The Importance of Data Security During Cloud Migration
Cloud Migration presents many possible vulnerabilities to data security. How can you keep your organization’s sensitive data secure during the transition to the cloud?
Cloud migration data security is perhaps more relevant today than ever before, and that trend looks to continue. There are many reasons to make the move towards cloud storage, but there are also potential risks along the way.
Storing data on the cloud is no longer a novelty but instead, it is now the standard for many businesses. It is estimated that 61% of businesses migrated their data to the cloud in 2020. If your business is among that majority or intends to migrate to the cloud, follow the below tips to maintain data security.
Data Security & Cloud Migration
One of the greatest benefits of cloud-based data centers is that your organization’s data is held securely off-premises, often in the hands of reputable vendors with a solid track record for data security and top-level encryption. Moving to the cloud, therefore, increases data security since cloud server vendors will be tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding the data of their clients.
Nevertheless, the process of migrating data does open up the possibility of key risks and vulnerabilities. Data can be breached en-route, either physically by obtaining discarded IT assets or over the network through a cyber-attack. For these reasons, it is important to have a robust strategy in place for mitigating the cybersecurity risks during cloud migration.
Take Stock of Your IT Assets
The first step during a cloud migration is to plan carefully. An integral part of the planning process is the listing of all relevant IT assets in the data center. If the inventory list is out of date, now is the time to update it since many or all of the assets will be decommissioned, and doing so later will prove difficult.
Go over every IT asset, evaluate its condition, note its remaining usable lifespan, whether or not it contains sensitive data – and if so, how it will be transferred and/or destroyed – and how the asset will be disposed of, e.g. Hard Drive Disposal, wiping, recycling, refurbishing, redeployment, or reuse within the organization.
When going through Data Center Decommissioning, take advantage of the opportunity to go over all company IT assets. Many Remote IT Assets such as laptops and mobile phones used by employees working from home may need to be collected, sorted, or redeployed.
Ongoing Regulatory Compliance
Likely, your organization is already aware of the regulatory frameworks for data protection that have been established here in the United States as well as worldwide. Nevertheless, compliance is necessary during cloud migration, and any potential data security risks during the transition process should be considered and listed, and a data protection officer or key stakeholder within the organization should be responsible for monitoring and evaluating compliance throughout the process.
For example, financial data and records must be well-kept in the wake of the Enron scandal in 2001. In the United States, this was established with the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. In the event of an audit, failure to provide accurate and relevant documents when asked can lead to heavy penalties.
For businesses that operate commercially within the European Union, including US-based companies that operate in any commercial capacity with customers in the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies. With fines of up to €10 million (nearly $12 million USD) or up to 2% of the firm’s annual revenue for a data breach, it is imperative that you maintain compliance with the GDPR for cloud migration data security.
Other regulations such as HIPAA or the California Consumer Privacy Act may apply to your organization, depending on sector or location, respectively.
Maintain Data Security During Cloud Migration
Data in transit is more vulnerable than data at rest, which emphasizes the need for robust cloud migration data security strategies. During data transfers, always ensure that there are strong network protocols in place by the IT department to protect against data breaches from outside the organization.
Furthermore, encryption methods for data transfers protect data in motion and greatly mitigate the chances of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands. Network encryption should be in place within your organization regardless, but it is critical during cloud migration for data security.
Lastly, large-scale cloud migration data security concerns can often be allayed with the assistance of the cloud service vendor. Many offer bespoke, secure cloud migration data security concierge services whereby data media is sent to the cloud vendor’s data center with secure logistics.
Ensure Sensitive Data is Securely Destroyed
Transferring data to the cloud is the desired result, but when evaluating risks of cloud migration data security, it doesn’t end there. The old hard drives, data servers, or any other media containing sensitive data must be processed thoroughly and securely. Data Destruction services such as hard drive degaussing or hard drive shredding ensure that all data is made irretrievable, thus eliminating a major source of data breach to the organization.
Choose Wisetek for Secure ITAD Services
Transitioning to cloud servers can be a great way to benefit the environment and reduce the IT budget, but it comes with many risks. Cloud migration data security requires careful planning and execution, which is a Data Center Service that we provide at Wisetek.
We are an industry-leading provider of professional, secure IT Asset Disposition services in the United States with a global presence.
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