IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Why Managed Services Are Key to Protecting Multicloud Environments

Hybrid and remote work persist in 2023, but many organizations are still struggling to secure their multicloud and hybrid cloud environments. MSPs can help bridge the gap. By Scott Barlow

HYBRID AND REMOTE WORK arrangements are here to stay, with 92 million Americans reporting they had the option to work from home in 2022. As a result, in-house IT teams are increasingly tasked with constructing, managing, and securing multicloud or hybrid environments necessary to facilitate remote work.

While multicloud environments aren’t necessarily more difficult to secure, they do require a shift in strategy—one that many organizations lack the skills and resources to properly execute. Given that the cybersecurity skills gap significantly worsened in 2022, with the shortfall of qualified cybersecurity specialists rising 26.2% year over year, according to the (ISC)2 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the challenge is daunting. On top of that, as the year drew to a close, the tech unemployment rate fell to approximately 1.8%, further exacerbating security skills deficits.

Internal IT teams are overstretched and understaffed, and the complexity of normalizing telemetry from on-premises infrastructure and public clouds on top of other sources (like email and mobile devices) is causing considerable strain.

While this is a significant challenge for organizations, it represents a prime opportunity for managed service providers. By partnering with vendors that offer advanced threat detection and cybersecurity expertise, MSPs can secure and monitor every corner of an organization’s network environments during and after multicloud transitions. This critical support helps organizations fill skills gaps, secure assets, and move beyond survival to truly thrive in the new hybrid work reality. 

Unique Demands of Multicloud and Hybrid Environments

Organizations face a number of challenges in migrating workloads to multicloud. Most public clouds follow a shared responsibility model, meaning the vendor will secure the physical infrastructure, but organizations must still secure the workloads, processes, applications, and data in their cloud environment.

Simply maintaining visibility into all this inventory is a major task. IT teams need to be aware of every new resource an end user spins up across the organization, lest a vulnerability slip through and expose the environment to attackers. In addition, teams must monitor for overprivileged access, spend anomalies, and other potential security risks—all while engaging in proactive threat hunting to counter attacks before they occur.

Further, these practices must be carried out not just across the public cloud, but within any private cloud or on-prem environment. Breaches and malware attacks don’t happen at the convenience of the end user, so telemetry data from all these sources must be stored in a data lake, normalized, and continuously analyzed 24/7/365.

Few organizations have the resources to hire a team of public cloud and security specialists capable of delivering this level of coverage. That’s where MSPs come in—filling gaps with the help of an expert vendor partner. A vendor with extensive experience can take advantage of economies of scale to develop best practices for multicloud security across industries and clients. This enables MSPs to access efficiencies that would be out of reach for even the most well-resourced organizations.

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