Evaluate your enterprise data
If you’ve decided to move your data center to the cloud, look at it as an excellent opportunity to take stock of your data and evaluate what data you really need to store and move. Ask yourself questions like – Do I really need to keep all the assets? Is the data in a format that is future-ready or can be digitized? What are my policies on storing and securing my data and how closely are my teams adhering to these policies?
Most cloud vendors are well-versed with the tools available to evaluate data assets and to ensure data governance. Make sure your cloud vendor also has good knowledge of the exact tools and practices required for your specific domain and user needs. As a best practice, do away with unnecessary data (while retaining what’s legally required) so that you can reduce your liability in case of a security breach.
Establish a solid compliance process
Hold on! Before you begin throwing away all that data, have you ensured compliance with all possible requirements surrounding that data? This is very important especially if you’re operating in an industry like finance or healthcare, and especially if you work with a government organization. There are strict penalties and possibly disastrous consequences if data is not safeguarded properly…even when you’re going to expel all that extra load. And the liability and responsibility lays with you because compliance to the regulations governing responsible data use is incumbent on the enterprise migrating a data center to the cloud. It’s alright if you’re not fully aware of the regulatory requirements. That’s why you should outsource to a cloud vendor offering a comprehensive data center migration solution and who knows the regulatory landscape and the continuous changes it undergoes.
Pick the proper data center migration solution for the job
The next important decision is to choose the right tools for a safe and compliant data center migration. Simply put, don’t use a hammer where a chisel will do. Your data will need to be cleaned, audited, modernized or changed in some other way. So the tools you – or your cloud vendor – decide upon should let you finish the job efficiently and cost-effectively.
Control access to data throughout the migration
Just because you are moving your data center to the cloud does not mean that the data becomes available to anyone. You would already have put in place controlled access to data based on the principle of least privileges, and allowed a user access specifically to data he/she needs to perform their job. The same principle must be followed when migrating a data center to the cloud, with only need-based user access to data during the actual migration process. Additionally, during transit, you must encrypt the data because it is likely to be most vulnerable to attacks as it moves between two locations.
Post the migration, users should be allowed to access data as before. Best practices like two-factor authentication for access control and data deduplication for reducing the data storage footprint will also help streamline the migration and minimize data center migration risks.
Most organizations that move their data center to the cloud fail to perform adequate due diligence. They attempt a data center migration without fully understanding the level of security and compliance measures involved. Hiring a cloud vendor to do this for you because they will own the responsibility to provide security measures, and will be more knowledgeable about the latest tools and best practices that will keep your data safe and your organization compliant.