With cyber insecurity and cloud risks crossing the manageability threshold, single-cloud strategies and their risks need to be seriously reviewed.

In the hyper-connected post-pandemic world, we have seen an increase in the number of businesses embracing cloud infrastructure in a race to digitalize their operations. While this digital transformation offers early benefits, it also ushers in new and increasingly complex cybersecurity threats.

With some sources predicting global cybercrime increasing to US$10.5tn by 2025, businesses and organizations alike need to take concrete steps to fortify their business continuity and data security efforts. 

In the realm of cloud adoption, businesses are presented with a range of strategies: single-cloud, multi-cloud, and hybrid-cloud — each with their unique merits and relevance. Every organization has different needs, and adoption of the optimal cloud model relies heavily on the complexity, scale, and compliance of a myriad requirements. 

Among these approaches, the single-cloud model is known for its security advantages, stemming from its simplicity in implementing cybersecurity measures, and its clear accountability for data and traffic. Yet, relying on a single cloud can entail various risks, a key one being the potential limitation of data sovereignty. Moreover, an overreliance on a single cloud provider exposes organizations to concentrated cybersecurity risks, such as data breaches and threats that could have more extensive consequences. It may also restrict an organization’s flexibility to leverage alternative platforms that may fit its evolving specific business needs and objectives. 

Rodney Kinchington, Managing Director (Asia Pacific), BT

Choosing the right cloud for security

In the pursuit of heightened cybersecurity, data redundancy and reliability are paramount considerations.

Beyond the cyber disadvantages of the single-cloud model, a multi-cloud approach (which can include hybrid-cloud approaches) offers an added layer of security through the avoidance of vendor lock-in, and the inherent dilution of cybersecurity risks across multiple platforms.

In an ever-evolving technology landscape, adaptability and choice are valuable assets. These are factors that are made possible with a multi-cloud network, allowing businesses to connect and adapt to changes in people, data, and workloads efficiently, securely, and reliably. Adopters enjoy much flexibility in curating a range of cloud environments tailored to their needs, without being locked into a single vendor or contract.

A multi-cloud infrastructure also bolsters business resilience by providing alternative resources and data storage options, effectively minimizing downtime risks. 

In the realm of cybersecurity, a multi-cloud strategy provides similarly multi-faceted defense that complicates efforts to breach a company’s defenses through consistent monitoring, threat detection, and prompt incident response.

The downsides to the multi-cloud pathway includes challenges such as managing compliance and data across multiple cloud providers and regions. Mismanagement could lead to fines, business disruption, or revenue loss, while siloed management tools could restrict data access for executives to make informed decisions. 

The key to overcoming these challenges lies in aligning operational tools, processes, and personnel, through solutions such as investing in the right cloud management platform. This can help unify existing tools and streamline cloud management, and aid in creating a secure, compliant, and cost-efficient network.

Evolving with the times

Over time, it has become evident that each approach (single-cloud vs multiple/hybrid cloud) brings its own set of advantages and drawbacks. As such, it is important to recognize the significance of adopting a versatile, tailor-made approach that provides end-to-end visibility into a company’s infrastructure. 

Gaining visibility, agility, and control over data management across clouds empowers key decision makers with the knowledge to ensure the optimization of cost, efficiency, and security across their networks. Additionally, organizations can employ cloud managed services to set up and manage on-premises private clouds, centralize public cloud access, and orchestrate change through cost analytics, governance policy, and automation.

Note that, even with a multi-cloud approach, organizations should never compromise on vigilance. The best way to stay ahead is by building resilient strategies to weather the storm and leverage solutions at hand.