Hybrid cloud adoption demands a holistic cybersecurity posture

This is the second in a three-part series. The first article focused on how to make businesses more future-ready. The second focused on how to modernize on-premises infrastructure in a hybrid cloud approach. This can be done via hyperconverged infrastructure, which allows modernization that blends both the old and the new.
We will examine the challenges that enterprises face when attempting to create and maintain a holistic security strategy for a hybrid environment.

Talal Alqinawi, a senior director for product marketing at Azure, is Talal Alqinawi.

Security starts before an attack.

Cybersecurity issues are a top priority for organizations and a serious threat. Security is a top priority, as evidenced by the recent mega-breaches of customer information from household-name businesses. The threat landscape has changed due to the increased number of remote workers and disaggregated workplace data sources such as mobile and Internet of things devices (IoT). HCI has seen significant growth in the past year due to new security requirements, including identity and access management to protect remote workers as well as corporate data.

Most businesses have far too many unprotected data. Security breaches can cause chaos in any business and bring down even the most resilient organizations. Many organizations are now more concerned about cloud-based models, especially those who just started their cloud migration.

All this leads to a single conclusion: businesses must have a comprehensive security strategy in place for hybrid cloud adoption.

Multi-layered security strategies

Businesses must adapt to changing business environments, new data usage and evolving threat landscapes. This will allow them to look at security in a new light to help support stability, innovation, growth. Enterprises require a unified, integrated approach that includes intelligent threat protection for workloads across multiple cloud-to-edge environments. Microsoft and Intel are working together to build a trust chain across software and hardware technology that will help protect data and applications of organizations, regardless of where they may be located within the hybrid environment.

This multi-layered security strategy combines Azure Stack HCI software and Intel hardware. Secured-core servers provide modern security because they rely on the hardware root-of trust as a crucial building block. Additional capabilities are provided by Secured-core programs that meet the requirements for HCI hardware. These include firmware sandbox, virtualization-based security (VBS), and more.

Comprehensive security involves multiple perspectives, such as simplification of processes and advanced protection capability. VBS allows you to isolate key parts of your system and protects you against privileged malware. All of these capabilities are possible with Secured-core servers by Microsoft. This allows IT and security teams to focus their attention on the most critical areas.

As security software layers become more advanced, malicious intent and attackers are moving down the stack to find new vulnerabilities to exploit. Microsoft continues to invest in exploit mitigation technology that can better harness the security benefits of advanced hardware. Intel understands that security should begin at the very bottom layer of silicon. Intel is working to create a trust chain to protect data at all stages of its lifecycle. This technology innovation is based in 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs that offer a wide range capabilities. These include creating a trusted execution environment, encrypting data, protecting virtual machines, and crypto acceleration that delivers unprecedented performance, enabling pervasive encryption at the edge or in the cloud.

Security professionals must be able to recognize and address potential threats in their daily operations. Azure Defender offers the most comprehensive resource coverage of any extended detection technology (XDR), including users, devices and applications. It also includes SQL databases, IoT and IoT. All this from one vendor.

Azure Defender protects Azure hybrid environments. It prevents common threats such as SQL injection attacks, brute-forcing virtual machine, storage attack, and SQL injection. Azure Defender also mitigates threats against containers, which is the key management service that IoT devices use. Azure Defender provides protection for all of these resources directly from the Azure experience. It also extends protection to multi-cloud and on-premises virtual machines, and SQL databases with Azure Arc.

Support your mission with tools

Leaders who are forward-thinking agree that an integrated infrastructure of software and hardware can rapidly improve security in an organization. Enterprises will require tools to quickly assess and protect networks, make recommendations for remediating attacks, and raise security alerts.

Azure Security Center is a unified security management system for your datacenters that provides advanced threat protection and strengthens your security posture. Azure cloud services can be used by organizations for security and backup, without the need to install additional infrastructure.

Provide enterprises with a foundation to build on in the future

Organizations can modernize their investments and ensure future security by adopting a hybrid cloud infrastructure that is cloud-delivered and cloud-managed. Learn more about Azure Stack HCI if your company is ready to implement a comprehensive security strategy in a hybrid environment.

You can find the latest Intel-based Azure Stack HCI system and other features at Azure.com/HCI. You can also download the software for a free 60-day trial, which Microsoft offers.

Bio: Talal Alqinawi, a senior director for product marketing at Microsoft Azure marketing, is passionate about how AI and cloud drive digital transformation. This passion informs the company's cloud marketing strategy and product strategy.