3 Themes for Safely Migrating to the Cloud

With Forrester forecasting cloud security solutions to amass to an estimated $12.7 billion by 2023, it appears that IT leaders are prioritizing proper cloud security practices now more than ever. While increased security investing is a step in the right direction, effective cloud security cannot be achieved through higher spending alone. To successfully migrate to the cloud, it is vital to set themes for evaluating your progress at every stage of the journey.

Below are a few key security themes every organization must keep in mind when moving to the cloud to avoid complications early on in your migration.

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Identifying Value and Key Business Drivers for Your Security Team

For security pros who are unacquainted with public cloud models, the new move can be incredibly unnerving. Defining cloud business drivers, values and common goals across the organization will allow your IT security team to administer security guardrails for adoption, rather than implementing needless roadblocks in your cloud journey. Communicating these key values effectively will help team members move away from legacy ways of thinking, laying the groundwork for stronger collaboration.

Common business drivers for migrating to the cloud include increased agility, access to data analytics, reduced costs, greater productivity, improved customer experience and a host of other advantages. Executives from across the company must meet and agree on these key drivers to ensure the cloud security team acts with specific business outcomes in mind.

SecOps – Mature Cloud Operating Model = Mature Cloud Security Model

Cloud security models and cloud operating models are far from siloed entities. To create a strong cloud security model, it is vital an organization has a mature operating model established first. This may mean changing your operating mindset. Oftentimes, organizations will maintain the same operating strategy for the cloud that they use for on-prem environments. This is a huge mistake, as it can’t deliver the scale or the attributes the business is trying to achieve from a cloud initiative.

Ultimately, companies that choose to adapt proactively to accommodate for their cloud initiative will achieve more scale and valuable business attributes than those that fail to evolve accordingly. Staying true to this theme could mean a whole host of changes. As cloud advances along with emerging technologies and threats, operations and security teams must remain on their toes, quickly adjusting to the ever-volatile cloud landscape.

Business Transformation Requires Security Transformation

When you migrate to the cloud and move to a cloud-based operating model, the avenues to achieve business transformation are endless. Innovative notions such as immutable infrastructure become real possibilities, making physical servers, updates and patches relics of the past. Additionally, code deployment may undergo some radical changes that companies must be prepared to handle. These profound changes will completely transform how companies do business.

Similarly, to keep pace with business transformation, the cloud will require a robust security transformation. Security processes and standards may need re-evaluation, which will challenge security teams to break away from tired practices and explore new methods. Even the internal security team culture will have to evolve to align with the new business operations model.

Empowering business transformation with cloud technology can be incredibly fruitful for an organization. Companies that migrate to the cloud successfully can enjoy increased agility, efficiency, improved customer experience and huge benefits to their bottom line. That being said, companies cannot blindly trek into cloud territory without deciding key themes for their cloud security model first. Setting common business objectives across all teams, building mature cloud operating models and transforming security practices and culture will allow businesses to adopt the cloud securely and become frontrunners in innovation.

Steven Aiello

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Steven Aiello

Steven Aiello is a security and compliance solutions principal at AHEAD, a leading provider of IT consulting and enterprise cloud solutions. An expert in enterprise IT security, Aiello helps clients build better security operations programs to identify risks and mitigate security concerns. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in technology management and a Master of Science with a concentration in information assurance from Eastern Michigan University. His certifications include CISSP (Certified Information System Security Professional), ISACA CISA, SANS GSEC, SANS GCIH, VMware VCP (VMware Certified Professional), VMware VCAP-DCD (VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Data Center Design), and Cisco CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)

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