

Businesses are relying more and more on cloud computing infrastructure to carry out activities such as hosting their websites, storing their data, and using AI. By using a cloud computing service, businesses can avoid the high cost of owning and maintaining their own information technology infrastructure and instead pay only for the resources that they actually use. Even though most organisations still only have access to one cloud computing provider, there are reasons to be hopeful that this will change in the near future.

It is essential to consider both the advantages and the negatives of using a multi-cloud server approach before deciding whether or not to put such a plan into action. In addition to knowing how to use a variety of software services, organisations will need to think about the time and money it will take to get used to using many cloud servers.

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