What Are The Security Risks Of Migrating To Cloud?

Cloud migration refers to the process of moving digital assets, such as data, applications, and IT processes, from on-premise infrastructure or another cloud environment to a cloud computing platform. This transition is driven by various factors, including cost efficiency, scalability, accessibility, stability, and the desire to leverage advanced cloud services.

The migration involves transferring and reconfiguring existing systems and data to operate within the cloud infrastructure. This may include moving virtual machines, databases, applications, and other business components to cloud-based servers and services.

Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud

Cloud migration offers several potential benefits, such as improved flexibility, scalability, and cost savings. It allows organizations to access computing resources on-demand, enabling them to scale their operations up or down based on fluctuating needs, without additional capital investments. It is a cost- effective way of allowing companies to choose from a software suite instead of purchasing programs one by one. 

Additionally, cloud providers typically handle infrastructure maintenance and updates, relieving organizations of some operational burdens.

Migration does, however, present certain security risks.

What are these security risks and how can we mitigate them?

The Security Risks of Migrating To Cloud

Successfully moving to the cloud requires careful planning as it is susceptible to security threats. When data is moved during migration, it becomes vulnerable to potential attacks. Additionally, at different stages of a migration project, attackers might gain access to unprotected development, testing, or production environments.

To strengthen your cloud migration strategy, it is crucial to foresee and address the following potential threats in advance:

1. Data Loss

During the transfer of substantial company data from one location to another, there is always a potential risk of some information being lost. However, cloud migration introduces additional challenges, where technical issues or human error can contribute to data loss, corruption, or incomplete transfers.

2. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) vulnerabilities

APIs act as communication channels between environments. They’re like bridges for data to move around, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals. This risk increases when open-source software is widely used, or when APIs lack proper authentication, leaving your company’s data wide open to anyone on the internet.

To make your cloud migration safer, it’s crucial to ensure that APIs stay secure at every step. This means putting in strong measures to confirm and protect these communication channels. Doing so helps keep unauthorized access at bay and safeguards your data from potential breaches.

3. Misconfiguration

Misconfiguration is one of the major concerns when it comes to Cloud migration due to the complexity of multi-cloud settings and the difficulty of manually identifying and correcting errors. This happens when the settings, permissions, or access controls aren’t set up correctly or are just kept at their default values. This might not sound like a big deal, but it can reveal sensitive information, give too much power to the wrong people, or unintentionally create security holes. It’s like leaving the front door unlocked.

Implementing effective security measures is crucial, involving the restriction of unnecessary ports and the strict limitation of access to authorized personnel only. This ensures a strong defense against potential risks arising from misconfigurations during cloud migration.

4. Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that hackers use to lock a company’s computer systems, demanding payment—usually in cryptocurrency—to unlock them. Even though this threat has typically targeted regular computer storage, it can also impact cloud storage. If an attack occurs, it can lead to significant losses in both data and finances for a company.

To defend against this threat, the first step is to assess how likely your company is to be a target for such an attack. Once you have this understanding, you can establish strong defenses to keep your computer systems secure and be well-prepared to handle any potential ransomware issues.

5. Compliance Requirements

When moving to the cloud, new security needs arise. It’s crucial for companies to establish measures ensuring compliance, not just during the migration but also afterward. Neglecting this responsibility could lead to substantial fines and severe harm to a company’s reputation in the event of an unfortunate security incident. Therefore, maintaining a strong focus on meeting these security requirements is essential for a successful and secure transition to the cloud.

6. Insider Threats

Apart from external threats like ransomware attacks, there are also security risks that originate within your company. Some of these stem from individuals trying to profit from malicious activities. However, equally common is the internal security threat resulting from simple human error during the data migration process.

Quite understandably, many employees may not be up-to-date on the latest security measures to safeguard cloud data. This lack of awareness can lead to common mistakes, such as using weak passwords and neglecting encryption. These errors create easy entry points for cybercriminals into your system. To address this, it’s crucial to enhance internal awareness and training on security measures, minimizing the potential impact of human errors on your company’s cybersecurity.

Shifting your company’s operations to the cloud brings substantial advantages, such as increased productivity and cost savings. While this transition comes with some security risks, the key is understanding these risks to take the necessary steps in protecting your valuable data and system integrity. 

To learn more about conducting a safe and secure migration to the cloud, book a FREE 30-minute call with us, so we can guide you and help ensure a smooth and secure cloud migration journey!