According to a study by Cisco, over 90% of workloads are likely to be a shift in the cloud by 2020. Well, this study can come true as more and more organizations are transferring their data through the cloud migration each day. However, these migrations are not as easy as they sound.
The risk of data loss during migration, as well as an issue of misconfiguration cannot be overlooked, both of which could lead to a data incident. To reduce such risks, it is important to follow the security precautions through all phases of your shift to clouds. It is also important to get a clear understanding of the process associated with cloud migration.
Based on this, here we will discuss some options for migration to the cloud as well as how to protect data during cloud migration.
Understanding Your Cloud Migration Options:
Before you can start creating a plan for cloud migration, make sure to decide what kind of cloud services is right for you. Besides, it is important to find out how to migrate to the cloud you pick. While assessing options, there are three key types of cloud services or environments to choose from.
In this cloud environment, resources are operated and managed by a third-party cloud service provider. Storage, hardware, and network devices are shared with other customers and all data can be accessed through an Internet connection. This cloud environment is not safe for sensitive or financial information.
The resources are owned or maintained by you or by a third party. The resources are not shared with other users and might be stored off-site or on-premises. That’s why it is considered safe for storing sensitive information.
A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private cloud resources. It ensures flexibility and lets you choose a suitable environment for you according to your data.
Understanding Cloud Migration Strategies:
When transferring data, there are some main cloud migration strategies you can integrate. Often, enterprises pick a combination of methods based on the workload and data they require to shift.
Here are some cloud migration strategies.
Rehosting (Lift and Shift):
It is an easy and fast way to shift data to the cloud. Data and applications are shifted “as is” to the cloud environment. Rehosting is often considered as an initial step towards re-platforming.
It includes redesigning applications to be cloud-native. Refactoring ensures complete cloud benefits of flexibility and scalability but needs important programming expertise and more.
Businesses can use third-party services for cloud migration. These services can be fully operated, with the third-party service managing refactoring or re-platforming. Third-party services can also do data transfer, configuration, and recovery. Often, these services are carried out by equipment that is connected to both on-premise data centers and the cloud.
Encrypting Data during Transition:
Encrypting data during migration means protecting data as it shifts from one platform to another. For example, you move data from your PC to the cloud. Data in motion is more prone to threat than its counterpart “at storage”.
Data should be safeguarded wherever it is, but if it is going to be migrated, some tactics can be incorporated for maximum protection. Those tactics are composed of network security controls and encrypted network protocols. For large scale data transferring, the cloud vendors can provide concierge-style solutions, which include the physical trucking of the data-bearing system to the cloud data center.
Pondering Over Bandwidth Requirements:
One of the major issues of cloud migrations is determining and specifying the bandwidth required for cloud hosted applications. When running from an onsite data centre, the network usually needs a minimum of 100 Mbps with a Gbps inter-server connectivity. However, on cloud migration, it becomes changed, determined by package, tier and local internet bandwidth all of which might be less than 2-10 Mbps.
Create and understand the data flow for pondering over the right bandwidth requirements for their IT infrastructure.
This is an important thing to consider whether or not the organization’s security solutions will meet performance criteria for transferring to the cloud. Make sure your cloud-hosted applications meet performance requirements. Otherwise, it can lead to latency and other issues. Lacking a complete understanding of the bandwidth will not only reduce the potential advantages of cloud migration but also affect the performance of security solutions incorporated for protecting IT infrastructure.
Take the bandwidth requirement into account before moving to the cloud. Make sure to use network modelling tools for assessing your current application performance and figure out the areas of improvement before shifting to the cloud. This will help you find out the important application requirements and further support performance.
Taking Note of Regulatory and Compliance Requirements:
Another key aspect that requires your attention before moving to the cloud is to find out the regulatory and compliance requirements when the data gets processed and stored or transmitted between virtual and physical network environments.
Understanding the regulatory and compliance necessities helps create a clear roadmap for a secure IT infrastructure migration. For instance, in many nations, there are regulations imposed on the storage of financial data but, on a cloud, unless made specific otherwise, data can be in Malaysia today, in Singapore next week and in the USA the day after.
But this might be considered data law violations.
So, creating the right strategy will help enterprises stay compliant and protect their IT infrastructure. But keep in mind that the regulatory and compliance strategy created should be flexible to meet new requirements. For that, you can consult your legal team specializing in the IT industry. You can also consult your peers to understand the legal implications and possible adaption to new, stern data laws that might minimize the odd of being helpless when a change takes place. Not creating the data migration strategy according to the regulatory and compliance requirements can make your organization vulnerable to legal hassles and litigations.
In Singapore, the data protection is monitored by the Singapore Personal Data Protection Commission or PDPC. In 2019, the PDPC has issued new guidelines regarding the storage and process of data over the cloud in Singapore and abroad.
Using the Right Security Solutions:
For a safe cloud migration, it is also important to identify the vulnerabilities and use the systems accordingly. Make sure to incorporate the right security tools for cloud-based business operations. Consolidating network and IT infrastructure security is important for any enterprise. When it comes to data protection in the cloud, it is more than deploying a simple firewall. From a security viewpoint, it will involve the process of detailed analysis of the current process, contracts, policies, terms and conditions, and security standards. Depending on the condition of your security, you might need various security tools such as Intrusion Prevention, PIM, Dual Factor Authentication, Cloud Access Security Broker, and Web Application Firewall.
Don’t forget to assess the current security tools and update them accordingly. This might include incorporating risk management, change disaster recovery plans, and training programs for safe and successful cloud migration.
Creating the Security Control Policy:
Cloud computing simplifies accessibility, scalability and flexibility. Yet you should be wary of the concerns that occur along with it, especially when it comes to network or IT infrastructure security. When starting a cloud migration, it is essential to understand the complexity that occurs in the process due to the varying roles, functions and skills associated with the approach.
It is also important to understand and learn the deployment of the process that impacts the existing rules, regulation and compliance policy. Taking such concerns into account, make sure to have security control policies and process in place before you plan to migrate to the cloud.
Enter a central security strategy.
A central security strategy ensures policies and process that are incorporate for secure access to information across the various cloud environments.The policies should clearly define access and control, regardless of whether the security gateways and services being utilized are in-premises or on the cloud infrastructure.This is really essential since organizations are often hit by expensive security incidents due to confusing and outdated security policies regarding cloud security control.
Important measures should be practised for creating a solid policy and its enforcement across various environments whether onsite or on the cloud.
Opting for a Phased Migration:
Data transferring in a phased migration lets develop acquaintance with cloud systems. By starting with the least important data, you can take some load off your storage resources with calculated risk. You can test the configuration and locate any bugs or loopholes in security before migrating higher priority or sensitive data. This is just like testing the water. A phased migration is not that chaotic due to the slow onboarding of users. A phased migration often involves less time pressure and a slower onboarding of users.
Strengthening Your Monitoring:
You need to stay on the top when it comes to cloud monitoring. As you transfer the data, and often after, you will have security devises for both on-premises and in the cloud. Integrating the management and use of these tools can simplify cloud security. You can identify and prevent threats and loopholes more quickly and consistently.
To increase the effectiveness of your security team, you can use advanced tools such as SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) systems. SIEMS lets you centralize alerts and logging and often integrate analytics, automation and machine learning. The power of these features automates detection and response and supports in analysing attacks.
Removing Data from Your Retiring Drives:
It is good that you have backup drives in place while shifting to the cloud. But what about those drives you are not going to use any more? Make sure to wipe data from those drives. This is because any traces on data can trouble your security. Maybe you have saved passwords and important information on them. Cybercriminals also look for such dumped HDDs which can give them important clues about your data. Therefore, make sure to wipe the data before dumping such drives.
The security of your cloud migration will be determined by the type of cloud you pick, the vendor, and particular steps taken by you. But security is as important as your data in the cloud. After transferring the data, make sure to monitor the things for threat and security vulnerabilities. Luckily, there are many advanced security tools and resources available.
Investing a little extra time beforehand to ponder over security can save you time, hassles and reduce the risk of a security incident in the long run. In a nutshell, cloud migration can benefit your business and offer flexibility when done right. Don’t let any security issue ruin your experience with cloud computing. For more information and IT maintenance service visit us
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