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Ensuring Cloud Safety: Protecting Your Data During Migration and Beyond

Executives are already sold on the benefits of moving to the cloud. They know they need cloud computing to be agile, fast, and flexible; they know cloud allows them to successfully compete in this digital era. But what cybersecurity measures are being implemented during the cloud migration process to prevent data breaches, theft, or loss? Sure, migrating to the cloud is cool and all…but is it safe?  

While enterprise leaders struggle to advance their cloud strategies, the cloud has become a popular target for cybercriminals due to its large scale and centralized nature. With plenty of companies still working to migrate away from on-premise applications and out of their own data centers, they must also prioritize cybersecurity health to safeguard digital assets and maintain business continuity.

First, in case you need affirmation on why migrating to the cloud is beneficial

  • Scalability: Cloud computing provides organizations with the ability to scale up or down their computing resources according to their needs, without having to invest in expensive hardware. This allows organizations to be more agile and responsive to changes in demand, which can lead to increased efficiency and cost savings.
  • Cost Savings: Migrating to the cloud can be a cost-effective option for organizations as it eliminates the need for expensive hardware, software licenses, and IT personnel to maintain and manage them. With the cloud, organizations can pay only for the resources they use, which can result in significant cost savings over time.
  • Improved Collaboration: Cloud-based collaboration tools enable employees to work together from anywhere and on any device, leading to improved productivity and better teamwork. This can be especially valuable for organizations with remote workers or multiple offices in different locations.

The right cloud environment enables companies to pivot quickly. Companies can rapidly and cost effectively create or adopt new functions or test and tweak proof of concepts because they can spin up and wind down computing resources. All of this enables faster time to market with products and services and an overall more responsive organization.

However, migrating to the cloud is hard enough

A cloud migration plan is not just about technology, but also—and, in fact, more so—about what technology can do for the business. The age-old saying goes: “Technology is only as good as its user.” We’d pivot that to say, “Technology is only as good as the safety parameters you set in place.”

We know that cloud migration comes with numerous significant challenges….and research backs that up. Consider the figures from Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud Report. It found that understanding application dependencies is the #1 challenge in cloud migrations, with 53% of respondents listing this as a pain point.

Other top challenges include assessing technical feasibility, assessing on-premise vs. cloud costs, right-sizing/selecting best instance, selecting the right cloud provider, and prioritizing the applications to migrate.

With organizations focusing on the challenges that deter and derail many cloud migration plans, cybersecurity health often ends up backburnered, becoming an afterthought that can cost you overall. Failure to implement proper cybersecurity measures during cloud migration can result in various risks such as data loss, unauthorized access, and cyberattacks. These risks can lead to reputational damage, financial losses, regulatory violations, and legal consequences.

We get it…cybersecurity is important when migrating to the cloud. What do we do about it?

There are key measures a company can take when stepping up to the cyber health plate.  

  1. Conduct a thorough risk assessment: Before migrating data to the cloud, companies must conduct a comprehensive risk assessment [LINK] to identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities. This will help the company determine the most appropriate security measures to put in place.
  1. Choose a reputable cloud service provider: Companies should ensure that they choose a reputable cloud service provider with a strong track record for security. The provider should have robust security protocols and compliance with industry standards. It’s essential to verify that the cloud service provider is using strong encryption methods, access controls, and data backups.
  1. Implement strong access controls: One of the most effective ways to safeguard data on the cloud is to implement strong access controls. This includes setting up multi-factor authentication, limiting access privileges to sensitive data, and using strong passwords.
  1. Regularly monitor and audit cloud activity: Companies must continuously monitor the cloud for suspicious activities and unauthorized access. This means implementing a procedure to audit and review log files, data access, and data transfers. By actively monitoring cloud activity, companies can detect and respond to potential security incidents quickly.
  1. Train employees on cloud security best practices: Companies must train their employees on cloud security best practices to reduce the risk of human error. This includes educating employees on the importance of using strong passwords, avoiding phishing scams, and securing their devices when accessing the cloud.
  1. Regularly back up data: Companies should regularly back up their data to ensure they have a copy of critical information in case of data loss due to cyber-attacks or other issues. Backups should be stored in multiple locations, using robust encryption methods.
  1. Deploy encryption technology: Encryption is a vital technology to secure data on the cloud. Companies should ensure that they use end-to-end encryption to protect data both in transit and at rest. This includes using encryption for data stored on local devices, as well as data transferred to and from the cloud.

A brief numbered list doesn’t outline all actions needed for top quality cyber health, but it’s a good place to start. This is why companies need an experienced hand when they migrate to the cloud and why they need partners who can advise them on the right safeguarding for their own specific environment and their industry’s unique needs.

How do we move forward?

It’s important to understand the myriad of cloud options, from serverless, containers and virtual machines to infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and software-as-a-service solutions. Recognize the nuances and requirements associated with each choice, the strategic reasons that would make one better than another, how they work together, and what’s needed to support, optimize, and most importantly, protect key components in performance.

It's also important to mention that, if migration is successful, protected, and utilized correctly, the cloud can actually enhance security. Cloud service providers offer robust security measures that can be more comprehensive than those provided by an individual organization. This includes regular backups, data encryption, and advanced threat detection, which can help to protect sensitive data and reduce the risk of cyberattacks.

Launch’s experienced team knows from experience the importance of building a cloud environment that’s both secure and scalable, with automation in place to build that infrastructure over and over, so organizations can easily build up and tear down as often as needed. Visit our Cloud & Infrastructure expertise page to learn more.

We help clients achieve that kind of transformation by helping them design and implement the right cloud infrastructure to support those bigger objectives. While keeping them safe.

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