The simplest way to migrate to the cloud is to lift and shift your applications, migrating them exactly as they are. That doesn’t work for security, though. To make sure your cloud resources are properly protected, you need to review the security features offered by your cloud provider and make sure you implement them properly. You should check out the following:
1. Cloud provider compliance certifications
Meeting your own security standards is easier when the cloud provider offers a strong base. If the cloud provider offers infrastructure certified to meet the compliance standards relevant to your industry, be sure you deploy to that environment.
2. Encrypt your data
Store data in an encrypted format to keep it protected. You can usually easily turn on database encryption in the cloud. It’s simpler to allow the cloud provider to manage the encryption keys, though you’ll gain additional security if you manage them for yourself. Depending on how encryption is implemented, encrypting stored data may not require any application changes, making it compatible with a lift and shift migration.
3. Use identity and access management controls
Identity and access management (IAM) lets you limit access to your cloud resources. You may be able to use the same IAM tools in the cloud as in your data center, allowing you to lift and sift this security control as well. In either case, make sure privileges are set properly.
4. Don’t adopt default cloud configurations
The default configurations established by many cloud providers are not security conscious. Don’t assume they’re set the way you need them. Make sure these settings are appropriate for your applications and modify them when they are not. Where possible, use templates or base cloud images that have the settings you need built in to create all your cloud instances.
5. Separate production, test, and development environments
Because cloud lets you create and shut down instances as needed, you may see recommendations to speed production deployments by turning the “test” instance into production and creating a new test instance the next time you need it. The problem with this is that test environment configurations are often not as secure as those needed in a production environment. You’ll lose a little deployment speed but gain a lot of additional security by keeping the distinction between environments.
6. Don’t forget about the devices that access cloud
Securing your cloud resources requires more than just securing the cloud; it requires securing the devices that access the cloud. Don’t forget about tools such as firewalls to protect your network, and consider mobile device management software to protect your cloud from mobile device risks.
CCS Technology Group’s cloud services ensure your cloud provides a cost-effective, efficient, and secure environment that meets your IT needs. Contact us to learn more about building and using cloud safely.