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Cloud migration continues to accelerate as organizations seek the benefits of transforming the way they do business in today’s digital world. More than 97 percent of companies have adopted some form of cloud service technologies, while 40 percent are working on fully migrating their data from on-premise centers to the cloud space. The benefits of migrating to the cloud are numerous, yet the practical and security considerations cannot be ignored. Here are four areas to consider when preparing for both large- or small-scale cloud migrations:
No. 1. Access control: Cloud service provider (CSP) consoles, application programming interfaces (API), and management tools offer significant flexibility and autonomy to end users in need of robust access controls. The encryption of data at rest and in transit is one of the most critical controls that you should implement, yet 49 percent of cloud databases are reported to be unencrypted, leaving their information vulnerable. Native CSP tools and third parties offer several options for these controls.
No. 2. Automation: One of the most significant security considerations in the cloud involves misconfigurations. A 2018 survey of 200 companies using the Amazon Web Services platform found that 73 percent were affected by misconfigured cloud environments. Many cloud breaches involve incorrect configurations of identity and access management or storage policies. Consider applying automation to reduce the likelihood of unintended errors introduced by operator oversight.
No. 3. Visibility: With data center infrastructure now outsourced to the CSP, visibility and vulnerability management tools become even more critical: New types of monitoring tools are required within infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service environments to provide the visibility that your security operation centers will need. In addition, vulnerability management tools are needed not only for traditional end host operating systems but also for new container and serverless type services. Be sure you have appropriately configured your settings with the CSP to maximize visibility for your team.
No. 4. Responsibility: Migrating to the cloud is a shared responsibility. CSPs secure their infrastructure in tandem with CSP customers protecting their applications and data. As a result, application and business owners must build their cloud environments not only to be compliant with security and risk standards but also to ensure the right cybersecurity designs and tools are implemented to protect against emerging threats and attacks. Building a secure cloud and integrating it with security operations tools is critical. Yet keep in mind that continued enhancements will be required as the platform becomes operationalized, resulting in the need to migrate to a DevSecOps continuous development culture.
The Bottom Line
Migration to the cloud can enhance your organization’s risk posture and security rather than making it less secure. With careful implementation, communication across involved parties, proper utilization of appropriate tools, and consistent upkeep, the cloud can ensure your organization’s data privacy and security.