Are you moving to the cloud but perplexed by it? Here’s all you need to know about it.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into what moving to the cloud means, the tips for securing data in the cloud, and what is required to create a cloud security strategy.
First, let’s learn about the pros of moving your business to the cloud.
Advantages of Cloud Migration
1. Low Infrastructure Costs
Companies spend a hefty amount in in-house data storage, which includes the costs of buying new servers as well as installing them. Either their IT team performs the installation, or they pay a vendor to do it. They also need to ensure that the equipment is maintained correctly and backed up regularly.
If their IT team makes a mistake, there’s no one to turn to for support. With cloud services, the hassle associated with maintaining in-house systems goes away as organizations can seek support from their service providers. As the cost of infrastructure is included in the subscription plan and divided among the service provider’s clients, companies save money. As per the reports of the Global Cloud Services Market, organizations that employ cloud services save more than 35% on their operating costs every year.
2. Consolidated Data
With cloud storage, data is distributed among several data centers. When your data is stored in the cloud, you know exactly where your data is at any given time.
3. Defense Against Disaster
One of the significant advantages of data storage in the cloud is no single point of failure. Your data is backed up to numerous servers, so even if one of them fails, your information remains safe and secure.
4. Enhanced Collaboration
Cloud computing allows employees to work in real-time, providing an efficient way for employees to collaborate on projects. This allows employees to view and make changes in documents in real-time.
5. Increased Automation
A major aspect of maintaining in-house data storage is performing backups on a regular basis. While IT teams take time from their busy schedules for the backups and schedule them accordingly, cloud computing services automate these routine backups, enabling IT teams to get back to the work that drives their company’s business forward.
6. More Space
Cloud computing frees up your office for more workspace or conveniences while eliminating the need to plan for future expansion for equipment. With the cloud, you do not have to worry about the installation of high voltage lines, backup generators, or special HVAC systems.
7. Improved Governance, Risk and Compliance Processes
Regulations that administer diverse data are complex to understand and difficult to follow. When it comes to ensuring compliance, a cloud storage service provider simplifies the process. A cloud service provider abides by all the regulations to operate in full compliance, so you don’t have to worry about violating the laws.
The pros of cloud migration are hard to ignore, but there are certain cons of transitioning to the cloud as well. Let’s find out!
Disadvantages of Cloud Migration
1. Restricted Control
As the cloud infrastructure is owned and managed by the service provider, organizations may be concerned about not having enough control over the service. This is where the provider’s end-user license agreement (EULA) comes in. EULA states the restrictions service provider can put on your utilization of the deployment. When a service provider offers you a service level agreement (SLA), it helps you to understand what you can and can’t do with the service.
2. Vendor Lock-In
One of the disadvantages of cloud services can be disparity with vendors. Organizations might face challenges while migrating their business to a different vendor with a different platform. If cloud migration isn’t handled correctly, data can be exposed to vulnerability. Make sure your cloud service provider has the skill to safely move your data between different vendors.
3. Slower Backups and Restores
As moving data to the cloud involves considerable communication latency, backups take a longer time. If you want to restore a complete server, it might take longer.
4. Dependence on Internet
Cloud computing is completely dependent on the Internet. If you have no Internet connection, you won’t be able to access the data stored in the cloud.
Though there are different advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, there are several sets of security challenges when it comes to cloud migration. Let’s learn the tips on how you can secure your cloud data.
Tips for Securing Data in the Cloud
1. Back-Up Data Locally
You should always have a backup for your data. You can create electronic copies of your data so that you can access them if the original file is lost or corrupted.
Even if you have data stored in the cloud, backing up your data in an external storage drive or device is a good practice. This allows you to access the data when you have no Internet connection.
2. Avoid Storing Sensitive Data
There’s nothing as real privacy on the Internet, so avoid storing sensitive data like credit card numbers or national identification numbers in the cloud. It is recommended to save only those files in the cloud, which you need to access frequently.
3. Employ Cloud Services that Encrypt Your Data
Look for cloud service providers that offer local encryption for your data. Encryption provides an additional layer of security as decryption is required before you are granted access to the data.
4. Use Two-Step Verification
Use two-step verification to secure your data from unauthorized access. Two-step verification puts an additional barrier between your business and hackers.
5. Be Cautious of Your Online Behavior
The security of your cloud data also depends on what you do online. Using open and unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots to log in to your cloud account can expose you to cyberattacks.
6. Protect Your System with Antivirus Software
Protect your system with proper antivirus software. Failing to do so can expose you to malware, leading to cyberattacks.
What is Required to Create a Firm Cloud Security Strategy
In order to have a robust cloud security strategy in place, you should know what entails to create a cloud security strategy. Let’s find out!
Your approach toward cloud security should be from a risk management perspective.
Find out what other organizations are doing for their cloud security strategy.
Create awareness around security risks by educating your employees, and also perform cybersecurity risk assessments, cybersecurity audits, and network security audits.
Get your company’s cloud security policy and practices of all cloud service providers regularly checked by external cloud security consultants.
Determine cloud security policies for patch management and change management, and ensure that those are understood by your service management staff and cloud service provider.
Assess your backup and disaster recovery systems on a regular basis.
Stay abreast of the latest security breaches and their causes.
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