Taking the leap from an on-site database to cloud storage can be intimidating. There are so many factors to juggle: how your data will be protected during and after the move, how your company will manage the transition, how to maintain control over your data even though it’s no longer hosted on-premises. Above all, you want to ensure that you’re not sacrificing the security of your data by moving to the cloud.
The fact is, cloud storage can offer more control and security than traditional databases—when it’s done right. We’ve compiled three tips to help you avoid common snags along the way and execute your cloud migration as smoothly as possible.
1. Make sure you understand the benefits and potential risks of a cloud-based system
The best transitions happen when you go into them with your eyes wide open. Shifting your business to the cloud has so many upsides: improved collaboration, scalability, adaptability, integration into the tools you use… the list is endless. But you also need to be prepared for risks inherent in an online system.
Moving to the cloud will enable easier movement of information and data sharing, both within your company and with external vendors. Cloud platforms greatly accelerate collaboration speed and ease of access among various parties.
That mobility, however, can be risky without the right guardrails. If you don’t have data-centric protection, any data that leaves your cloud platform is no longer protected. As your data moves around faster, the associated risk also increases without data-level protection.
You’ll automatically benefit from the protection capabilities of the host platform, not to mention the IT support and security expertise of the host company. Essentially, your business is outsourcing its data storage and protection to a company built expressly for that purpose.
Keep in mind that this does mean you’ll have less direct oversight if any issues do come up. You’ll also need to train your users on security systems of the new platform.
Most importantly, keep in mind that cloud platforms only offer TLS encryption. This type of encryption protects your database at the network level by encrypting the platform that your data is on. It’s like having your data in a giant safe room: the files can be passed around without risk to anyone in the room, but they’re only secure as long as they’re still in that room. Once they leave the room—or are shared outside your cloud platform—they’re no longer protected.
You can address this risk with end-to-end encryption, which encrypts the files themselves. This data-centric (rather than network-wide) protection is an added layer of security that stays with your data, no matter where it goes.
2. Consider which cloud storage system is best for your business
The Big Three of data storage—Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Amazon’s AWS—are all strong options. Each platform is protected by TLS encryption, which means that your network as a whole (though not your data itself) will be secured by the best in the business.
When choosing between platforms, look into system uptime, support during the transition, and reliability. But in truth, it’ll often come down to which system your business is most familiar with, and that’s a perfectly valid reason for selecting a platform.
On each of these three cloud platforms, however, you will be sacrificing some control and visibility of your data. The best option to counteract this is to supplement your cloud storage with a data-centric protection tool like Virtru: we’ll help you maintain control and keep track of your data wherever it is shared, even when you no longer host the data yourself.
3. Consult a cloud security expert
Whichever cloud provider you choose will have knowledgeable staff on hand to assist you during and after the migration. To augment those services, overcome roadblocks, or implement data-centric protection, reach out to Virtru.
Our experts here at Virtru specialize in smooth, secure data migrations. We can walk you through best practices, such as running a data classification process. This process will tell you what data you have, where it lives and how to best protect it. It’s an essential first step for any migration, and it’s one best accomplished with the help of an industry professional. We can also help you establish goals, set key performance indicators and oversee a stress-free migration.
To see Virtru’s data-centric protection in action, get in touch with us today.