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Definition of Hybrid cloud security

What is hybrid cloud security

Hybrid cloud security is the practice of protecting data, applications, and infrastructure in a hybrid cloud environment, which combines on-premises infrastructure with public cloud services. It is important because it helps to protect organizations from a wide range of threats, including cyberattacks, data breaches, and compliance violations.

What are the key components of hybrid cloud security? 

Hybrid cloud environments involve 3 essential components: physical controls, technical controls, and administrative controls. 

Physical controls

These safeguard the physical infrastructure housing your data and systems. Examples include:

  • Data center security: Secured facilities with access control systems, video surveillance, and environmental controls.
  • Server and device security: Physical security measures and hardening techniques applied to individual servers and network devices.

Technical controls


Hybrid cloud setups involve connecting multiple cloud infrastructures. Direct network connections or VPN tunnels facilitate communication between on-premises and cloud environments. The primary method is often a direct connection, with a VPN as a backup.


Ensuring secure and encrypted communication is vital when various infrastructures and cloud services interact. External encryption solutions, including those offered by cloud providers, help encode data, allowing access only to authorized parties.


In hybrid clouds, applications can use services from various providers. To ensure secure communication between workloads on different infrastructures, it is vital to manage credentials carefully, preventing leaks and security breaches. Regularly updating and rotating credentials is essential to maintain a secure hybrid cloud environment.

Administrative controls

Service-level agreements (SLA) 

Organizations establish SLAs with public cloud providers to define physical security standards. These agreements prevent unauthorized access to physical hardware and safeguard against potential risks if hardware falls into the wrong hands.

Disaster preparations

A strong disaster plan is key for a smooth operation in a hybrid cloud setup. This plan should lay out who does what and the steps to take for a quick response and data recovery in case of a disaster. It also considers possible human mistakes, stressing the importance of security awareness for all cloud users. 

What are hybrid cloud security issues and challenges? 

Hybrid cloud security can be complex and challenging to implement and manage. Here are some of the most common issues and challenges: 

Complexity. The complexity of hybrid cloud environments can make it difficult to implement and maintain effective security controls. 

Visibility. It can be difficult to gain visibility into all of the assets in a hybrid cloud environment. This lack of it can complicate identification and responses to security threats. 

Data sovereignty. It is the concept that data should be subject to the laws and regulations of the country in which it is stored. Data sovereignty can be a challenge in a hybrid cloud environment, where data may be stored in multiple countries. 

Compliance. There is a challenge in a hybrid cloud environment, where data and applications may be subject to multiple laws and regulations. 

What are hybrid cloud security best practices?  

  • Implement a zero-trust security model  

A zero-trust security model assumes that no user or device can be trusted by default. This model requires all users and devices to authenticate and authorize before accessing any resources. 

  • Segment your network  

Network segmentation divides your network into smaller segments. Follow it to contain security breaches and prevent them from spreading throughout the network. 

  • Use a security information and event management (SIEM) solution 

A SIEM solution collects and analyzes security data from across your hybrid cloud environment. Most importantly, it helps to identify and respond to security threats more quickly. 

  • Implement a cloud security posture management (CSPM) solution 

A CSPM solution helps you to assess and manage your security posture in the cloud (this includes identifying and remediating security risks). 

  • Educate your users 

Security awareness training is essential for all users in a hybrid cloud environment. It helps users to identify and avoid security threats. 

Additional tips for data protection  

Organizations can also follow these additional tips to help protect their hybrid cloud environments from a wide range of threats:

  • Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all accounts. 
  • Keep your software up to date with the latest security patches. 
  • Be careful about what information you share online. 
  • Be wary of phishing emails and other social engineering attacks. 
  • Have a plan in place for responding to security incidents.

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