February 11, 2013, 11:03 AM — Users and security consultants familiar with the process of securing hybrid clouds have one steady piece of advice to offer: the only way to go is one step at a time.
"Managing hybrid security is a matter of setting policy across all of the security touch points IT is already used to managing. It's about being consistently diligent at every turn," says Joe Coyle, CTO of IT consultancy giant Capgemini North America.
Coyle advises clients to regard their hybrid cloud usage as an extension of their network perimeter. "You have to tweak firewall policy, watch IDS traffic more carefully, employ encryption, set up multiple levels of authentication for management access and demand high levels of physical security at providers' sites," Coyle says.
[CLOUD SECURITY: Hybrid clouds pose new security challenges
In terms of securing the link between your data center - virtualized as a private cloud or not - you can go with a direct route or establish a tunnel. Garrett Leap, CTO at Direct Insite, a company that delivers on-demand accounts payable and accounts receivable solutions to more than 100,000 corporations across 100 countries, says his company went for a 100MB direct fiber connection for both the increased security it offers and the fact that one of the company's data centers was already collocated at Terremark's Miami facility.
Direct Insite now hosts its customer facing front end in the cloud and all of the client data is hosted and processed in the company's collocated data center. Direct Insite's Leap says knowing that Terremark's virtualized data centers were already rated as Tier IV meant there was a very high comfort level in terms of who has physical access to the servers there.