Avoid These Risks to Achieve Seamless Cloud Migration
Thinking of moving the cloud? You’ll find so many benefits, but also risks. Find out the cloud migration risks to look out for and how to manage them effectively.
The benefits of migrating to the cloud are many. Reduce the costs of maintaining physical servers on-site. Access more advanced technologies faster. Have built-in security and monitoring as part of the cloud package. But for every benefit, you also have cloud migration risks. Many of these risks are costly–lost data, lost access, expensive downtime, industry penalties.
Mitigating these risks strategically will increase the tremendous upside of the cloud for your business. Let’s explore those risks and how to avoid them.
1. Lack of Control
You understand the importance of delegation. Cloud migration is a form of technology delegation. And as with delegation to your next in command, you face risks that others won’t hold themselves to the same standards to which you hold yourself.
2. API Vulnerabilities
Cloud-based services often require user-interfaces, called API. These make the data and tools on the cloud available to the end-user (your employee) in a useful way. But it doesn’t take advanced tools for someone to identify the URL for each API as well as parameters it’s expecting. If you don’t have a zero-trust monitoring system, this is a significant vulnerability.
3. You Don’t Know Your Neighbors
In a nutshell, a cloud is a shared space. That shared space could be like a public park. Anyone may enter. Or it could be an exclusive club. One of your neighbors sharing the same cloud could manipulate their access to infiltrate your little swath of the cloud, accessing your data.
4. Too Much Privilege
Giving employees broader and deeper access to the cloud than needed opens you up for disaster. With very little work, hackers can target a wide array of employees with phishing scam emails to see who takes the bait. The more access each employee has, the greater the damage.
This goes hand-in-hand with number five.
5. Malicious Insiders
Thieves bribed AT&T employees to unlock phones so that they could be sold on the black market without carrier restrictions. This represents a major loss for the company.
Employees with too much access can delete or corrupt data. They can steal it. They may be bribed by a network of criminals to harm for profit.
6. Lost Data
It could happen because of ransomware, file corruption, or a major disaster in the city where the cloud is housed. The cloud isn’t impervious.
7. Failure to Research
Some cloud services are HIPAA compliant. Some meet strict SOC standards for the financial industry. Others do not have the same rules. They may say they’re secure, but buyer beware. Obviously, you need to apply a different level of security to a cloud where you store vacation pics and one where you store customer and other data.
We’ve only scratched the surface. Each business will face its own set of risks. Risk management dictates that you assess these and mitigate them.
Avoiding Cloud Migration Risks
While each situation is unique, we recommend necessary precautions that will apply to almost everyone.
- Don’t Rush Migration – Take your time. Establish a clear partitioning structure that should be both vertical (common knowledge to top secret) and horizontal (across departments). Map out who needs access to what.
- Work on a Less-Then-More Model – Always give the least privilege first. If someone claims to need more access, they need to make a case for that, get sign off from those who manage them, etc. Clearly define this process.
- Automate Database Backup – This can reduce downtime and data loss to maintain business continuity.
- Monitor What’s Going To/From Cloud – This may include deploying machine learning technology that can be taught to identify a possible irregularity. In the case of AT&T, this kind of software might have determined that a handful of employees were unlocking large numbers of phones.
- Stay Up-To-Date – Set up systems to ensure patches are installed quickly and employees are educated about potential risks
- Have the Right Expertise – Cloud migration is complex. Your cloud provider may make it easy to migrate. But there’s a lot more to consider.
Before you migrate to the cloud, speak with the experts at Palindrome Consulting. We’re here to help. Let’s talk.