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In an era when security breaches can, and do, destroy corporate reputations overnight, you must balance the benefits of the cloud against the cost, effort, and risk of security in today’s new environment.

Why Cloud Security is Critical

Some experts believe that large public cloud providers have the scale to provide stronger security than all but the largest enterprises and must do so to attract customers. Nevertheless, even if CIOs partner with a trustworthy cloud provider, the security of the company remains the CIO’s ultimate responsibility. In a public cloud, every enterprise must extend its internal security, access control, and data protection policies to the cloud.

To realize the cost and strategic benefits of the cloud, CIOs should choose providers that can meet their service level agreements (SLAs) for performance, uptime, and security at the lowest possible cost. They must also ensure that when business units bypass central IT to use the cloud they only buy what they need — and that IT manages these decisions properly.

Overcome the Security Talent Shortage

The high cost of valuable and trained security professionals doesn’t have to hold you back. In general, it’s hard to find qualified IT professionals who understand cloud architecture and can implement new cloud technologies as they arise. More specifically, few cloud architects have a broad knowledge of more than one type of cloud, which makes it difficult for them to orchestrate services and security successfully across multiple clouds.

The Shift Toward a Secure, Hybrid Cloud Approach

Companies making the move to hybrid cloud should seriously consider working with a managed service provider who can orchestrate hybrid and multi-clouds. These managed service providers can handle updates, security patches, and new cloud and application features. They can free in-house IT teams from time-consuming and often mundane tasks. They also provide a single point of contact for everything from licensing and contracts to billing, customer support, and help desk services. In addition, they make hybrid cloud administration more efficient on the business side.

Integrating Cloud(s) with Security and Compliance

Many companies face significant challenges around integrating cloud systems into their business environment, specifically around security and compliance. It is important to ensure that systems in the public cloud have at least the same level of security and compliance as private cloud solutions. To avoid these common security pitfalls in the hybrid cloud, you should understand how to assess and manage the security of each individual cloud service and hosted application it uses. In addition, you should know how to identify and close the security gaps between applications and clouds.

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