Data security is an increasing concern for organisations across the globe, and it is also a major driver for selecting modernisation strategies and cloud providers.
Not only is the risk of human error a ticking time bomb, but between 2020 and 2021, organisations with annual revenues of $1bn (USD) or more saw a 31% rise in cyber attacks. Security is more critical than ever before. Anybody can be a target of cybercriminals – including customers and their personally identifiable information (PII).
It’s clear that workarounds are no longer enough, and large organisations are now substantially investing in ensuring their physical legacy infrastructures are both threat-proof and future-proof. Top-level executives are slowly overcoming the misconceptions that moving business-critical data to the Cloud will put all on show. As a matter of fact, migrating to a reputable Cloud hosting service such as AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure provides a level of security that can't be duplicated on site. That's because most organisations simply don't have the resources to provide the same security benefits as large Cloud services providers can.
Watchers on the (fire)wall
Businesses utilising legacy systems often segment their networks by installing internal firewalls with restrictive rule sets in order to isolate systems with sensitive information from other systems that are exposed to risk. In other words, users working with sensitive data need specialised firewalls that are multifunctional, programmable, and intelligent whilst scanning through their critical applications.
Cloud environments can leverage next-generation firewalls (NGFWs). These are dynamic firewalls that can distinguish between all types of traffic passing through them. The integration of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) blocks the extraction of sensitive data, especially regulated data such as personally identifiable information (PII) and compliance-related data. NGFWs also empower pre-existing security systems - thus, increasing overall functionality.
Zero Trust Models
Many organisations are going perimeterless by implementing Zero Trust networks over the internet whilst brokering permissions using cloud-native tools. The “never trust, always verify” mantra of Zero Trust is a novel approach and has the potential to render classic public/private walled network architectures obsolete. However, this architecture requires modern application development paradigms that may be difficult to replicate on legacy systems such as the mainframe.
An on-premises system typically consists of two separate servers, with one serving as a failover. But if your systems are kept at a single premises, what precautions are in place if there is a fire, natural disaster or any other catalyst for an unprecedented network outage?
Cloud data is stored in multiple data centers that are geo-independent. If servers are virtualised in the cloud, providers can easily relocate them from one data centre to another in case of emergency or outage.
Under constant lock-and-key
When it comes to physical security, it is important to recognise that Cloud providers invest money in round-the-clock guards and cutting-edge physical security procedures. It takes much of the burden from the business, and the centres themselves are so large and sophisticated that it is virtually impossible for criminals to actively break in and steal anything.
Although the Cloud is solidly secure, businesses still have a responsibility to take the necessary precautions to keep their business-critical data safe – both pre and post-migration. It is essential that your Cloud provider allows for compliance with necessary regulations, and it is worth considering leveraging multiple disposition strategies for your modernisation. A trusted and experienced vendor can advise you on the most suitable and secure strategy for your critical data.