how-to-mitigate-the-risk-of-losing-critical-data-in-the-cloud

How to Mitigate

The Risk of Losing Critical Data in the Cloud

How to Mitigate the Risk of Losing Critical Data in the Cloud

The cloud offers a lot of benefits – however, many organizations are apprehensive about their ability to protect and secure data in the cloud. In the past, organizations had IT teams with decades of experience in protecting and backing up data in on-premise environments – and now, with the introduction of the cloud, the intellectual capital of these organizations is being tested.

This has created concern about cloud security in 9 out of 10 cybersecurity professionals, with 67 percent worrying about data loss and leakage and 61 percent considering threats to data privacy. This widespread concern has moved data protection and backup to the forefront of conversations about the cloud.

Companies have a responsibility for securing their cloud data which requires in-depth knowledge of different cloud security requirements. For example, data in motion requires a different security procedure than data at rest. At the same time, different providers have different shared responsibility models - so an AWS deployment will have different security requirements than an Azure deployment. Then, all of this data needs to be backed up in another secure location.

The sheer complexity of cloud solutions has left organizations craving the peace of mind that comes with knowing where their data is being stored, who is accessing it, and how they are using it. The best way to assuage these concerns is to take them into account from the beginning of the cloud migration process. Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

Hit Two Birds with One Stone – Migrate and Protect Data in Tandem

Taking the right steps to protect data in the cloud begins with a proper migration process. While it is possible to enact cloud security measures post-migration, organizations will find that it’s much simpler to secure, protect, and back up data as it is migrated. However, this requires a carefully planned migration strategy.

Once they begin migrating and protecting certain data sets, organizations may even find that it’s best to fully modernize their IT environment. A modern, cloud-enabled environment helps accomplish a myriad of goals, like more computing power, more bandwidth, better connectivity, advanced virtualization, real-time processing, and better data storage choices. This translates into a wide range of benefits, such as improving productivity, encouraging collaboration, optimizing the supply chain – and of course, further securing the entire IT environment.

You read that right – improved security is one of the most beneficial features of the cloud. In fact, half of all companies say their data security noticeably improved after they moved to a public cloud solution. However, you might be concerned about being in the other half of companies who did not experience any clear security benefits from migrating to the cloud. Thankfully, there’s a simple way to circumvent this threat – an informed, measured cloud transition that regularly backs up cloud data.

The Right Way to Migrate & Secure Cloud Data

When you’re migrating data to the cloud, it’s important to ensure the transition plan is thorough. Every step will matter when it comes to creating the most secure environment possible – the age-old logic that you’re only as strong as your weakest link applies here. For the best results when protecting your cloud data, consider the below key steps – and don’t forget to back up your data!

  • Determine Goals – What are your current cloud business goals, and what goals will you set in the immediate future? When goal-setting, make sure that IT and C-Level management are working closely so business requirements and technical capabilities are fully understood.
  • Determine a Budget – If you’re not careful, cloud consumption costs can spiral out of control. Set a budget for a short period of time and then optimize costs as your deployments expand. Check on the status of your budget at least every two weeks. Be sure to account for data that will be backed up.
  • Evaluate IT Infrastructure – The technical requirements of a cloud migration depend on the current state of your IT structure, mixed with future IT goals. For example, it’s easy to migrate virtual machines but more difficult to migrate and back up swaths of proprietary software or applications that must run on legacy hardware.
  • Consider Workloads – Not all applications and workloads will be immediately suitable for the cloud. Make a list of what can be transferred and backed up immediately and what needs to be postponed. Then, outline the necessary steps to make the postponed applications migration ready.
  • Assess Cloud Providers – Most high-profile cloud providers have similar offerings but with slight differences. Make sure that the one you choose meets your organization’s security and compliance guidelines while providing competitive services. If your provider falls short in some areas, you might want to consider a multi-cloud solution.
  • Examine the Shared Responsibility Model – If you are especially concerned with data security and protection, evaluate the shared responsibility model for your chosen cloud providers. This will outline what your organization must protect and what the cloud provider will protect. Then, make sure you have the expertise required to protect the areas your organization is responsible for.
  • Create a Proof of Concept – Test your cloud strategy and security parameters by migrating a small piece of your IT infrastructure. Try backing up data for a couple of applications first and see if there are any issues. If not, use that success to justify backing up and moving more data. This will help your IT department become more comfortable with the migration process.
  • Set Governance Policies – It’s important to set a legal and organizational framework that keeps security top-of-mind when backing up and leveraging cloud data. Outline these procedures and ensure that key stakeholders across your organization have a seat at the table when designing these policies.
  • Draft a Complete Cloud Strategy – Now, bring all of these practices together in a single strategy, ensuring that every step is followed for each portion of your cloud migration.

If all of these steps seem overwhelming to your IT team, it’s important to know that they don’t have to manage the entire cloud migration on their own. At SoftwareONE, our cloud experts will find the best ways to fortify your cloud environment, including regular cloud backups. At the same time, we will ensure that your cloud processes run as smoothly as possible. By creating a detailed cloud migration strategy with data protection front-and-center, your organization can protect against threats and secure the breadth of your network.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the best way to secure the data, processes, and applications in the cloud, start at the beginning. However, migrating and backing up cloud assets can be a bit daunting – for that reason, it’s best to rely on a trusted advisor that has helped many other organizations with their cloud transition. At SoftwareONE, our cloud experts can provide a variety of services that will help you with every step of your cloud transition, with special expertise in managing cloud backups. With the right guidance, your plan to protect data can evolve into a future-proof modern IT environment.

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Author

SoftwareONE contact

Mathew Showers

Global Best Practice Manager - Technology Services

Data Backup, BackupSimple

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