How familiar are you with Microsoft’s Azure platform? Or more specifically, an Azure migration? Whatever your experience, Microsoft clearly wants to raise it with their recent push of this powerful platform. And honestly, who can blame them given the sudden, incomparable uptake in Cloud services these past two years?
The Cloud is an incalculably powerful force for business, and Azure relishes that power. Providing virtualised services for networking, AI, computing power and beyond, it’s the technical equivalent of Mary Poppins’ handbag.
Yet as with any technical game changer, an Azure migration does come with certain security considerations. So, bear these in mind as you make your migration to Azure and your Cloud services won’t only be a powerhouse – they’ll be perfectly protected too.
Whether it’s travelling to, from, or nowhere at all, your sensitive data needs encrypting. This can make the migration process particularly nerve-wracking; you’ve countless troves of valuable data, shared across numerous depositories, at risk of corruption, breach or even theft.
Try to resist migrating everything at once – you might even consider a full data audit first. Moving too much, too soon can significantly slow down the migration process and put bulk data at risk of compromise.
Look into your backup solutions such as Datto; these can help to retrieve lost data or hit the rewind on any compromised systems, so you can return them to a time before turmoil. Azure anticipates your data concerns too, with services such as Azure Storage Service Encryption encrypting written data automatically as it enters managed disks.
…or worse, attacks. Despite every employee’s best intentions, mistakes do happen that can delete, amend or otherwise expose data. And yes, sabotage does happen too; disgruntled employees aren’t about to raise the alarm if they find a trove of unprotected data that could be dangerous in the wrong hands.
A large-scale migration is the perfect opportunity to familiarise employees with their data responsibilities. Remember that data in transit exposes itself to more potential vulnerabilities, so consider company-wide compliance testing or phishing awareness test to minimise incidents. A good password refresh doesn’t go amiss either: there’s always somebody who thinks ‘QWERTY123’ is an impenetrable defensive code.
Administrative errors occur too – and often on a larger scale. Configuration governs everything: processes, compliance, user privileges and plenty more, so assessing your configurations before migrating to the Cloud is essential. Let’s not overlook research that suggests a staggering 58% of companies had misconfigured file permissions on their networks last year, leaving sensitive data exposed to any employee willing to sniff it out.
As with a number of the considerations we’ve covered, it’s best to put the hard graft in before migration (or at least, entrust an experienced partner such as Vital to assist you), as Azure can often do the heavier lifting afterwards. For those familiar with Windows Active Directory, Azure Active Directory does much the same but on an even wider scale, protecting users while giving admins clear oversite of their access permissions.
However much you manage internally, don’t ignore your external threats – who, given the popularity of Cloud services, are more fervently on the prowl than ever.
And they’re not afraid to leverage the Cloud for their own deeds either; Ransomware-as-a-Service is one of the latest Cloud-enabled cyber crime trends available on the black market and is experienced in Cloud environments three times more often than any other malware. Let’s not forget the old fashioned tactics of brute-force entry either, making everything we’ve mentioned above – your data migration, your configuration and your human firewall – just as relevant as your firewalls, anti-virus, and email security solutions.
Again, following your move to the Cloud, Azure continues your security protections with Azure Security Centre. This prevents, detects and responds to threats via a single dashboard, providing full visibility over potential security concerns. It’s perhaps best to couple this with any existing security solutions – which we hope you already have implemented!
Seem confusing? It doesn’t have to be
Azure is a powerful platform and as such, needs careful assessing, planning and deploying before you migrate your business. The good news is, you don’t need to tackle it alone.
At Vital, we take care of your entire Azure migration, including setup, security and day-to-day management of your Azure solution, so all you encounter are its benefits. Get in touch today to see if Azure is right for you – and how we can make your move to Azure as simple and stress-free as possible.