migrating your data to the cloud

The Risks of Migrating Business Critical Data to the Cloud, and How to Protect Yourself

In Cloud by Gil ArtmooreLeave a Comment

migrating your data to the cloud

There are many reasons companies are increasingly migrating their data to the cloud. Some want to decrease the size of their data centers, while others want to ensure their staff becomes more efficient. In addition, utilizing the cloud’s advantages can give many businesses a digital edge. For example, cloud computing usage can drive down IT costs while allowing a company to become more responsive to customer needs.

Cloud migration includes moving your company’s infrastructure, resources, and data from their on-premises location into the virtual cloud. The benefits of cloud computing are many from networking to storage – and all of this is flexible towards scale requirements, while being on demand.

Once your organization executes the migration to the cloud, it can immediately transform the way your business operates. For instance, it can free up valuable resources and time from need to hire fewer IT personnel to having access to your data anywhere with an Internet connection. As a result, migrating your data to the cloud provides an instant backup and recovery solution in the event of an unexpected disaster. There isn’t any doubt that knowledge, and data, are your company’s currency.

Furthermore, your organization can get more done with less downtime. For all of these advantages, there are also risks to migrating your data to the cloud. Keep reading to learn more about the cons, and how you can secure your company’s valuable data.

Failure to Meet Compliance Requirements

Very few organizations understand how various policies can affect cloud services. Moreover, there are many small companies without access to dedicated legal counsel. So, it can become a complex task trying to determine if they are in compliance with the GDPR. In fact, some companies rely on their cloud hosting provider to sort out the compliance issues for them.

For instance, regulations such as HIPPA requires companies to maintain a specific level of privacy and security for client information. As you can see, it is critical to understand whether your cloud service provider adheres to your company’s compliance requirements.

Loss of Sensitive Data

To be fair, cloud service providers continue to improve their security controls across the board. There isn’t any question that cyber security is a serious business, and cloud service providers must make security a priority if they wish to maintain both their reputation and their business. Nonetheless, ransomware attacks have doubled every year – and many businesses have become increasingly vulnerable.

Then, there is also the threat of human error accidentally deleting your company’s data. What to do? To prevent against data loss, make sure your cloud service provider has an option for data backup, restoration, and failover. On your end, backup all your important data on disks or with another cloud service provider.

Insider Threats

Another risk, of migrating your data to the cloud, comes in the form of insider attacks. This can include unexpected data loss from theft by employees of your cloud service provider. Yet, it can also be unintentional, such as an employee accidentally sharing your files with confidential information. While it seems this is a rare scenario, around 94 percent of all companies are victims of a minimum of one insider attack per month.

To illustrate, when an employee leaves for a competing company, they may download your data from a cloud application. To reduce this risk, improve your access controls by utilizing multi-factor authentication. Also, limit the number of users allowed to access your most sensitive data.

Data Breach

One of the most common threats to migrating your data to the cloud are data breaches. If you read technology news, it seems there is a new data breach every day. These are risks your company can’t afford to take. Yet, technology breaches have become a billion-dollar industry for cybercriminals who work in the sale and trade of your data.

Even companies as large as Amazon have had their cloud servers hacked when criminals found unsecure loopholes in their system. To help to mitigate this risk, verify every security feature offered by your cloud service provider. Make sure your cloud host has a security track record of success.

Set Boundaries

Even if your company decides to partner with a well-known cloud host, that does not mean your data will not incur any risks. In fact, there are many security risks that just aren’t known by your cloud hosting provider. You see, your cloud provider is main responsible for network and operational security.

For instance, BYOD has been an issue for many companies. Employees don’t often take the right security measures in terms of downloading and accessing your company data. And, their devices can be hacked or stolen by third parties. In this scenario, knowledge is power.

If a customer tends to misuse the data, that is out of the control of your cloud provider. So, delegate relevant cloud security procedures to credentialed personnel within your organization. Only allow trained employees access to data storage configuration and vital administrative functions.

In Conclusion

While there are many obvious benefits of migrating your data to the cloud from cost savings, to effective resource allocation, to scalability, and convenient access – there are also many risks that deserve your attention. Always make it a priority to understand how your cloud service provider protects your data, and have a backup plan anyway.

Gil Artmoore has spent the past decade working various roles in IT departments for many businesses, small and large. Recently, he started writing out the things he’s learned, experienced, and witnessed in the small business/tech world during his career. He is eager to share his insights with the rest of the world.

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