What are some of the top security considerations for companies to address during their cloud migration, and how exactly to mitigate them?
Cybersecurity was always a concern for software-reliant businesses all over the globe. This truth is especially relevant today in cloud computing. After all, according to market estimates, the size of the global cloud industry will significantly increase by 2023 to a staggering $623.3 billion.
Additionally, let’s not forget that the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a sudden dramatic increase in the cloud services through remote work this year. We’ve in fact written about the recent effects of COVID-19 on the cloud computing industry. Have a read here.
With all these new trends and changes, it’s true to say that as organizations transition to the cloud, new, unprecedented challenges arise. Risks of potential malware, unauthorized use, reduced visibility and control, insider threats, and compliance violations, the list could really go on for long.
It is therefore paramount to be prepared for some of the potential security issues that might arise during the migration process, that is, to be able to mitigate them successfully.
We’ve dedicated this post to identifying and analyzing four major data security concerns that your company might run into during a cloud migration phase. Take a read below to see how you can improve your security posture before your move to the cloud.
Reduced Control & Visibility
It’s not surprising that as the business transitions its assets and operations to the cloud, some of the control and visibility over those assets become reduced. After all, as an enterprise uses external cloud services, it assumes to shift the responsibility for some of its infrastructure to the CSP. What particular responsibilities are going to be transferred really depends on the type of cloud service provider that is chosen by the company.
Nevertheless, it’s obvious that in similar scenarios, close analysis and monitoring of services, data, applications, and users is absolutely needed for organizations to perform as the move initiated.
Cyberattacks & Data Loss
Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for businesses to experience loss of data during their migration process. This usually happens as a result of missing, incomplete, or corrupt files.
Cyberattacks are delivered by hackers that target certain individuals within a company to steal credentials. This usually allows them to further gain control of the cloud storage and gain access to other sensitive information. This is also done by very popular phishing emails. These distribute malware across the IT department of a business, resulting in complete loss of data.
Another major concern to consider during your cloud migration process is the possibility of insider threats. These can take on various forms. Workers might possibly mishandle your company’s confidential data due to carelessness, insider agents that work on behalf of hackers could compromise and steal your data, an unreputable service provider might possibly misuse your information due to negligence.
One might argue that these occurrences are very rare. Unfortunately, solid data proves the incidents of insider threats to happen more often than not. A recent study shows espionage cause 14.4% of insider attacks. What’s troubling is that these events have a higher chance of occurrence during a cloud migration process that has not been well prepared for.
It also happens that as companies transfer applications and data to the cloud, user permissions are granted. This can potentially result in an array of security issues, ranging from unauthorized access and deliberate data attacks. For a sake of an example, a company is migrating its applications from its on-prem infrastructure to AWS. Let’s say that in this case, it’s possible for users to open a NAT gateway (network address translation). This alone might result in major consequences, such as the cloud server using the NAT gateway to take in malware from various remote sources.
Considering these and many other possible risks that might arise as a result of an undefined cloud migration process, it is crucial to generate policies that might help alleviate the possibilities of these threats.
Some of these are:
Setting up appropriate protection of user identities
It is a good idea to ensure no users are permitted to introduce new attacks or are able to access the organization’s sandbox environments. It might help for a company to keep a copy of all information so that if there are any data loss or exposure, complete restoration of files does not become an issue.
Ensuring to have secure systems in place during the migration phase
An organization should fully prepare for the upcoming migration process by having security teams apply a wide range of policies and controls to secure its environment.
There are various data protection tools that can be deployed for this purpose. Cloud access security broker (CASB), next-generation firewall (NGFW), or event management solution (SIEM) are just some of them.
Ultimately, worry-free cloud migration is all about careful preparation and planning. This not only involves setting up appropriate cybersecurity tools in place but also migrating these policies and systems to the company’s new IT environment. It’s fair to say that having adequate resources and a strong security posture most certainly saves a company from running into unforeseen security threats and successfully completing its migration phase without any further complications.
Embarking on a cloud migration journey is often an overwhelming experience.
That’s why here at Clouve, our cloud experts not only guide and help you migrate your on-prem systems to a major cloud provider, but also perform all other complex and tedious day-to-day tasks like cloud monitoring and maintenance, taking care of troubleshooting and outages, account setups and configurations, and so much more.
Get in touch with Clouve today to learn more.