Migrating your business data to the cloud is a smart move that reaps cost and performance benefits from enhanced flexibility, scalability and availability. However, sharing resources with other companies over an IT infrastructure that is not your own can present serious security and compliance challenges for your business. Moving to the cloud isn’t about simply pushing a button to turn your entire IT environment over to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. A successful cloud migration involves managing multiple moving parts, requiring many important strategic decisions and demanding a wide range of skills that almost no single in-house IT team could possibly possess. So, what are the signs that your business might need help with compliance in the cloud?
1. Where exactly is my data?
A few years ago, Cisco surveyed CIOs across several industries, asking how many cloud apps and services they believed their companies’ employees were using for business. The average CIO’s estimate was 51 cloud services. Cisco reported, that number was 731. Just as concerning, the study found that employees were using 20 times more cloud services to store critical corporate data than their CIOs knew about or had authorized.
One initiative your IT team needs to undertake very early in your cloud migration planning is to make sure you truly know where all your firm’s corporate data resides today. After all, how can you successfully move your company’s data to the cloud if you’re not even sure where it all is?
2. Uncertainty about who can access what company data
While your IT team may be familiar with your company’s IT environment, don’t expect them go it alone when determining which department or function has access to what data. Cross-functional teams should be involved when setting up a cloud migration, collaborating on such topics as decision-making, monitoring, audits, reporting and risk management. By cross checking data access and controls, your company ensures that it is meeting industry standards for cybersecurity and protection of data.
3. Cloud vendors not meeting industry guidelines and government regulations
Not all cloud service providers are equal, and your business has the onus to meet industry guidelines and government regulations. Check the key offerings of each cloud vendor and look for certified data centers and specific compliance certifications such as HIPAA, PCI DSS and NIST. Other critical regulations to consider are CCPA and GDPR, since these cover cross-border investigations.
4. Unsure how to tell if your data is secure and what type of incident response you have
You can ensure your data’s safety by choosing a cloud vendor that conducts annual audits and follows compliant storage practices with SSAE-18 ratings. Beyond that, review how cloud computing companies mitigate digital intrusions and physical disasters. Confirm the use of encryption, multi-factor authentication and background-checked staff. Should a data breach occur, you and your cloud vendor should have a plan in place for responding to privacy and security incidents. This plan involves how to handle the investigation, who is responsible for which tasks, and what laws and regulatory requirements need to be followed.
5. Your IT staff doesn’t have the experience or resources for cloud systems management
Many small to mid-size businesses lack the resources or information security staff to develop and implement a comprehensive and secure cloud strategy on their own. Therefore we advise that part of your cloud migration strategy includes finding the right experts to guide you through this maze of complex issues and pitfalls. Rather than try to acquire all of this domain expertise internally, it makes more strategic sense to find a team of experts who already possess it. Whether you plan to use a data center, managed cloud hosting or both in a hybrid environment, Valeo Networks has the expertise and solutions to help. We’ll help you plan, build, migrate and manage your private, public or hybrid cloud applications and solutions.
Contact Valeo Networks for a cloud migration assessment.