How to Safely Transition Your Business to the Cloud

As the rate of cyber attacks continues to grow alongside the rate of cloud adoption, companies must prioritize their security — especially during their cloud migration. What makes cloud computing both beneficial and risky at the same time is its open accessibility. Both companies and users can access or interact with cloud servers from a remote location. However, remote access is what threat actors yearn for. It provides them with the opportunity to extract digital assets with minimal exposure or risk. Similarly, threat actors can use consumer information and user login credentials to access these services directly. Considering that phishing campaigns were the most popular and effective hacking tactic used in 2020 ( 22% of successful data breaches), it isn’t a shock that human error is one of the major culprits for cloud data breaches. If cloud security is this vulnerable after deployment, can you imagine how susceptible it is to cyber attacks during migration? Fortunately, with the right preparation and techniques, a firm can extract the benefits of cloud computing without it being overshadowed by risk.

To help business executives and IT leaders maximize the security of their assets during cloud deployment, here are a few of the best practices one can implement to ensure optimized asset protection.

Commit To A Cloud-First Approach

A cloud-first approach is beneficial for many reasons. The greatest security advantage of this strategy is the possibility of zero-downtime recovery. Rather than having your data and assets be susceptible to threats like natural disasters, hardware crashes, and theft, all of one’s data can be centralized and protected in one single, accessible data center. But how does this apply to cloud migration security?

As mentioned above, companies can run into increased risk during cloud deployment because of poor endpoint security. By committing to a cloud-first approach, employees and users will be forced to better prepare for the transition to the cloud. Company culture is always a huge proponent of cybersecurity practices because it lays the groundwork for a strong human firewall. A cloud-first strategy should invest the time and effort necessary to develop this culture and firewall in order to reliably improve the management of end-user information and login credentials, which includes both consumers and employees.

A cloud-first strategy is, essentially, a commitment to the time, effort, and resources a company is willing to put in. If a firm’s cloud computing use is minimal, then so is their dedication to the capital and planning needed to support a smooth and secure cloud migration. Without a well-developed, detail-oriented plan, a company’s cloud security during and after deployment may be vulnerable.

Plan, Plan, Plan Again

Preparing for cloud deployment doesn’t just ensure the security of assets during migration; it also ensures their protection against data breaches moving forward. One of the most common reasons for cloud data breaches is improper server and firewall configuration. These configurations can help detect and contain risks that have gained access to the virtual machines running the cloud service provider’s (CSP) servers where firm information is stored. The reason why server configuration is a problem in the first place is that these CSP servers and their VMWare (Virtual Machine Software) can be quite complex. Without the proper preparation and planning, an organization may expose its digital assets to significant cybersecurity risks. Planning during cloud migration doesn’t just refer to software configuration. either; it also sets up the cloud security protocols the firm will use after deployment.

Good behaviour arises from good habits. The only way to implement effective cloud security monitoring is to plan for it. An example of planning that can overcome typical cloud security errors and challenges is continuous compliance. Continuous compliance, also known as continuous governance, refers to the consistent integration and maintenance of software techniques designed to improve security, compliance, and financial controls. Why this is important is because certain storage and server configurations can have unforeseen consequences over time. One such problem is data deletion.

Deleting data from a server is not as simple as deleting it from a hard drive. Deleting information stored on a CSP server will often result in the data being orphaned (hidden) within the hardware unless sufficient measures are taken to ensure its removal. To properly delete digital assets from a server, one will need to contact their cloud service provider directly. Why orphaned block storage is dangerous is because it is more vulnerable to malicious data extraction than other properly configured asset blocks. If sensitive information was included, an organization could be exposing itself to even greater security risks. Through continuous compliance and oversight, companies can review their configurations and software changes through regular internal audits.

Migrating one’s business to the cloud can result in cost advantages, increased accessibility, as well as improved operational efficiency. Unfortunately, all of these benefits can be negated if the proper preparations and cybersecurity practices aren’t implemented. If your organization needs help securing its cloud deployment, contact AGT today. Our team of experts can guide you through the process from start to finish. From planning to implementation to maintenance, we have you covered.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.

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Anas Chbib

Anas Chbib

Founder and Group CEO at AGT-Advanced German Technology | Delivering innovative leading cybersecurity solutions | Digital forensics