In 2020, the majority of businesses have at least some of their data and processes hosted on cloud storage. While this has created new opportunities for efficiency, speed, and the amount of data that can be stored, it’s not without its challenges. Because cloud storage platforms essentially require businesses to hand data to a third party for management and storage, the primary risk is that of unauthorised data access. Other risks include the potential of outages (both planned and unplanned), dependence on network connectivity, and scalability.
While these cyber security threats are cause for constant vigilance, they should not be cause for alarm. Businesses considering cloud migration can effectively manage their security by following a simple cloud migration strategy that puts safety first. To explain the four elements of this strategy, we’ve teamed up with the cyber security experts at ESET. From good password hygiene to staff training, read on to learn their top 4 tips for cloud migration for small businesses and big corporations alike.
Develop an incident response plan
One of the most important cloud security planning considerations is how you will respond to a data breach in the event that one arises. Before making the decision to use cloud storage for business, consider the IT security infrastructure you currently have available. Is it capable of handling a data breach threat? If not, can this be resolved with additional resources or software?
If so, gather all relevant stakeholders (for example management staff, IT experts, and anyone who will be involved in cloud storage maintenance) and devise an incident response plan that, as a minimum:
- Identifies key assets, systems, and data that must be protected and why
- Plans for major incident types such as ransomware or DDOS attacks
- Outlines key roles and responsibilities of relevant staff and stakeholders
- Establishes a system of post-incident review and reporting
- Establishes a procedure for regularly reviewing and testing the plan
Set your system up correctly
Cloud migration architecture, or the way in which your cloud data storage is set up, can have a huge impact on the security of your data. Always get a trusted professional to set up your new database and ensure that it is configured correctly. Where possible, choose a cyber security professional who can monitor your systems on an ongoing basis and alert you of potential cyber security threats as they arise.
While you’re setting up server migration to the cloud, it’s also a good idea to consider encrypting your data for maximum protection. Speaking to Forbes in March 2020, Eric Bednash, the CEO of cyber security company RackTop, emphasised the importance of security measures such as encryption, which are “embedded… in data storage systems”, as a way to build a multi-layered cyber security defence system. In short: Even if a third party or unauthorised user were to access encrypted data on a cloud server, they wouldn’t be able to use or view this data in any meaningful way.
Enforce strong security measures
Good password hygiene remains a key consideration in 2020, particularly for businesses concerned with cloud infrastructure security. In March 2020, Security Brief Australia reported that weak passwords – including the use of default passwords set by the manufacturer – remain a major cause of cyber attacks on Internet of Things (IoT) devices. For this reason, it’s imperative that businesses include strong password creation and management in their cloud migration strategy.
In addition to encouraging staff members to create unique, strong passwords that can be easily remembered, consider pairing these with a password manager that can safely store login credentials. Where possible, also implement multi-factor authentication that requires users to verify their identity before receiving access to data.
Educate your staff
Staff buy-in is a critical component of any cyber security strategy, and can ultimately make the difference between a secure system and one that is vulnerable to breach. Educate your remote workforce on the importance of constant vigilance and password hygiene, and endeavour to keep them up to date on cyber security threats.
In particular, make staff aware of the ongoing risk of ransomware and phishing attacks, the latter of which continue to plague businesses around the world. Teaching your staff how to create strong passwords and identify email phishing scams can support your cyber security strategy and ensure it’s upheld as fully as possible.
Good planning is the core of every cloud migration strategy
Whether you’re a small to medium enterprise (SME) or large corporation, the general cloud migration considerations remain the same. Proper set up, strong security measures, and staff buy-in should be your key concerns, in addition to the development of an incident response plan should things go awry.
For best results, pair this strategy with a cyber security solution like ESET Cloud Administrator or ESET Full Disk Encryption. To learn more about these software solutions and which is right for you, contact ESET today!