The cloud is becoming a common part of any enterprise’s IT environment. It provides open-access to employees from any location with internet access and has greatly improved efficiency and productivity for many businesses. However, this has the potential to be a very different beast to the more traditional IT environments, particularly because its open-access nature is like a double-edged sword, giving points of weakness and more openings to hackers.
The good news is these openings can be quite easily protected with the right security tools once migration to the cloud is complete. Yet, it’s worth noting that it’s the transition time before this when the cloud is at its most vulnerable. For example, those with malicious intent may aim for these periods of change, when security is down, to plant a seed that may cause issues when the move is completed. This fear has prevented many businesses from adopting the cloud altogether, though this does not need to be the case. Below, C8 have captured four steps businesses need to acknowledge to prepare and make a swift transition to the cloud.
Step One: Share the Responsibility
In the first step it is important to understand and accept that everyone shares a responsibility in the transition to the cloud. Not only is it the responsibility of the users on the enterprise side but also that of the providers like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Any good cloud service provider will have in place an established method of keeping its services secure with their own security intelligence. Learning what these methods are and utilising the suggestions on the customer end is the best way to know how to defend the particular version of cloud being used.
Step Two: Ensure Security Compliance
For the next step you need to ensure that your security practices, both current and the practices to be utilised in the cloud, are compliant with all current conditions. Regulations like the GDPR exist to ensure data is protected and many of these regulations show a distinct difference between on-premise and off-premise data protection. Effective governance, risk and compliance processes need to exist and be put in place to ensure that organisations will remain compliant after the move.
Step Three: Review of the Architecture
After compliance is assured, it is important that enterprises undertake a total review of their security architecture and perform due diligence across the applications being sent over to the cloud. Users need to understand the cloud and also what they are sending to it. Some queries to consider –
Do these applications really need to be in the cloud or would they be more beneficial on-premise? Are the applications planned to be sent over designed to work within the cloud or will this approach create more issues? Questions like these need to be answered before any kind of transfer takes place to ensure the transition goes smoothly and that time is managed effectively and efficiently.
Step Four: Retain Your Existing Cybersecurity
The final step is to ensure that all the cybersecurity practices already in place within the organisation’s on-premise solutions can work in the cloud. This can range from firewalls to packet brokers. Most important though, you need to ensure that security information and event management (SIEM) software can be integrated into your cloud servers. SIEM tools allow for a holistic view of the security events across multiple devices, applications and activities throughout the business. Having an all-encompassing view of security-related activity for both the on-site and off-site environments provides security operations teams with a deeper and more accurate knowledge base from which to observe, interpret and react to possible cyber threats.
Action delivers results
These steps need action taken before any kind of move can take place or businesses run the risk of suffering an attack on the cloud during its most vulnerable period. Being prepared in advance helps to lessen the stress during the move and makes it easier to solve a problem if it arises. Cyber attacks don’t end when the migration is over though. Businesses need to continue to be prepared and defend their internal and external infrastructures even when the new system is in place. Thankfully, it does not need to be as stressful as potentially anticipated when these steps are followed to make the transition to the cloud a smooth one.
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