Consulting with a Conscience™

A cruciallogics blog

Written by Amol Joshi
on March 25, 2024

As more companies migrate their operations to the cloud, cyber security becomes an increasingly prevalent concern. 

Measures taken to ensure the security of data and applications while moving them from on-premise to cloud-based secure data from security risks, such as data breaches, unauthorized access, and data loss. 

Some security controls you can implement include encryption and access controls, vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, and continuous monitoring of the cloud infrastructure's security.

If you plan to migrate your operations to the cloud, you have come to the right place. Let's get started. 

Why the Cloud Service Provider You Choose Matters

We've worked with dozens of brands who want to move their infrastructure from on-prem to the cloud, and some nuances are strikingly similar. But, what stands out is the ability to choose the best cloud service provider. 

The cloud service provider's infrastructure determines the reliability, scalability, and security of the cloud services, while their applications influence the smooth functioning of your software. 

Additionally, You must understand the shared responsibility model during this process. When it comes to cloud security, both the provider and user have responsibilities. While the provider secures the underlying infrastructure, the user is accountable for securing their data, applications, identity, and access management.

The leading cloud computing platform known for its numerous services, tools like Microsoft Azure make the migration process easier. Azure users benefit from a vast array of infrastructure services, including virtual machines, storage, networking, and databases. All these are perfect for companies migrating to the cloud. It also has a rich ecosystem of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings for application development and deployment. 

Azure's global presence, industry-leading compliance certifications, and commitment to security ensure that your organization is in good hands. 

A Certified Microsoft Gold Partner 

In addition, a certified Microsoft Partner like CrucialLogics makes the process even smoother. Even if you have a dedicated in-house team that can handle cloud migration security, the quality of service won't compare to what you can get from CrucialLogics.

As a Certified Microsoft Partner, CrucialLogics has trained experts who are always ready to tend to your business needs. Plus, the unlimited access to resources like Microsoft Azure and more makes us more than capable. Our proficiency in Azure services, coupled with our commitment to delivering tailored solutions, ensures a smooth and successful transition to the cloud for businesses of all sizes.

Security Risks of Moving to The Cloud

Be aware of the following potential security risks when moving your data and applications to the cloud:

  • Data breaches – There's a chance that unauthorized people could gain access to your data while it's being transferred to the cloud. Cyberattackers take advantage of the migration process because there are more vulnerabilities.
  • Unauthorized Access – If proper security measures aren't in place, someone might gain access to your data or applications without permission. Have passwords and encryption codes to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Data Loss – During the migration process, there's a risk that some data could be lost or corrupted if not handled carefully. This could cause havoc, especially if they were not backed up.
  • Service Disruptions – Sometimes, cloud services may experience disruptions, leading to temporary unavailability of your data and applications. This is no cause for worry, as access is regained after everything is set.
  • Compliance Issues – Ensure your cloud provider complies with relevant regulations and standards. The cloud security provider you choose should help you check all of the boxes.

Cloud Migration Security: User accessing data with credentials.

How to Protect Data During Cloud Migration?

Encrypt Data

Apply encryption to data both at rest and in transit. Encrypted data is usually scrambled and unreadable without the proper decryption key. It ensures that even if unauthorized persons gain access, they won't make sense of it.

Use Secure Transfer Methods

Leave nothing to chance and encrypt all your connections when transferring data to the cloud. This prevents anyone from intercepting and accessing the data while it's in transit.

Implement Strong Access Controls 

Use strong authentication and authorization practices like least privilege access, where users are only given access to the resources they absolutely need to perform their tasks. When access is limited, potential damage if unauthorized people gain access is lessened.

Select a Reputable Cloud Service Provider

Choose a cloud service provider with a strong reputation for security and reliability. Look for providers with powerful security credentials, certifications, and a track record of keeping their customers' data safe.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA requires users to provide more than one form of verification to access their accounts, such as a password and a unique code sent to their mobile device. This significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access, even if someone manages to obtain a user's password.

Backup Data Regularly

Create regular backups of your data and ensure they're stored securely. This protects against threats like ransomware, which can encrypt your data and hold it hostage until you pay a ransom. With regular backups, you can restore your data to a previous, unaffected state without having to give in to the attackers' demands.

Cloud migration security: Folders in the cloud environment.

Securing Various Types of Cloud Migration

When shifting operations to the cloud, organizations use two main types of cloud migration: on-premise to cloud and cloud-to-cloud. 

On-Premise to Cloud Migration

  • Before initiating the migration, develop a comprehensive plan that addresses security considerations. Identify potential risks and establish mitigation strategies.
  • Apply encryption to your data before transferring it to the cloud. 
  • Transfer data to the cloud using secure, encrypted connections such as TLS/SSL protocols. 
  • Define and reinforce access controls to regulate who can access data in the cloud and what actions they can perform. 
  • Implement monitoring mechanisms to track data movements and detect any suspicious activities during and after migration. Use security information and event management (SIEM) tools to monitor logs and alert on potential security incidents.

Cloud-to-Cloud Migration

  • Assess the security measures of both the source and destination cloud providers. Also, ensure that the new cloud environment meets your organization's security requirements and regulatory compliance standards.
  • Use secure transfer methods, such as encrypted connections or VPN tunnels, when transferring data between cloud environments. 
  • Confirm the integrity and consistency of your data throughout the migration process. This can be done by performing data integrity checks before and after migration to confirm that data remains intact and unchanged.
  • Review and update access controls in the new cloud environment to align with your organization's security policies.
  • Conduct thorough security testing in the new cloud environment to validate the effectiveness of security measures. Use a cloud security provider that can monitor continuously to identify security threats 24/7.

Users evaluating of cloud migration security checklist.

Cloud Migration Security Checklist

Migrating to the cloud is a big step that needs proper planning. Many activities will take place concurrently, and you might jeopardize the company's infrastructure if you leave some out. 

Here is a handy checklist to secure against prevalent risks. 

Pre-Migration

  1. Conduct risk assessments to identify potential security risks and vulnerabilities.
  2. Select a reputable Cloud Service Provider with strong security credentials and a proven track record.
  3. Update security policies to align with cloud migration objectives and requirements.
  4. Plan data encryption to protect sensitive information during transit and storage.
  5. Strengthen Identity and Access Controls by implementing MFA.

During Migration

  1. Secure data transfers using encrypted connections and secure transfer methods.
  2. Monitor for security incidents such as unauthorized access.
  3. Ensure compliance with relevant regulations and privacy standards throughout the migration process.
  4. Perform security and vulnerability testing to identify and address any weaknesses in the cloud environment.
  5. Implement a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Strategy to prevent data loss and secure backups.

Post-Migration

  1. Monitor security continuously.
  2. Audit access controls regularly to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive data.
  3. Update response and recovery plans to address any security incidents that may occur in the cloud environment.
  4. Conduct regular security assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of security measures and identify areas for improvement.
  5. Educate the team on security practices to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in maintaining a secure cloud environment.

Cloud Migration Security Challenges

Migrating to the cloud brings countless benefits but also presents unique security challenges that organizations must address. Some of these include: 

Data Security

Cybercriminals take advantage of the migration process to scan for vulnerabilities in your system. Because everything is not settled at this stage, the attackers might be successful.

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Managing user identities and controlling access to cloud resources during migration can be complex. Failure to take the right precautions might lead to unauthorized access. 

Compliance and Regulatory Requirements

You have no choice but to comply with industry regulations. Keeping up with these regulations and standards might be hard during the migration process. But, failure to comply can result in legal and financial consequences.

Data Loss and Leakage

This happens during migration due to misconfigurations, human error, or malicious activities. To mitigate such risks, implement data loss prevention in your process. 

Vendor Security

Critically analyze the security posture of your cloud service provider. Choosing the wrong provider might land you in trouble, not only with cybersecurity but also with the authorities when it comes to industry standards. 

Integration

If your provider's security posture is not compatible with your systems, the integration process can be impossible. When your systems can't integrate properly, maintaining data integrity across different environments becomes difficult.

Some of these challenges might seem insignificant, but they can create more chaos than anticipated. 

But, it all goes down to choosing the right cloud security partner. One who has the best interest of your company at heart. 

You want to partner with a provider who will do everything in their power to protect your company resources.

Cloud migration security: Representation of data in the cloud.

Let CrucialLogics (that's us) Safeguard Your Cloud Transition

We understand that migrating to the cloud is a significant step for any organization.

Our cloud migration approach offers practical advice and results to help organizations achieve their goals with security and efficiency.

A practical example is how we partnered with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) and realized the need to establish an IT foundation to support their rapid growth and ambitious goals. With our expertise, we helped CCRM to transition to a Microsoft 365 environment seamlessly, which enabled better collaboration.

On top of securing your migration to the cloud, we can reinforce your entire cloud framework. Contact us for a 30-minute discovery call. 

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