How to prepare your business for secure cloud migration

How to prepare your business for secure cloud migration

Jun 2nd 2021

The cloud holds a lot of potential for organisations. Moving your IT environment to the cloud provides flexibility and agility. It allows your team to be more productive and focus on delivering value for your business.

Protecting your assets, particularly your data, will help you remain secure while your organisation scales using the cloud. As you prepare for cloud migration, it’s crucial that you have the buy-in from your whole organisation. While your IT professionals will have the knowledge to ensure an effective move to the cloud, it’s likely to require a period of transition for your wider team.

To minimise data breaches and attacks, you should share your understanding of the cloud, the risks involved and the measures to overcome them, with your team to make sure you can all work towards a successful migration process.

What are the common concerns with cloud security?

According to Sophos, security weaknesses caused by misconfigurations in cloud services were exploited in 66% of attacks. As your organisation starts to bring new cloud services into operation, the chance of misconfiguration increases, which also increases your attack surface.

Misconfigurations aren’t always easy to identify. McAfee found in a survey that just 1% of internet as a service misconfigurations were reported. This suggests that many cloud users may be unaware of misconfigurations in their cloud environment, and therefore the risk of a data breach as a result.

Vulnerabilities in your cloud environment can give malicious actors the opportunity to exploit and make changes to your systems. This can leave your resources and data at risk.  Developing a comprehensive cloud security strategy, which is embedded into the planning, design and implementation of your cloud migration, will help you protect yourself against cloud misconfigurations.

Regular auditing and assessment activities provide information to supplement your strategy and decision making, and ensure shared responsibility is established across your organisation.

The importance of shared responsibility

Shared responsibility models determine that it’s the responsibility of the customer to protect data stored in the cloud, while the cloud provider is responsible for the security of the cloud platform.

While it’s your responsibility to secure your cloud environment, cloud providers will provide features and services that can be adjusted to your organisation’s requirements and help you meet your responsibilities.

These features and services are unique to the different cloud providers. They’re often time-consuming to configure, and can be complex to integrate into a large environment. It’s important to choose an appropriate cloud provider based on the size and complexity of your IT environment.

When using a cloud provider, you should understand exactly where your data is stored in the cloud, who has access to it and how it’s protected in line with the relevant data regulations you are subject to.

Improve cloud expertise

Oracle found that 75% of IT professionals view the public cloud as more secure than their own on-site infrastructure, but 92% feel that their lack of expertise in cloud security programs is creating a readiness gap.

To effectively secure your cloud environment, you must be able to leverage the platform tools, secure and configure the architecture and integrate them with third-party services. This may require experts either in-house or via a third party, such as Sentrium, to help you gain complete visibility of your infrastructure.

Third party experts are an excellent asset that will provide information and assurance to help you secure your cloud environment. You can work with a cloud security consultancy to educate your IT team and ensure you have the specialist input to securely configure and manage your cloud environment. 

Mitigate cloud misconfigurations

When there are gaps in understanding of cloud security, misconfigurations can occur. A significant cause of misconfiguration is over-privileged accounts. Oracle found that 33% of organisations reported that malicious actors gained access to their cloud environments by stealing cloud provider account credentials.

You should work on the principle of least privilege to help prevent this from happening. If you or a third party cloud provider deploy and manage your own cloud environment, you’re responsible for configuration which includes the maintenance of accounts and permissions.

Implement multi-factor authentication on all of your accounts to make it harder for a malicious actor to gain access. These stronger identity measures are an additional challenge should your accounts become compromised.

Prepare your business for change

Storing data in the cloud requires your organisation to understand and implement measures that protect and manage your information. You should identify the assets you’re going to store in your cloud environment, and use a risk assessment to find out which risks aren’t acceptable to you.

Regular auditing can help to identify patterns and anomalies in cloud activity and help you keep track of your assets and risks.  A focused security strategy will secure your assets in the cloud and help you make the most of cloud computing. It will help you maintain business continuity, compliance and risk management.

Working with a cyber security consultancy specialising in cloud security can help provide added assurance for your organisation. Sentrium is committed to providing you with a tailored cloud security service based on the size and complexity of your cloud environment. 

Get in touch with us to discuss your security challenges and requirements. 

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