Historically, the greater the level of control an enterprise maintains over its data assets, the more secure those assets have been deemed to be, according to Roman Nemec, an Application Hosting Enterprise Architect at Honeywell, in Brno, Czech Republic.
“I don’t see much difference between private cloud and traditional data center,” Nemec said. “They are the most secure because they are inside the company.”
With a hybrid cloud putting at least some data assets under the security auspices of a third-party provider, however, why would most IT professionals vote for the hybrid model as the most secure?
The situation can perhaps be partly attributed to the well-documented shortfall of cybersecurity skills in general and cloud resources in particular.
“Given the shortage of cybersecurity talent, a public cloud provider that’s likely to have more of those resources on staff might do a better job than an in-house team,” said Ryan Arnold, IT Director at Acumen, LLC in Mesa, Ariz.
“Hybrid clouds can be very secure,” he said. “In the public cloud you don’t have to worry about physical security. We have a large footprint on Microsoft Azure, and they have extensive documentation as to what [legislative mandates] they comply with and how they lock down their infrastructure.”
He added: “Of course, at the application level, we still have to worry about access control, backing up our data, and malware.”
He’s referring to the shared-responsibility model for cybersecurity, pioneered by AWS, in which the cloud vendor secures the infrastructure itself but expects customers to deploy their own user authentication, authorization, access control and threat prevention capabilities.
[Related story: How Secure Is the Hybrid Cloud?]. or [Related story: 3 Essentials for Securing Hybrid Cloud]
Reaching Cloud Nirvana
For the second year in a row, a wide majority of the enterprises that participated in the ECI study (85%) ranked the hybrid cloud as the “ideal” IT operating model, in large part for the dynamic workload movement and security reasons discussed. The 85% number is down from 91% last year, and one reason could be the nascent state of tools for managing hybrid environments.
More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents agreed that while their organizations would benefit from a hybrid cloud, their current IT vendors didn’t provide the right solutions for building and managing a hybrid environment.
The industry needs to “make it easier to calculate public cloud costs, have simpler pricing, and consolidate portals,” said Arnold.
“It’s still very hard to predict what your spend is going to be in the public cloud. There’s been progress with tools that help calculate necessary power and man hours and that compare prices across platforms over a two-year period. They still have a way to go, but they’ve come a long way.”
Joanie Wexler is a contributing writer and editor with more than 20 years’ experience covering IT and computer networking technologies.
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