5 Tips for a Secure Cloud Migration

Organizations must now take a security-first approach and deploy a consistent security framework that spans the entire cloud infrastructure.

With its resiliency, scalability, flexibility and speed, and other operational efficiencies, the public cloud has more than proven itself. Hybrid, multi-cloud, and edge environments are now growing, setting the stage for new distributed cloud models that drive greater business agility for today’s organizations.

In fact, moving workloads to the cloud is the preferred way forward for most companies. According to a recent Check Point Cloud Security report, 35% of organizations have more than 50% of their workloads in the cloud, with 29% stating that they anticipate moving up to 75% in the next 12–18 months.¹

Yet, most cloud migrations are notoriously complex, leading many organizations to make security an afterthought. The result? An increasing number of security incidents that can be traced to misconfigured cloud resources. Taking a security-first approach and building security in at the outset should be a definite priority.

5 Tips for a Successful and Secure Cloud Migration

Here are some tips to help ensure that your migration goes smoothly:

  1. Assemble the right team — Make sure that anyone impacted by a migration (decision-makers, IT specialists, security managers, legal advisors, etc.) has a place at the table. If the IT team lacks the needed skills for a secure migration, consider consulting external experts.
  2. Build a migration plan — Migrations are notoriously complex, making careful planning essential. A solid plan addresses the migration strategy, cloud type, which apps and data will be moved, how and when data will be moved, who will be involved, and how risks will be managed. Assessing the value of legacy apps and equipment is crucial to this process.
  3. Understand the shared responsibility model — Cloud service providers (CSPs) are typically responsible for infrastructure security, while you are almost always responsible for securing your account, identities, devices/endpoints, and data — regardless of cloud deployment type.

    Make sure to go over the agreement thoroughly with your CSP to understand your shared responsibilities — and by all means, work with a managed security service provider (MSSP) who can help you fill in the gaps. One Check Point Cloud Security survey indicated that 54% believe that cloud security from an independent security vendor is better than what is provided by CSPs.¹
  4. Encrypt all data — Encrypt data both at rest and in flight using secure protocols, such as HTTPS, to ensure security on-premises and in the cloud. Using a zero-trust framework from the start, for example, ensures that security is built in, not tacked on later.
  5. Keep communication flowing — Clearly discuss goals, requirements, and issues throughout the process with migration team members to minimize downstream risks and maximize success.

Enable These Must-Have Cloud Security Tools

Finally, while a zero-trust approach can help protect your network assets, there are other solutions that can enable cloud security, depending on your environment.

Secure access service edge (SASE) — At a very high level, network access services combine with security services, enabling users to work from any location using any device. In other words, you get the same hardened security while working away from the office as you would have in the office. Pay-as-you-go SASE can be easily scaled on demand, making it ideal for fast-changing business conditions.

Cloud access security broker (CASB) — According to Gartner, CASBs are “placed between cloud service consumers and cloud service providers to combine and interject enterprise security policies as the cloud-based resources are accessed.”² CASBs essentially wrap a security sleeve around cloud resources, ensuring you have complete control over all cloud services, including “shadow” cloud apps. It includes things like single sign-on (SSO), authentication, authorization, credential mapping, and other configurations to make sure that cloud resources are in compliance and have the appropriate security.

Security orchestration and automated response (SOAR) — These solutions combine threat intelligence management with incident response, orchestration, and automation all on a single platform. Gartner says that SOAR tools can also be used to document and implement processes (aka playbooks, workflows and processes); support security incident management; and apply machine-based assistance to human security analysts and operators.

Your business is too important to let security fall by the wayside in a cloud migration. Taking a security-first approach and building security in at the outset can enable a successful migration.

We Can Help

TD SYNNEX has built a Cloud Security Maturity Assessment (CSMA) tool to help identify your customers’ areas for improvement, based on their unique cloud security risks. This assessment provides a comprehensive diagnostic summary with a customized action plan to strategize next steps to improve their cloud security. A CSMA empowers your customers to proactively address vulnerabilities and protect their business-critical systems.

Reach out to our team to learn more at MSPsecurity@techdata.com.

[1.] Check Point. Top Trends in Cloud Security. 2022.
[2.] Gartner Glossary. Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs). March 30, 2022.

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