Cloud has changed how enterprises operate and execute functions and business decisions. The range of applications and services cloud computing has offered, & has made modern business more agile, fast, and interoperable. From cloud-based in-house information-sharing platforms to flexible resources for easy database storage, retrieval, and management, the cloud has offered enterprises a new, space-age environment to run their business operations.
As the demand for such web-based business architecture has increased, so has the fortune of cloud service developers and providers. Major corporations like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have become leading players in this industry, who are influencing cloud-based services at an extent enough to lure even small and medium scale businesses to migrate to.
But, like every other service that has internet associated with it, cloud computing is also vulnerable to security concerns. Data breach, account hijacking, ransomware attacks, DoS attacks, etc. are common cloud security concerns that may pose a risk to the security of enterprise information regarding future business executions, strategies, and financial credentials that are stored on the cloud. So, if you’re planning to move to cloud, then you should be aware of its vulnerabilities as well.
Here are a few steps, you must take before migrating to the cloud so that you can build a reliable cybersecurity architecture around it:
Cloud Computing Security Measures Before Migration:
1. Consider Risks Associated With Cloud Computing Security: Refer to Case Studies
One of the most important parts of change in enterprises is risk assessment. It is important that the authorities are aware of what risks their proposed change may pose to their data. Same is the case of cloud computing. When an enterprise wishes to migrate to cloud computing, it should be aware of cloud computing security risks as well.
To get a hold of such risks, the best way is to study the previous cloud security breaches. In the past few years, organizations of even international stature have fallen prey to cloud security breaches. Studying their cases and learning what measures they failed to implement is the first step to ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes when migrating to the cloud.
2. Identify Your Data and Re-Manage it as per Preference
Once you’re aware of all vulnerabilities and risks associated with cloud computing security, you need to understand that those risks can lead to theft of data. If your data is lost in such theft attempts, you can be sued by your client and partners for mismanagement of information. So, first, organize your data and bifurcate the contents within it as per preferences and priorities. Test migration to the cloud by transferring assets of least importance at first. You’ll get a hold of how things are configured when on cloud and you’d be able to deploy your assets more carefully into the new service.
3. Cost of Migration
For large scale organizations, budget management is a fast track process, where they reallocate resources in order to execute such change management tasks. But for medium or small scale enterprises, this is a big deal. Before going to the cloud, ensure that it doesn’t hurt your enterprise’s accounts at any impactful extent. Make sure that the availability of financial assets in your enterprise allows for such a migration and adaptation of new technology.
4. Begin With Building Cybersecurity Architecture
Understand your current cybersecurity architecture. Check what kind of threats it can keep off and what vulnerabilities are present there. If found any, correct them. Look at different aspects of your cybersecurity architecture separately. Assess endpoint security prospects and server protection. Once you’ve assessed all aspects, check if your current cybersecurity practices comply with the regulations of cloud computing security. If your existing measures have any loopholes which can be violated over the cloud, you need to replace them.
These measures are executed by analyzing the strength of source codes of security software implemented in your servers and other enterprise sectors. By critically managing your cybersecurity architecture, you can ensure a safe migration to the cloud.
5. Check For Security Interoperability
Though cybersecurity tools are of lesser use to personal computers, enterprises are better off with additional layers of security. So, assess any firewall, network security fundamentals, encryption technology, and malware protection services you are currently using. Check them against the risks of cloud security. One must ensure that the existing fundamentals will be equally useful on cloud computing as well. Once you have made available all fundamental security measures necessary for migration and then continuing execution of business on the cloud, only then proceed with the transfer of data.
6. Find a Suitable Web Service Provider, Which Also Is In Your Budget
Despite having all security measures checked and assessed, all the information that you put on cloud is also the responsibility of the service provider. It’s essential that the particular provider is trustworthy; its security practices are tested, and that it is transparent with you regarding the access and control of your information. There are Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for such contracts. The foundation of SLAs is that the service provider remains honest of its measures to store and save information of the clients (which is the enterprise). Such agreements add a commitment to any kind of contractual deal.
7. Transfer of Old Data
The old data has to be transferred to the new cloud computing platforms. That past data is necessary to predict future trends and operational decisions. But that data should be organized and protected when transferred. Enterprises can consider using Containerization in such a scenario.
In Containerization, applications and their associated configuration files are bundled up together in a computing environment free of security bugs. Such contained data is safe to transfer from one computing environment to another.
8. Employee Training – Communicate Change
The transition cannot be complete unless the enterprise employees are aware of the use and methodology of cloud computing. In many instances of cloud computing breach, it has been employees mistake that has caused it. It’s not like that employee deliberately did something wrong, but he/she were not properly told of methods used to breach cloud security.
Therefore, it is essential that employees are trained in dealing with such attempts. They should be told of procedures that should be followed when they are met with any such instance.
9. Check Details for Third-Party Integrations
Cloud computing service providers offer third-party integrations for executing different operations. These integrations are to help enterprises in the smallest of tasks. But, to use them, you need to permit them for accessing portions of information from your cloud computing accounts. Before migrating to cloud, learn what third-party integrations are associated with it. Get their authenticity checked and see if there have been any past instances of a cloud security breach because of any of those integrations.
10. Penetration Testing
It is better if your service provider allows penetration testing to measure the level of cloud security provided. In penetration testing, simulated malicious attacks on cloud service are made in an attempt to breach the security. These simulated codes find loopholes in the cloud computing security measures, both taken by the enterprise and provided by the cloud services company.
In various cloud services, there is an automated cybersecurity feature which detects such attacks and shut down the cloud servers at once. If your simulated attack couldn’t be detected by this feature, it means there are loopholes present.
11. Check Threats Against Remote Accessibility
In various firms, employees are allowed to login from there home via their personal devices and personal network. These devices and networks aren’t protected by the same measures as are enterprise systems. Therefore, they are more easy to breach and once that is done, any account of that enterprise can be hacked. So, ensure that the cloud services you are migrating to offer similar protection for remote access of their accounts as well.
For migrating to cloud computing, enterprises should implement best practices, that not only meet legal requirements but also meet your enterprises’ safety requirements. Being an effective but vulnerable technology, cloud computing migration should be achieved with a minimum amount of risks. These ten measures can help enterprises to assess every aspect of the migration process and achieve high-quality cloud security.
Fill the comments section with your views on cloud computing. Do you think that the pressure enterprises face during cloud computing migration is logical? And what are your opinions on cloud security? Let us know.