Cloud Migration Security Checklist: Safe Data Transfer Tips

Many security professionals would argue that data is most at risk when in transit. Unauthorized persons could stage ...

Many security professionals would argue that data is most at risk when in transit. Unauthorized persons could stage man-in-the-middle attacks or exploit newly configured servers. Consequently, migration specialists must take extra precautions to keep data safe during transfer. This cloud migration security checklist can help you get started.

security checklist

Cloud Migration Security Checklist

The security process begins long before the actual process of moving data. It requires prep work and continual maintenance.

Pre-Migration Security Checklist

Before you start the migration process, there are a few things you need to do to prepare the environment, data, and team:

  • Define the goal of your migration and how that affects security.
  • Consider the scope of the migration and whether this creates vulnerabilities.
  • Identify potential threats during the migration process and create contingencies.
  • Review your identity and access management policies.
  • Design and configure the architecture in the new environment.
  • Secure your APIs to restrict access from third-party platforms.

Data Protection Checklist 

The data itself needs special attention to ensure unauthorized persons don't get access. Follow these steps:

  • Clean up your data to eliminate redundancies and reduce migration size and speed.
  • Consider what you’ll do with data which belongs to people who no longer work for your company.
  • Conduct a thorough data backup.
  • Implement a data masking strategy to conceal personal information.
  • Identify third-party vendors involved in the migration process and assess their security access and measures.
  • Restrict data access during the migration process.

Cloud Service Provider Security Checklist

When selecting a CSP, you must ensure they comply with your organization's security requirements. Your checklist should include these at the minimum:

  • Thoroughly investigate the cloud service provider and their security measures.
  • Ensure that your CSP complies with regulatory standards such as GDPR and HIPAA.
  • Review the terms and conditions of the service agreement and evaluate the provider's track record for secure operations.
  • Review the cost structure for different data types and access schedules.
  • Assess the CSP's infrastructure, including firewalls, email encryption, and system maintenance.
  • Verify the CSP's backup and security protocols for data recovery in case of an emergency.
  • Review the geographical placement of servers, which can affect speed and location-based compliance.

Network and Firewall Security Checklist 

As you migrate to the cloud, your network will expand. Consequently, paying attention to your firewall is essential. These considerations should make your cloud migration security checklist:

  • Segment the network securely, including the cloud environment, to achieve defense in depth.
  • Use a whitelist approach to firewall configuration and only allow known IP addresses.
  • Flag log-in attempts outside of usual work hours for each time zone.
  • Regularly review access control policies for secure authentication and authorization.
  • Utilize two-factor authentication for additional security.
  • Implement anti-malware measures, such as antivirus software or web application firewalls.
  • Use secure protocols for data transfer, such as SFTP.

Identity and Access Management Checklist 

The cloud is a different environment from on-premise, so you must review your identity management policies carefully. Start with the following:

  • Change default passwords on servers and other critical devices.
  • Configure access based on the principle of least privilege.
  • Consider using federated authentication to allow access with multiple credentials. 
  • Require strong passwords and multi-factor authentication. 
  • Enforce user roles and permissions to control access. 
  • Set up identity management with cloud-based solutions such as Azure Active Directory.
  • Monitor user activity and alert administrators when suspicious logins arise.
  • Automate the access lifecycle, such as decommissioning credentials when someone is terminated.
  • Apply the highest zero trust levels of security during migrations and configurations when systems are most vulnerable.

Post-Migration Security Checklist 

A successful migration isn't the end of the process. Failure to follow up with these additions to your cloud migration security strategy could introduce vulnerabilities:

  • Establish a continuous security process to ensure workers follow best practices and protocols.
  • Designate someone or a team to review logs for unauthorized access attempts or suspicious activities.
  • Regularly audit the environment and cloud service provider's performance.
  • Update your encryption keys regularly.
  • Monitor user behavior analytics to identify potential threats.
  • Implement separation of duties to reduce internal risks.
  • Conduct an initial vulnerability scan.

Best Practices for Cloud Migration Security

There is no foolproof cloud migration security checklist or plan that eliminates all risks. However, there are steps you can take that bring you as close to secure as you can hope to get.

Develop a Security Strategy

A security strategy lays the groundwork for comprehensive data protection during cloud storage and migration. This proactive approach identifies potential vulnerabilities. You can then implement measures to mitigate them.

Creating a security strategy necessitates a thorough understanding of your organization's security needs and the potential risks involved in the migration process. Start by using a risk assessment to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities. This assessment should focus on the security of data in transit, data at rest, and data in use.

Next, develop protocols for how to address these identified threats. This could involve firewalls, encryption protocols, and subnetting. A robust security strategy should also define the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the migration, such as your company versus the CSP. Finally, establish contingency plans for potential security breaches.

Ensure Data Protection and Integrity 

Data protection and integrity directly impact an organization's most important asset: information. It is also essential for compliance with various regulatory standards. These standards, such as the General Data Protection Regulation and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, mandate strict data protection measures.

Penalties for non-compliance can be severe. For example, Spotify faced a recent GDPR fine in Sweden of $5.4 million USD. However, fines and public opinion aren't the only reasons companies should maintain data privacy and integrity. Without good data, they cannot trust internal data as accurate enough to make impactful decisions.

Here are some of the best ways you can protect data and ensure integrity:

  • Use encryption for data at rest, in transit, and in use.
  • Use version control tools whenever possible for coding and critical documents.
  • Conduct regular vulnerability scans and pen tests.
  • Utilize data loss prevention tools to track and prevent data breaches.
  • Automate data backup and ensure it occurs regularly, such as daily or weekly.
  • Configure your system to comply with relevant regulatory standards.
  • Continuously monitor and update security measures to reflect new threats.

Verify Security Measures 

Confirming the efficacy of your security measures is a critical step in cloud migration. Without verification, an organization can't be sure if its data is truly safe or if the implemented security protocols will function as expected. This can lead to unseen vulnerabilities, breaches, or compliance failures.

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Here are the guidelines to properly verify your security measures:

  • Third-Party Audits: Employ an independent auditor to review your security controls. This can help identify vulnerabilities that might be overlooked internally due to bias or lack of resources.
  • Pentesting: Conduct intense red team exercises and determine how well your defenses hold up to these attacks and how you can improve.
  • Security Incident and Event Management: Utilize SIEM systems to provide real-time assessments of security alerts.
  • Regularly Review Access Controls: Identify who has access to your data and under what circumstances. Remove or modify access that is no longer necessary.
  • Compliance Checks: Ensure all security measures comply with relevant regulations. Non-compliance could lead to legal penalties and damage to your organization's reputation.
  • Disaster Recovery Testing: Implement disaster recovery procedures and test them regularly to ensure your organization can recover from a catastrophic event, such as ransomware.

Cloudficient Cloud Migration Security Checklist

Every organization is different and has unique threat levels and risks. Our cloud migration specialists at Cloudficient consider this carefully when creating a migration plan that best suits your needs. We work closely with your security team to ensure we cover all the bases before we begin the migration process.

Contact our team for a quote and more detailed information and get your cloud migration started today!

With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

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