#HowTo: Secure Your Cloud Migration

Organizations are rapidly deploying cloud services to streamline operations and boost productivity, but a dangerous side effect is the growing exposure to risk from data being sprawled across countless apps. As digital transformation efforts accelerate, organizations need to take more proactive steps to secure their move to the cloud.

Traditionally, everything resided within a physical network perimeter, which means you had full visibility and control over how your data was handled and distributed. However, this is no longer the case as business operations are increasingly occurring over the internet with endpoints and networks you don’t manage. In fact, 96% of organizations have already moved at least some of their assets to the cloud, according to the Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report

There are four steps that you need to take to strengthen your organization’s security posture amid your cloud migration: secure data and app access, prevent data loss, enforce consistent policies and IT infrastructure modernization. 

Step 1: Ensure Seamless Access to Your Apps and Data

Migrating to the cloud means that employees, contractors and partners can now access your assets from anywhere, using any device. This shift requires extra measures to ensure authorized users are seamlessly connected to what they need without adding new risks.

To succeed, security teams need full visibility into user behaviors, their endpoints, the apps they use, the types of data they want to access and how it is all handled. By applying artificial intelligence and machine learning, a smart platform can automatically determine the appropriate access that protects data while enabling productivity. 

Step 2: Efficiently Protect Your Data

Another critical step is to protect against data loss. This process involves understanding your data – such as its sensitivity and how it is being handled by users and apps – as well as the ability to have precise controls over its path, both at rest and in transit. 

A critical part of productivity now involves easy access to resources from anywhere. This means you cannot simply rely on binary allow-deny policies. A robust platform should be able to redact keywords, apply watermarks or encrypt data for continuous protection, even when the data is distributed offline.

Step 3: Enforce Policies that Protect Against Emerging Cloud Threats

Cloud adoption and the universal use of BYOD make it important to implement the right security and data protection policies. This is largely because attackers use cloud apps as a pretext in their phishing attacks, which can then compromise accounts or distribute malware. 

To secure against these threats, you need to leverage the power of the cloud, with updated crowdsourced data and machine learning, to detect malware and phishing attacks in real-time.

Step 4: Modernize Your Legacy IT Infrastructure 

The burden of security management has grown over time, with an accumulation of point products operating in silos. For context, a typical organization today depends on 76 isolated tools on average to provide enterprise security, according to findings by Panaseer

Relying on such a patchwork of solutions results in visibility gaps and ballooned operational costs. Modernizing your IT infrastructure can streamline security detection and response while reducing the need to hire additional staff to manage your security operations. 

Consolidating and integrating capabilities through a unified platform enables you to meet cloud security requirements while easing the burden on your team.

A Platform Approach is Required to Secure a Cloud Migration

While the cloud streamlines productivity and collaboration, it complicates your infrastructure and introduces new risks. An integrated security platform reduces the complexity of implementing, configuring, updating and managing multiple security tools across separate infrastructures. It also removes the uncertainty stemming from multiple disjointed alerts because all that information is shared and correlated within one cohesive platform. 

By taking those four steps outlined above, you can retain full control over your data while enabling intelligent enforcement of security policies to protect company data and comply with all regulatory requirements. To protect your most valuable assets, you need all your security capabilities to come together – including dynamic access, efficient data protection and streamlined policy enforcement. To do so, you need to modernize your IT infrastructure and consolidate your disparate products into a single platform.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?