The cloud computing industry is now worth $480 billion.
Not only has remote working become the new normal, the world has permanently changed the way healthcare, education, real estate, and recruitment operates.
The rise of online shopping created an exponential escalation in e-commerce, online shopping, and video streaming.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the 2020s saw the biggest surge in the digital transformation of major industries.
And cloud computing played a vital role in all of that.
Apple, eBay, Netflix, Fitbit, and General Electric now all live on the cloud.
And what was once the domain of industry titans has become affordable to small and medium sized businesses as well.
Cloud migration is the next vital step towards transformation for many industries.
But migration is no small feat. It should always be done with the help of professionals to ensure that things go without a hitch.
This article will reveal five of the most important facts a business owner should know before migrating to the cloud.
1. You’ll want to create data backups before you migrate.
Cloud migration is a massive undertaking and it’s easy to get lost in the complexities and nuances of it all.
But the single most important thing for anyone to keep in mind when migrating is to have a well-defined, coherent strategy before they begin.
As a general rule, always backup your data and test your data to ensure you’re protected from the future.
It’s essential to have a plan in place to migrate all applications and tools. It’s an incredible waste of time migrating incompatible software only to redo everything over again.
Speak with your backup provider to see what recovery options they offer.
A good provider should give you plenty of recovery options, along with easy-to-use, automatic, scalable storage that comes with robust security certifications and privacy protections.
High levels of redundancies during this process is what differentiates a good provider from a great one.
You don’t want to be caught off-guard by software/hardware failures, natural disasters, and power failures during your migration.
2. Break your cloud migration into multiple phases.
Moving your entire enterprise onto the cloud quickly to save time and money can backfire spectacularly if done wrongly.
Honestly, you want to ensure the migration process is as slow and cautious as possible.
Migrating in batches and making use of phased migration will accomplish just that.
The slower you move your data, the more time you have to test the configurations of your software and check for compatibility errors. You might even spot a security gap or two that completely avoided notice when creating your initial infrastructure.
This is a time for rumination and slow, deliberate action.
The more gradual the migration, the more it helps your teams get accustomed to the cloud systems which can offer improved efficiency later on.
As a basic rule of thumb, start migrating your low priority data and finish with your high priority data. This is the safest way to move forward while allowing you to test the waters and be prudent at the same time.
3. Fix your insecure APIs.
APIs are meant to make the lives of your developers easier. They are an important asset in streamlining your cloud computing process.
But outdated protocols come with plenty of potential security holes as well. These APIs leave lines of exposed connections that hackers can use to steal critical information during the vulnerable migration phase.
Practice the best in cloud security measures. Make use of reliable APIs that are designed with security in mind first and foremost.
Make use of the Cloud Infrastructure Management Interface. Eliminate APIs that were created without any authentication.
4. Exercise vigilance during migration.
All data stored on the cloud is more secure than data stored on a single device by default.
You won’t lose critical business-related information if you happen to drop your phone in the swimming pool for instance. Everything is locked up as tight as possible. And anyone that wants access needs to present a digital key.
However, the migration phase brings with it unique challenges.
It is naturally more tempting and logical for criminals to want to target the armoured van carrying money to the bank than the bank vaults themselves.
Security teams should take note and deploy the necessary countermeasures. There should be generous use of next general firewalls, event management solutions, intrusion detection tools, protection services, and cloud access security brokers in general.
The security policies enacted should remain the same between migrations and span multiple environments so that all security remains inter-operable. This needs to stay in effect for the entire duration of the migration period.
Encryption at rest and during transit is a must. No questions asked.
For businesses with higher than average cloud security concerns, decoy documents can be dispatched to act as honeypots.
The migration phase is a crucial time of transition, but it can also be used to lure out insider leaks to further strengthen security policies in the long-term.
Comprehensive security measures have their own uses that business owners can take advantage of keeping in mind the long-term goals of the company.
5. Centralize your monitoring.
The cloud offers an increased attack surface for hackers to target.
This increased attack surface benefits heavily from centralized monitoring methods that make life easier for your security teams.
Centralized security allows teams to focus on all endpoints, physical or virtual, with unified threat management systems. This further increases savings by reducing the amount of hardware required, saving your business both time and money.
As you migrate, you can use your security teams to identify threats and vulnerabilities more quickly and consistently thanks to security information and event management.
This allows you to incorporate machine learning, data analytics, and automation into the entire security process as well. This is a powerful way to target and identify root causes, which is why including centralized monitoring during data migration is so popular with businesses.
The bottom line
Cloud migration is an incredibly powerful vehicle that requires a professional to bring out its full potential. It must be harnessed with care and driven in the right direction.