It’s difficult to identify an enterprise that hasn’t incorporated cloud solutions into their IT environment. Whether they’re pursuing a full digital transformation or dipping a toe into the water with cloud-based customer relationship management, most enterprises are in some stage of cloud migration – and sometimes with multiple transitions occurring simultaneously.
The simplicity with which you can download a cloud application can mask its complexity in terms of the impact on your security and the risks it introduces. An application or infrastructure element introduces new access points, and data in transit requires encryption. Endpoint security for devices is also critical, particularly as enterprises expand the role of smart devices.
Failing to prioritize a secure cloud migration can have serious implications for your enterprise, but you can use the following steps to make sure you’re protecting your systems and data assets as you expand your business capabilities through cloud solutions:
Step One: Start With the Baseline
Before you establish security measures for a new cloud environment, make sure you are following your current security policies. Identify any gaps, or any failure to adhere to policy and make sure you have a centralized policy.
Step Two: Bandwidth Planning
Get a clear understanding of data flows and bandwidth needs so you know your security solutions can meet performance requirements. This is particularly important for any transmissions that may be sensitive to latency and will require tunneling with a virtual private network (VPN).
Step Three: Address Compliance
Determine the guidelines you need to follow for storing and processing data in the cloud, as well as how it transmits between legacy and cloud solutions. You may need to consult your legal team during this step to accurately assess regulations and risk.
Step Four: Addressing Availability and Disaster Recovery
One of the challenging parts of cloud migration is ensuring that data resources and systems are available. You’ll need to determine if you require dynamic scaling and if your security solution is able to meet performance requirements.
Step Five: Applying the Right Security
Secure cloud migration requires applying the right security tools and features in the right places. It’s no longer enough to install a firewall that patrols the perimeter of your network because, in the cloud era, the perimeter has become nonexistent. You’ll need additional tools like a next-generation firewall (NGFW) and web application firewall, as well as a cloud access security broker.
Step Six: Establishing Life Cycle Management
It’s important to choose security solutions that work well within their particular cloud platform, are able to integrate with sister solutions in other environments, and support the life of the security policy.
Step Seven: Don’t Be Fooled
You can begin a cloud migration with a few clicks, but don’t let that simplicity fool you into thinking you’ve also addressed security related to what you’ve just downloaded. The cloud provider will list their security features, but remember that your data and systems belong to your enterprise, so it’s critical that you take the initiative to prioritize a secure cloud migration.
Whether you’re just beginning to experiment with cloud solutions or you’re halfway through a comprehensive digital transformation project, eXemplify can assist with secure cloud migration. Contact us to discuss your security strategy.