In this era of technology, most companies and organizations adopt cloud migration over traditional methods. This is done to avoid infrastructure expenses of organizing and maintaining databases, services, and products and retaining a copy of valuable information from cyber-attacks. This latest migration technique to a cloud or between two clouds involves the complete or partial transfer of assets, services, applications, resources, and databases to a virtual space or the cloud.
Organizations use the cloud to meet customer demands, increase efficiency and performance, and apply innovations. It is necessary to avoid improper procedures to avoid data loss and misconfiguration. Despite this, one should always adopt security measures for successful and safe data migration. This article discusses the top five ways.
Three Types of Cloud
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Before advancing, let us first go through the diversity in the cloud environment- public, private, and hybrid. The third-party service provider organizes data and resources in a public virtual space (cloud); an internet connection is required to access them. In a private cloud, the owner or the service provider maintains data; one may or may not need internet connectivity. Lastly, the hybrid environment involves both the service provider and the owner. Depending on the type of cloud, one can easily opt for secure methods.
Three Strategies of Migration
Among many strategies, the top three methods are rehosting, re-platforming, and refactoring. Rehosting is all about putting the applications and services in a cloud environment. Replatforming refers to modifying the sent services and applications for compatibility and optimization with the cloud’s infrastructure.
Lastly, the companies give access to real data to service providers for management and design through refactoring. Subsequently, the providers pick up the responsibilities of simplifying, transferring, and recovering data, as per the requirement.
Security Aspects for a Secured Cloud Migration
The migration process is complex and sequential and occurs in phases with the involvement of both organizations and service providers. Despite this, any tiny mistake could lead to significant losses.
1. Following the Responsibility Model
Migration is not about sharing all data with a third party and leaving everything to them; rather, the companies should play their roles per the requirement. There are various aspects of migration like data, application, operating system, hardware, storage, network, middleware, etc., so it’s convenient to involve oneself in maintaining the security of the entire process. This can be done by choosing a kind of cloud service that suits- SaaS, PaaS, or LaaS. The best part of these services is they all have excellent data security and application solutions.
DBaaS (Database-as-a-Service) or database support services included under SaaS allows companies to access and utilize a database without buying it. The impressive part of DBaaS is that the provider upgrades the system whenever needed and creates backups for the most security. In addition, they also provide a management tool for updating data and information in the cloud.
2. Migration in Phases
The data and information of a company are highly confidential, and any loss will cost bunches. Hence, it is crucial to check the efficiency of a cloud service and track bugs or security glitches, or misconfiguration, if any. Furthermore, this also reduces the risk of losses during migration. To achieve this, instead of beginning with the migration of valuable data first, the specialists advise the transfer of low-priority data. Subsequently, the user implements certain modifications before migrating confidential data.
3. Data Encryption
During migration, one unveils data to the internet as it moves from one location to another, thus putting it at risk. One can use secure protocols like Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) or move data through appliances to avoid this. Moreover, one can consider encrypting data before and during the migration through data-in-transit and data-at-rest encryption. The HTTPS and HTTP, included under data-in-transit encryption, secure the websites- any intervention between the user and cloud by a third party would yield encoded or pointless data, thus ensuring data security. Data-at-rest encryption utilizes keys for encoding and decoding data of storage devices. Only authorized parties can access data encrypted in this form, while others would receive useless data. Additionally, some other ways are:
- Encrypting data at user, network, and cloud levels.
- Using a Quantum Direct Key system or a Cloud Access Security Broker.
- Making use of inbuilt encryption by cloud service providers for all-time data security.
- Bringing Cloud Data Encryption Software into action ensures data security during cloud-to-cloud data transfer.
4. Monitoring Cloud Data & Applications
Another way to strengthen cloud security is by using Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), which identifies the threats and security attacks and responds automatically.
Security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM) together form SIEM, which analyses events and traces security data and its vulnerabilities to prevent data contamination and loss. One can use this service to:
- Collect and analyze data to increase the efficiency of an organization.
- Find out malicious files through IP addresses and protocols.
- Integrate analytics, machine learning, and automation for detection and response to vulnerabilities.
- Include intelligence feeds for protection against the latest cyber-attacks.
- View different events going on together.
5. Access Control & Deduping
The organization has a way of providing access to the data needed for a job instead of sharing the real data. While choosing a cloud service, they should keep in mind that the accessible data before and after the migration should remain the same to secure confidential information that cannot be shared with everyone. Besides this, they can use two-factor authentication during migration.
Deduping or data deduplication is also an effective and pocket-friendly way of assuring data security. In this process, an organization compresses its entire data. It removes unwanted or less important information to reduce its volume, storage requirement, and transfer amount of data during migration, thus, the security expenses. Additionally, data duplication also results in faster and smoother security services.
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Cloud services are worth adopting by companies and organizations to meet customer demands and to maintain competency with others in this ever-advancing era. To minimize the effect of these vulnerabilities, one should learn about the best security options, updates, and patches and apply them to secure cloud data.