While the push to migrate to the cloud has not lost momentum, enterprises often find that a hybrid solution provides the right mix for incorporating on-site legacy systems with public and private cloud. This approach is highly customizable, but a hybrid cloud solution also tends to be more complex, and the challenge of securing it is part of that complexity.

With cyber attacks regularly populating headlines and new standards like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), securing systems and data is one of the key topics keeping IT directors and their security divisions awake at night. If you have a hybrid cloud environment, the risk is particularly daunting. How do you secure a dispersed infrastructure with all of its data stored across different centers?

Here are three steps you can take toward a more secure hybrid cloud solution:

Assess risk: It’s nearly impossible to secure every area of your systems, but you should evaluate where your weakest points are and which data is your most critical. Taking the steps to identify, estimate and prioritize your security risks help you understand your exposure level and take initial steps to correct your most vulnerable areas.

When you have identified your critical resources, the likelihood that you’ll see an attack in that area, and the expected impact, you can then address your ability to detect the threat and what your response time would be. These exercises will help you identify your areas of priority so that you can get started with an action plan.

Create a scoring system: Just as the consumer finance industry can sum your personal credit risk up with one number, you can create a numbered score for your security risk. This is not an easy task, because there’s no established system that all of IT recognizes as a reliable way to measure security risk for hybrid cloud solutions, but there are resources you can use to establish an in-house system.

The GDRP is a good place to start, and you can assign quantitative scores to each area of these regulations to help score your systems. If you work in healthcare or are a second- or third-party business partner with healthcare providers, you may want to add in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards for your security score.

The goal is to create a system that allows you to gauge the security risk of your IT environment and then take steps to improve that score with actionable items.

Employ continuous assessment: While a single score can be a helpful indicator of a moment in time, you also need ways to drill down to a granular level and see what’s happening and remediate problems. When there are new applications, when a new set of regulatory requirements are put in place, or when your security monitoring tools are updated, you need to be able to implement, update and make improvements to your security approach.

Your hybrid cloud environment helps you optimize your productivity, costs and agility, but if securing your systems has become overly complex, contact us at Clarksys. We can help you leverage the right solutions to minimize your security exposure.