Hybrid Cloud Data Protection: Safeguarding Your Assets Across Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud

As organizations move workloads to the public cloud, many find themselves using multiple platforms like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services AWS, and Google Cloud. While each platform provides native security controls, you need centralized visibility and control across environments to truly protect your hybrid cloud.

In this article, we’ll explore strategies to extend consistent security policies across Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud to safeguard critical assets. We’ll share best practices for using cloud-native and third-party tools to gain unified visibility, ensure compliance, and respond faster to threats across platforms. With the right approach, you can harness the scale and agility of the public cloud while still maintaining comprehensive protection for your hybrid environment.

Understanding Hybrid Cloud Data Protection

Hybrid cloud data protection refers to the measures and strategies implemented to safeguard data stored in a hybrid cloud environment. In a hybrid cloud setup, some data and applications are hosted on-premises or in a private cloud, while others are stored and managed in a public cloud. This combination allows organizations to take advantage of the scalability and flexibility of the public cloud while retaining control over certain sensitive or critical data.

To effectively leverage the hybrid cloud, you must implement a solution that provides security, governance, and compliance across environments.

Connecting Multiple Environments

A hybrid cloud data protection solution connects your on-premises infrastructure, Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud into a single, integrated environment. This allows you to deploy workloads to the optimal environment based on your needs while maintaining consistent policy enforcement and centralized visibility.

Unified Policy Enforcement and Visibility

With a hybrid cloud data protection solution, you define policies once and enforce them everywhere. This includes security policies, compliance controls, access management, and more. You gain a single pane of glass to monitor hybrid cloud infrastructure, workloads, users, and events.

Workload Portability

A hybrid cloud data protection solution makes it easy to move workloads between environments. You can deploy workloads on-premises or in any major public cloud and move them as needed with a few clicks. This allows you to avoid vendor lock-in and choose the optimal environment for each workload based on performance, cost, compliance, and security requirements.

A hybrid cloud data protection solution provides:

  • Connectivity between on-premises infrastructure and major public clouds
  • Unified policy definition and enforcement across environments
  • Centralized visibility into on-premises, Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud assets
  • Easy workload portability between infrastructure and clouds

How Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud Work Together

To effectively protect data and workloads across a hybrid cloud environment, Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud must operate cohesively. Through strategic partnerships and service integrations, these leading public cloud providers offer centralized security management, workload portability, and disaster recovery across platforms.

Unified Security Policies

By connecting Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud under one security umbrella, organizations can apply consistent access control, threat detection, and compliance policies across environments. Native integrations between platforms enable single sign-on, role-based access control based on identity, and consolidated security monitoring and analytics.

Seamless Workload Migration

For most organizations, workload migration between clouds is inevitable. Through partnerships and open APIs, Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud support smooth migration of virtual machines, databases, applications, and other workloads between platforms without downtime. Workloads can also span multiple clouds for high availability and disaster recovery.

Streamlined Disaster Recovery

In a hybrid cloud model, workloads are distributed across environments, increasing the potential impact of an outage in any single cloud. By replicating data and applications across Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud, organizations can quickly fail over workloads to another platform in the event of a disaster, ensuring continuous availability of critical systems.

Key Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud Data Protection Strategy

A hybrid cloud data protection strategy offers several advantages over relying on a single cloud provider. By utilizing multiple platforms — Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud — in an integrated fashion, you gain flexibility, optimize costs, and strengthen security.

Increased Flexibility

A hybrid approach provides more deployment options to suit your needs. You can choose the cloud platform that is best suited for a particular workload, application, or data type. For example, you may find Azure ideal for Windows workloads, while AWS excels at open-source solutions. A hybrid model allows you to leverage the strengths of each platform.

Cost Optimization

Using multiple clouds also allows you to take advantage of pricing differences between providers. You can deploy workloads on the platform that offers the most cost-effective solution. In addition, a hybrid approach provides more negotiating power with vendors, as you have the option to move services between providers if costs become unreasonable.

Enhanced Security

A multi-cloud strategy helps minimize risks associated with relying on a single provider. Your data and applications are not tied to a single platform, so you have more control and flexibility. A hybrid model also allows you to leverage the security capabilities of different providers to strengthen protection. For example, you may use Azure Active Directory for identity management, AWS Shield for DDoS protection, and Google’s BeyondCorp for  Zero Trust access.

By combining the benefits of Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud into a cohesive hybrid cloud data protection strategy, you gain key advantages that a single provider alone cannot match.

Best Practices for Implementing Hybrid Cloud Data Protection Across Providers

Leverage Native Security Controls

Each cloud provider offers robust security tools and controls to safeguard your data and workloads. Use security services like Azure Security Center, AWS Security Hub, and Google Cloud Security Command Center to gain visibility across your hybrid environment and leverage policies to enforce security best practices. These tools also provide threat detection and continuous monitoring.

Establish Centralized Management

To effectively protect a hybrid cloud, you need a single pane of glass to manage security across providers. Solutions like Azure Arc, VMware Cloud Health, and Google Cloud Security management and security teams have an aggregated view of risks and can quickly act if needed.

Automate Security Pocesses

Manual security processes do not scale in a hybrid cloud environment. Leverage automation tools like Azure Automation, AWS CloudFormation, and Google Cloud Deployment Manager to automate security tasks like vulnerability scanning, compliance checks, and resource provisioning. Automation reduces errors and frees up security teams to focus on higher-level initiatives. It also enables faster responses to detected threats or vulnerabilities.

Implement Federated Identity

To provide users with a seamless experience across cloud providers, implement a federated identity solution like Azure Active Directory, AWS Single Sign-On, or Google Cloud Identity. A federated identity platform gives users a single identity to access resources across your hybrid infrastructure. It also enhances security by enabling multi-factor authentication, access management, and audit reporting across providers.

Replicate Data and Workloads

For optimal hybrid cloud data protection, you need a disaster recovery strategy to keep data and workloads available if one provider experiences an outage. Solutions like Azure Site Recovery, AWS Storage Gateway, and Google Cloud VMware Engine allow you to replicate data and virtual machines across regions and providers. This ensures your hybrid environment remains resilient and your critical assets are always accessible.

Hybrid Cloud Data Protection FAQs: Common Questions About Safeguarding Multi-Cloud Environments

How do the major cloud providers work together for hybrid cloud data protection?

The three major cloud providers — Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud — each offer unique security benefits on their own, but also provide options to connect services across clouds for robust hybrid data protection. For example, Azure and AWS allow you to replicate data between regions on their respective platforms as well as sync data from on-premises to the cloud and between clouds. Google Cloud offers similar replication and disaster recovery features to protect data and applications across environments.

What solutions are available for unified visibility across clouds?

Unified visibility into security events and compliance risks across hybrid and multi-cloud environments is key. Solutions like Azure Sentinel, AWS Security Hub, and Google Cloud Security Command Center provide a single pane of glass to view and analyze security data from the respective platforms as well as certain third-party sources. Some also offer built-in connectors to import data from the other major clouds. Additional SIEM and SOC solutions can also ingest and correlate data from multiple clouds to enable comprehensive visibility.

How can identity and access be managed across clouds?

Strong identity and access management (IAM) is essential for securing hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Azure Active Directory, AWS IAM, and Google Cloud IAM allow you to centrally control access to resources on the respective platforms. Some also provide federation options to sync identities and entitlements from on-premises directories. Third-party IAM solutions can connect to multiple clouds to enable unified identity governance, single sign-on, and centralized access policies across environments.

Migrating data and workloads between clouds introduces risk that must be addressed through solutions providing consistent security, monitoring, identity, and compliance across environments. With the right tools and strategies in place, major cloud providers can work together to enable comprehensive hybrid cloud data protection.

Protect Hybrid Cloud Workloads with the Right Strategy

As the cloud becomes more complex, with workloads spanning multiple vendors and platforms, a cohesive security strategy is critical. By taking a unified approach across your Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud environments, you gain full visibility and control. Though each provider offers native security controls, only a true multi-cloud solution delivers consistent policy enforcement, compliance reporting, and threat response.

Do not rely on a patchwork of disparate tools that leaves gaps. Look for an integrated solution that provides a single pane of glass into your hybrid landscape. With the right strategy, you can harness the flexibility of the cloud while ensuring your critical assets are protected.

Veeam’s hybrid cloud protection is a comprehensive solution designed to safeguard data across diverse environments, seamlessly integrating on-premises infrastructure with cloud resources. By leveraging advanced backup, replication, and recovery technologies, Veeam ensures continuous data availability and resilience against various threats, including hardware failures, cyberattacks, human error, and natural disasters. With its centralized management interface, businesses can efficiently manage and monitor their data protection strategies across hybrid environments, simplifying workflows and reducing operational overhead. Veeam’s hybrid cloud protection enables organizations to meet stringent data compliance requirements, optimize resource utilization, and mitigate risks, thereby empowering them to focus on driving innovation and growth with confidence in their data’s security and accessibility.

Research consistently reveals that cloud‑based workloads are just as likely to become affected during a cyberattack. Find out how you can achieve cyber resiliency for your hybrid cloud environment by downloading our research brief.

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