Are you in the midst of or considering a cloud migration? In this digital landscape, organizations increasingly turn to cloud environments to reduce costs and drive agility, scalability, and innovation. However, a cloud migration can be a massive undertaking as it requires shifting data and infrastructure from an on-premises data center to new environments like Azure, Office 365, AWS, or Google Cloud Platform. According to a recent survey, more than 50% of organizations lack confidence in their cloud data security posture. Transitioning to the cloud is a complex data security and compliance endeavor, particularly in multi-cloud environments where data is dispersed across various platforms and providers.

Let’s explore the challenges and strategies for effectively managing data security and compliance in multi-cloud environments during cloud migrations.

Understanding Cloud Migration Challenges

87% of businesses have adopted a hybrid cloud strategy combining different types of cloud solutions to optimize cost savings and improve flexibility. However, organizations can be exposed to various security threats whenever sensitive data is moved to the cloud. Organizations must overcome these key data security challenges during cloud migrations:

Sensitive Data Exposure & Risks

With data dispersed across multiple cloud environments, organizations face increased exposure to security risks, including data loss, vulnerabilities, data breaches, unauthorized access, and insider threats.

Regulatory Complexity

Compliance requirements vary across industries and jurisdictions, adding complexity to multi-cloud environments. Organizations need to ensure compliance with regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and others, while also adhering to internal policies and industry standards.

Data Visibility and Controls

Maintaining visibility and control over data assets becomes challenging in multi-cloud environments, where data is stored and processed in different countries can raise concerns about data residency, sovereignty, and compliance, which is subject to a variety of security controls, policies, and regional data protection laws.

Data Encryption and Protection

Data in transit and at rest should be encrypted during cloud migrations. Encrypting data prevents unauthorized access to sensitive data during the migration process. Additionally, the use of weaker or outdated encryptions and management of encryption keys can reduce data integrity and confidentiality.

Data Migration and Transfer Strategy

The risk of migrating data to the cloud can expose businesses to unnecessary risk. To successfully migrate data and minimize downtime, organizations need to know specifics about the data being transferred, such as what data to move, when it should be moved, and the order in which it should be moved. A detailed data migration plan helps prepare, clean, and minimize data during and after the migration process to prevent data loss, mitigate risk, and maintain compliance.

Download the Cloud Data Security Report.

Strategies to Address the Complexities of Cloud Migrations

Data Classification and Tagging

Classify and tag data based on its sensitivity, regulatory requirements, internal policies, and compliance obligations. This provides visibility into the data that needs to remain on-prem before being migrated to the cloud. This allows organizations to apply security controls and policies to different data types and ensure compliance with relevant regulations during the cloud migration process.

Comprehensive Risk Assessment

Conduct a thorough data risk assessment to identify potential security vulnerabilities, compliance gaps, and areas of concern across multi-cloud environments. This assessment should encompass data sensitivity, access controls, encryption, and compliance requirements.

Unified Security Framework

Implement a unified security framework that spans across all cloud environments and provides consistent security controls and policies. This framework should include data security posture management (DSPM), identity and access management (IAM), encryption, data loss prevention (DLP), and threat detection capabilities.

Continuous Monitoring and Compliance Reporting

Implement continuous monitoring and auditing capabilities to track data usage, access patterns, and compliance status across multi-cloud environments. Automated compliance reporting can streamline the process of generating compliance reports and demonstrate adherence to regulatory requirements.

Collaboration and Communication

Foster communication and collaboration between security, compliance, and cloud migration teams to ensure alignment of objectives and priorities. Regular communication and coordination are essential for effectively addressing security and compliance challenges.

Secure Sensitive Data During Cloud Migration with BigID

The Benefits and Value of Migrating to the Cloud

Reduced Footprint

Migrating to the cloud provides an opportunity to reduce risk and the data footprint by identifying and deleting duplicate, redundant, or expired data. Additionally, data minimization reduces data center operating power by reducing data volume, which requires less storage, making cloud migration environmentally friendly.

Storage Spend

Cloud storage eliminates the need for organizations to invest in and maintain on-premises storage infrastructure, reducing spending, infrastructure expenses, and operational costs. Cloud providers typically offer pay-as-you-go pricing models, allowing organizations to pay only for the resources, services, and storage used.

Improved Data Quality

Proactive data quality management through the cloud migrations process promotes data transparency, enabling quick identification of issues and risk mitigation through data cleansing, validation, and monitoring.

Visibility, Analytics, and Insights

By leveraging cloud-based solutions, organizations can derive valuable insights from data, gain a deeper understanding, identify trends and patterns, and make data-driven decisions to drive business growth, improve efficiency, and achieve compliance.

Robust Data Security

By migrating data to the cloud, organizations can leverage robust security measures such as advanced encryption, access controls, and monitoring tools to enhance data security and protect data from unauthorized access, breaches, and other security threats.

Increased Innovation

Cloud migration enables organizations to experiment with new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and Internet of Things (IoT), without the need for massive upfront investments in infrastructure or expertise. This fosters innovation and enables organizations to stay competitive and rapidly evolve.

Examples of Successful Cloud Migrations with BigID

The US Army Ensures their Data is in the Safe Zone

US Army TRADOC turned to BigID to accelerate their cloud migration, reduce risk, optimize storage costs by securing critical, sensitive, and vulnerable data, and minimize redundant and duplicate data to reduce risk and optimize costs.

Global Retail Brand Accelerates Secure Cloud Migration

BigID helped a Global Retail Brand clean up and validate the data moved to Workday from the prior HR platform to ensure no unnecessary data was migrated.

See BigID in Action

How BigID Helps Organizations Securely Streamline Cloud Migrations

In an interconnected and dynamic digital world, cloud migration presents opportunities and challenges for organizations. Organizations can confidently navigate the cloud migration lifecycle by understanding the complexities of data security and compliance in multi-cloud environments and implementing robust strategies and controls.

BigID helps organizations proactively approach cloud migrations through risk management, unified security frameworks, continuous monitoring, and compliance reporting. BigID’s privacy and security-centric approach empower organizations to execute successful cloud migration strategies from a unified data inventory to data minimization to policy enforcement. With BigID, organizations can:

Inventory All Data, Everywhere

Automatically discover, inventory, classify, and catalog your sensitive and personal data wherever it lives. Leverage identity intelligence, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) to establish an accurate and scalable inventory of all data, everywhere.

Classify and Tag Sensitive Data

Classify and tag sensitive and personal data, identify data under specific regulations by policy, determine what should be migrated to the cloud, and apply labels for automated enforcement in the cloud.

Minimize Duplicate Data

Identify unused, duplicate, unnecessary, or redundant data to be deleted pre- and post-migration to reduce risk on sensitive data. BigID helps organizations reduce data center operating power by minimizing data volume which reduces storage cost.

Streamline Data Retention

Investigate instances of data retention violations during migration, enabling proactive remediation efforts during cloud migrations. Apply retention policies with automated enforcement by data type, policy, and regulation during migration by identifying, flagging, and deleting duplicate, redundant, and expired data.

Secure Data During Migration

Detect, investigate, and remediate high-risk access to sensitive, personal, regulated, and at-risk data during cloud migrations. Automatically review and update internal and external access permissions to sensitive data based on data usage and policies.

Manage Privacy & Security Risk

Monitor data in the cloud to enforce policies and flag violations, extend cloud monitoring tools with privacy policy insights, and leverage access intelligence to identify overexposed sensitive, personal, and regulated data.

To learn how BigID can help your organization efficiently migrate data to the cloud — schedule a 1:1 demo today.