Challenges of Developing a Cloud Infrastructure

Sinead Conboy
June 15, 2023

Part 1: The future is hybrid

In order to facilitate quick and agile growth, companies need to build flexible, scalable digital solutions. In this two part blog series, we will discuss the challenges of choosing the right cloud and the advantages of adopting a hybrid cloud infrastructure. 


One of the key decisions a business faces when adopting a cloud strategy is choosing between public and private cloud. When choosing the right cloud infrastructure for your business needs there is often a trade-off between public and private cloud. While a public cloud may be initially easy and more affordable to set up, it is not as secure as a private cloud, which is hosted internally or by a trusted third party.

The main challenges that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a cloud structure are security, costs, scalability, and control. 

Public cloud poses a higher risk of a data breach, which could lead to significant financial and brand damage. On the other hand, private cloud is initially more expensive to set up and maintain, making it more suitable for larger businesses. However, it is more secure than public cloud and offers greater control over the environment.


Security is a significant concern for businesses that handle sensitive data. While public cloud may be more affordable, and relatively safe, it is not suitable for businesses that require enhanced security when handling large amounts of sensitive data.


Public cloud may be more accessible and flexible, but it is not as secure as private cloud. With private cloud, the maintenance and management are handled entirely by the provider, giving the user more control over the environment. 


Small and medium businesses in particular may not have the resources to purchase and maintain the technology they need, making public cloud a more appealing option. However, hidden management and security costs mean relying on a singular cloud environment may not be cost-effective in the long run.


Companies need to invest in technology that can easily scale with their business as it grows. Small companies run on small margins, but their IT infrastructure must be set up to be able to quickly adapt to customer and market needs.

For small businesses struggling to balance these challenges, hybrid cloud may be the best choice. Hybrid cloud infrastructure allows you to prioritize what information and data you need to keep secure while remaining more cost-effective than relying solely on public or private cloud.

Final Thoughts

The cloud infrastructure you choose is critical to the success of your business. When deciding what cloud infrastructure to use, it is crucial to determine what information is important and what is worth paying a higher price to protect. Small businesses should consider all the challenges they may face when developing their cloud strategy and choose a solution that is both scalable and secure. In part two we will break down the advantages of a hybrid cloud solution and how it is driving digital transformation. 


Part 2: The Future is Hybrid

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Types of Cybersecurity Threats


In part one of our cybersecurity and digital transformation blog series, we set out the importance of keeping security needs at the forefront of any digital strategy. This installment will present the most common cybersecurity threats that businesses are faced with.

Cybersecurity threats come in various forms from different sources, and can be defined as either passive or active, attacking both operating systems and hardware.  

Passive Threat & Active Attacks

Passive cybersecurity threats are attacks which does not harm a company’s system directly, but information is obtained which may be sensitive data. A hacker will attempt to remain unnoticed while gathering information about the victim’s machine, network, or other systems.  

An active attack encompasses a wide range of different techniques that jeopardises a system’s integrity and availability. This type of attack poses a threat to both the organisation and individuals where a hacker attempts to directly modify resources. Unlike a passive attack, these breaches are more easily identified.  

Cybersecurity threats

Common passive attacks:  

  • Phishing – A common, but effective type of attack typically carried out via email. It is designed to steal users’ credentials and trick them into installing malicious software on their device. Over time, phishing attacks have evolved into more sophisticated and efficient tactics, with attackers frequently utilizing authentic-looking credentials to increase their success rate. 
  • Cyber espionage – Where a hacker accesses, steals, or exposes classified data or intellectual property with malicious intent which can lead to damaging consequences. Common methods include advanced persistent threats (APT), social engineering and spear phishing.  
  • Data packet sniffing – Similar to wiretapping, packet sniffing allows anyone to eavesdrop on computer conversations. An attacker will install hardware or software to monitor, collect and analyse data sent over a network.  

Common active attacks:  

  • Malware – any malicious software which aims to cause disruption or damage a computer, server, or network. Devices can be infected through simple means such as clicking on a suspicious link, but it can allow the hacker access to personal and sensitive information.  
  • Denial of Service (DoS) – An attack carried out by bots designed to flood an organisations system with fake requests, therefore blocking legitimate requests. This type of attack both seriously effects company resources and damages infrastructure.  
  • Domain spoofing – This is another form of phishing where an attacker impersonates a known business or person by using a fake web or email domain hoping to fool people into trusting them as at first glance they often look legitimate. However, users can be tricked into revealing sensitive information, sending money or clicking malicious links.  

Cyberattacks can affect both operating systems and hardware, creating challenges for businesses who wish to fortify their infrastructure against cybersecurity threats. This can create even greater challenge for smaller businesses who are trying to manage this with limited resources. The third installment of this blog series will discuss the challenges caused by these security breaches.  


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Cybersecurity challenges faced by businesses

In part two of our cybersecurity and digital transformation series we detailed the most common forms of cyberattacks. In this blog, we will discuss the biggest cybersecurity challenges facing businesses.

As digital transformation introduces new, and ever evolving technology to small business IT infrastructure, it is inevitable that an organization’s potential attack surface grows, introducing more cybersecurity challenges.  

As they try to navigate a wide range of potential threats, small businesses can struggle to distribute the right resources to ensure they stay safe, meaning they are vulnerable to various cybersecurity challenges such as:   

  • Secure back-up and recovery of data
  • Detection and response to threats and vulnerabilities
  • Supply chain integrity
  • Manage security activities 24/7

Cybersecurity challenges

Secure back-up and recovery of data

One major cybersecurity challenge that small businesses face is the secure back-up and recovery of data. Companies must have adequate systems in place to ensure that their data is securely backed up and recoverable in the event of damage or corruption.  

Data-driven companies, in particular, must protect their information from sophisticated ransomware attacks. As small businesses increasingly include multi-cloud and on-premise storage of data in their IT infrastructures, cyber resilience is essential to ensure business continuity in the event of a data loss. 

Detection and response to threats and vulnerabilities

The vulnerability of cybersecurity breach above and below a company’s operating system will inevitably increase as the business grows. Threats can present themselves in various forms with the intention of accessing, changing, destroying, or deleting information without authorized access.  

The challenge arises for businesses to install the right systems that can promptly identify these threats and adequately defend their IT infrastructure. According to IBM, in 2022 it took an average of 277 days or 9 months to identify and contain a breach. The longer a breach lasts, the greater the strain on a business’ resources.  

Supply chain integrity

Supply chains are a multi-party ecosystem. Businesses rely on advanced technology to support connectivity and sophisticated logistics networks. However, this technology is also vulnerable to attacks, threatening the integrity of supply chain systems. It is vital to maintain the security of the supply chain eco-systems to avoid operational disruptions, lost revenue, jeopardized data, reduced productivity and potential brand and reputation damage. 

Technology supply chains can also be infiltrated with counterfeit devices that have been tampered with. IT teams work hard to secure their infrastructure, but this is a futile activity if a third party does not maintain their defence along the supply chain. Businesses must ensure devices and their components are safe to deploy using secure verification.   

Manage security activities 24/7

With cyber-attacks posing a threat at any time of day, businesses must remain vigilant around the clock. However, companies often face the challenge of not having the necessary resources in house to physically monitor their networks continuously.  

As threats continue to increase in frequency and complexity, efficient threat detection systems are essential in identifying and preventing attacks before any damage can occur. This can mean having to invest in outsourced services to ensure networks are monitored 24/7. 

Small businesses face numerous cybersecurity challenges in the ever-changing landscape of digital transformation. To ensure their safety, companies must prioritize cyber resilience and invest in efficient threat detection systems. By doing so, they can protect their data, maintain supply chain integrity, and prevent cyber-attacks from disrupting their operations. In the fourth and final blog in this series we will lay out the steps you can take to improve your security measures to keep your infrastructure safe.

Part four will conclude this blog series by detailing the steps needed to implement practices that best address your cybersecurity challenges.  


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Cyber Security Research Round Up

Research Round Up

THIS MONTH'S LATEST CYBER SECURITY RESEARCH From security vendors, bloggers, and analysts

Checkpoint Security: Cyber Security Report 2023

Author: Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point Software Technologies

  • “In 2022, the proportion of email-delivered-attacks has increased, reaching a staggering record of 86% of all file-based attacks in-the-wild.”
  • “The Russia-Ukraine war demonstrated how traditional, kinetic war can be augmented by a cybernetic war. It has also influenced the broader threat landscape in the rapid changes of hacktivism and how independent threat actors choose to work for state-affiliated missions.
  • The war has also seen enhanced usage of wiper malware, malware that intends to erase or wipe data of the drive it infects, and this trend has been adopted by several actors, reaching a point where 2022 has seen more wiper attacks globally, than in the previous decade altogether.”

IBM Security Report: Cost of a Data Breach Hits Record High During Pandemic

  • In 2021 systems and software giant, IBM Security found that over half of SMBs had experienced a cyber-attack largely as the result of the pandemic where new hybrid working models were introduced or with the increased migrations to cloud infrastructure.
  • IBM notes that 40% of SMBs do not have comprehensive and updated cyber-security incident plan. Other findings of the IBM research found that or companies with less that 500 employees the cost of an average Cyber breach was around $3m per incident.

Venture Beat/ Forrester 2023 Cyber Security Predictions

  • More than 50% of chief risk officers (CROs) will report directly to the CEO.
  • A C-level executive will be fired for their firm’s use of employee monitoring.
  • A Global 500 firm will be exposed for burning out its cybersecurity employees 
Cyber security research

SecureList by Kaspersky: What your SOC will be facing in 2023

Authors: Sergey Solatov, Roman Nazarov

  • Ransomware will increasingly destroy data instead of encrypting it
  • Public-facing applications will continue to be exploited for initial access
  • More supply chain attacks via telecom
  • More reoccurring targeted attacks by state-sponsored actors
  • Rise in attacks on Media outlets

EMP Research

  • Future-proof: bunkered data centres and the selling of ultra-secure cloud storage
  • Challenges in Protecting Cyber Critical Infrastructure-GOA
  • North Korea’s Satellites Could Unleash Electromagnetic Pulse Attack
  • Critical Infrastructure Cyber Recommendations Go Largely Unaddressed-Nextgov
  • EMP/Solar flare-Grid Down Consulting
  • Infrastructure Security-CISA

Cyber Security Podcasts-Compiled by Fabian Weber

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How Hybrid Cloud is Driving Digital Transformation 

Part 2: The future is hybrid

Not all cloud storage solutions are created equal. In an ever-evolving digital landscape, it is crucial for SMBs to asses which cloud infrastructure is properly suited to their needs and digital transformation objectives. Small businesses should plan ahead and implement modern digital strategies from the beginning to set up an agile environment for growth. 

Cloud storage is key as businesses store more data online, and there are different types of cloud solutions available. Public cloud solutions are more affordable and easier to manage for small companies, while private cloud is more secure but limited in scalability and more expensive to maintain. 


What is hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud is a computing environment that combines both public and private cloud infrastructures. Public cloud refers to services provided by third-party cloud service providers, while private cloud is a cloud computing infrastructure dedicated solely to a single organization. Hybrid cloud allows organizations to run their critical workloads on a private cloud, while still benefiting from the cost savings and scalability of public cloud services.

How is hybrid cloud driving digital transformation?

With the advent of hybrid cloud technology, organizations are now able to leverage the benefits of both public and private cloud environments to drive innovation and streamline operations.  Hybrid cloud, which combines public and private cloud infrastructures, is a popular solution for small businesses as it simplifies management, improves speed and innovation, and optimizes costs while providing flexibility and security. A recent survey found that 75% of respondents in the Netherlands have opted for a hybrid cloud solution, up from 66% in 2020.

Both public and private cloud solutions have their benefits, a hybrid cloud environment offers the best of both options, allowing businesses to take full advantage of its features such as:

Scalability and Flexibility

One of the primary benefits of hybrid cloud is the ability to scale resources up or down as needed. This allows organizations to easily accommodate fluctuating demands for computing resources without incurring the costs of maintaining an on-premise data center. Additionally, hybrid cloud provides flexibility for organizations to choose which workloads should be run on private cloud and which should be run on public cloud, based on their individual needs.

Data Security and Compliance

Data security and compliance are top priorities for organizations. With hybrid cloud, organizations can keep sensitive data on-premise while still utilizing public cloud resources for less sensitive data. This allows organizations to maintain control over their critical data, while still benefiting from the agility and cost savings of public cloud services.

Cost Savings

Hybrid cloud allows organizations to optimize their computing resources and save costs by leveraging public cloud services for non-critical workloads. Additionally, the ability to scale up or down resources as needed means that organizations only pay for what they use, rather than investing in costly on-premise infrastructure that may go underutilized.


Hybrid cloud provides organizations with the flexibility to experiment and innovate with new technologies and services. With public cloud services, organizations can easily test and deploy new applications, without the need to invest in costly infrastructure or worry about capacity constraints.

Final Thoughts

Hybrid cloud is driving digital transformation by providing organizations with the scalability, flexibility, data security, compliance, cost savings, and innovation they need to compete in today's digital landscape. As more and more organizations adopt hybrid cloud technology, it is clear that it is the future of cloud computing. Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, hybrid cloud can help you stay competitive and agile in an ever-changing business environment.

Don´t miss: Part 1: The future is hybrid


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Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Sees Significant Rise in Q1 2023

In this month’s Knowledge Exchange, we evaluate the growing trend of enterprise
and mid-market companies to migrate to cloud computing and examine the
advantages and potential disadvantages of adopting a hybrid cloud strategy
and what is needed to manage the process.

Data visibility and management across multiple environments is one of the biggest
headaches for enterprises that have or are in the process of migrating to hybrid, multicloud
computing environments, according to recent research from cloud specialist,
It found in its global Enterprise Cloud Index, survey of 1,450 IT Decision makers (ITDMs) that
the ‘majority’ of IT teams surveyed were: “Leveraging more than one IT infrastructure…but
struggle with visibility of data across environments with only 40% reporting complete
visibility into where their data resides.”
Although there is no right way or wrong way for businesses to adopt a cloud strategy, Hybrid
cloud appears to be the more popular way for businesses to drive digital transformation,
especially during the last few years following the pandemic.

Leveraging more than one IT infrastructure…but struggle with visibility of data across environments with only 40% reporting complete visibility into where their data resides.

Nutanix research, cloud specialist

Although there is no right way or wrong way for businesses to adopt a cloud strategy, Hybrid cloud appears to be the more popular way for businesses to drive digital transformation, especially during the last few years following the pandemic.

Hybrid cloud is generally defined as a mixed environment of on premises infrastructure, private cloud services and public clouds managed by vendors such as Google, AWS, and Microsoft, with orchestration software for the various platforms. In all, analyst Gartner predicts that total end-user spending in world-wide cloud services could reach $600bn in 2023.

This will be largely driven by cloud application services (SaaS), closely followed by cloud system infrastructure services (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).

In the first cloud deployments, companies mainly concentrated on data storage rather than “insight generation” or gaining meaningful insight from data according to Suresh Vittal, Chief Product Officer at cloud analytics firm Alteryx. Later, the need for data storage was augmented by the growth of apps and the growing shift to software-as-a-service capabilities. And with the exponential growth of data and its distribution across multiple instances, 2023 will mean it is a year of both hybrid adoption, as well as the quest to manage and analyse this data to gain insight.

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