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Canadian Government Urges Businesses to Embrace Cloud Migration Strategically and Securely

In their commitment to keeping Canadian professionals informed about all things cybersecurity, the Government of Canada’s Cyber Center has recently issued a wealth of resources about secure Cloud migration strategies for Canadian businesses. We’re helping to support their mission by summarizing their insights here.

Everything You Need to Know About Secure & Strategic Cloud Migration

The business scene is evolving faster than ever before. The past year has forced countless Canadian organizations to pivot and adapt to a constantly changing world of work. More than anything, many Canadian companies have been forced to embrace virtual operations in order to facilitate remote work capabilities and keep business moving. While the unexpected transition may have been unwelcome at the start, countless professionals have come to realize the value of transitioning to virtual operations.

Particularly, Canadian businesses that embraced Cloud technology this year have come to understand that virtual operations make basic business sense. Employees are able to work from anywhere, at any time, and on any device and this can lead to major increases in productivity and significantly reduced overhead costs. Because of this, more and more Canadian organizations are rushing to make the transition to Cloud-based operations.

However, the Canadian Government is urging businesses to approach Cloud migration with security and strategy in mind. The Government of Canada is a big proponent of Cloud technology and understands the many benefits of migrating Canadian businesses to the Cloud. However, government officials also understand that Cloud migration must be approached securely and strategically in order to protect the continuity and prosperity of Canadian business.

That’s why the Government of Canada – through the Candian Centre for Cybersecurity (Cyber Centre) – has released an informative collection of resources to help Canadian organizations approach Cloud migration securely. A huge part of our own mission as a Canadian IT provider in the nation’s capital is to help inform Canadian businesses about the risks to consider when deploying strategic IT solutions. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to summarize what the Cyber Centre has to say about secure and strategic Cloud migration. Keep reading for the inside scoop.

The Risks of Cloud Migration: Understanding What You’re Up Against

First things first, let’s discuss why secure Cloud migration is so important. When organizations make the move to Cloud-based operations, there are significant security risks to consider. Transitioning to the Cloud means that professionals give up direct control over many aspects of their business security and privacy. However, organizations still must hold themselves accountable for protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and secure accessibility of IT resources and information – especially when legal and regulatory compliance is a factor.

Here are some key risks organizations must consider when making the transition to Cloud-based infrastructure:

  • Increased frequency of cyber-attacks that target Cloud-based business infrastructures.
  • Legal and regulatory requirements and non-compliance violations which can result in restrictions and major financial penalties. This could include industry-specific regulations or broader mandates like Canada’s Privacy Act, Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or Direction for Electronic Data Residency, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations, etc).
  • User error and lack of employee awareness regarding Cloud security risks and best practices.
  • Unexpected impacts on business resources and processes during the migrating, consolidating, or standardizing of on-premise IT services to Cloud-based services.
  • Diminished direct control and visibility of IT solutions in a Cloud environment.
  • Lack of Cloud-centric security professionals in your organization to design, implement, and manage Cloud security best practices.
  • Lack of clarity regarding assigned roles and responsibilities for responding to cybersecurity incidents.
  • Misunderstanding regarding Cloud services resulting in lock-in, financial obligation, and the inability to move to other Cloud service providers.

A Word of Advice from The Canadian Government: Approach Cloud Migration Strategically and Securely

In light of the risks described above and the rapid increase in Cloud migration, the Canadian Government is committed to protecting Canadian business now more than ever before. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has recently released a whole wealth of resources to help Canadian organizations make informed and strategic decisions about protecting their cyber assets.

As we mentioned, their latest initiative is all about secure Cloud migration. Their goal is to help Canadian businesses and organizations strategically assess which Cloud options are best when it comes to protecting their business data and resources. This initiative is designed specifically to help Canadian organizations understand and adhere to policies created by the Government of Canada regarding Cloud-infrastructure best practices.

The great thing about the Cloud-security guidance offered by the Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity is that it was designed to support governmental organizations, but the security insights apply to any Canadian organization that is thinking about migrating to a Cloud-based operational environment.

The Cyber Centre understands that Cloud technology offers a flexible, on-demand, scalable, and productive solution for businesses trying to navigate the modern workplace. However, they want Canadian professionals to understand that it is critical to consider all aspects of Cloud computing before rushing into the migration process. Knowledge is power, and when it comes to secure and strategic Cloud migration, doing your homework is absolutely essential.

That’s why the Cyber Centre has developed concrete guidelines and resources to help Canadian organizations implement and deploy Cloud infrastructure securely. All of these insights are designed to build on each other with the ultimate goal of helping Canadian organizations approach Cloud security holistically. We’ve summarized the main insights they’ve developed below.

Security Categorization 

Security categorization is the first step in Cloud security, which encourages organizations to identify the potential security risks that could result from side-stepping a dynamic and comprehensive approach to Cloud security. The Cyber Centre argues that this risk mitigation strategy is fundamental when it comes to approaching Cloud computing securely. Above all, security categorization will help Canadian organizations customize their approach to Cloud security based on the unique needs and conditions their business operates under.

The reality is, more protection isn’t always the best option. Investing in too much Cloud security without determining what your organization actually needs could result in increased costs and wasted resources. However, without investing in enough Cloud security, your business data, resources, and processes could be at serious risk. Security categorization is all about finding the Cloud security solutions that are perfectly tailored for individual organizations.

Want to learn more about this from the Cyber Centre directly? You can find more detailed information and guidance on security categorization here.

Defending Cloud-Based Infrastructure 

When it comes to doing business in the Cloud, there really is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all security solution. This means that protecting organizational assets requires that businesses take a dynamic approach to defend their Cloud-based infrastructure at all access points.

That’s why it’s critical that Canadian organizations take a layered approach when designing and implementing a security and control profile for their Cloud-computing infrastructure. The Cyber Centre knows that the proactive defense of Canadian Cloud infrastructure is imperative, which is why they’re committed to helping Canadian organizations tackle Cloud infrastructure defense strategically in order to mitigate risks from end-to-end.

Want to learn more about this from the Cyber Centre directly? You can find more detailed information and guidance on Cloud-based infrastructure defense here.

Cloud Security Assessment & Authorization 

Another key thing to remember when migrating to a Cloud-based operational environment is that Canadian organizations – and not just their Cloud service providers – are responsible for securing their Cloud-based infrastructure dynamically. In short, Canadian professionals must empower themselves by taking Cloud security into their own hands. This means developing a shared responsibility plan that ensures Cloud service providers and Canadian organizations are working together to keep Cloud infrastructure defended and company assets protected.

The idea of shared responsibility might make Cloud migration seem even more complex, however, when approached strategically, it will make all the difference when it comes to Cloud security. Above all, Canadian organizations must come to understand the overall effectiveness of their Cloud security controls and solutions. It’s really about getting to the heart of the issue and understanding why security choices are being made and implemented, and how they work to keep business assets consistently secured.

Want to learn more about this from the Cyber Centre directly? You can find more detailed information and guidance on Cloud security assessment & authorization here.

Cryptography in the Cloud 

One of the final elements of Cloud security that the Cyber Centre is urging Canadian organizations to consider is cryptography. Cryptography is one of the most fundamental pillars of enabling security and privacy in Cloud computing. Cryptography is focused on ensuring the secure access, authentication, and storage of data using dynamic encryption tools.

When it comes to cryptography and Cloud migration, Canadian organizations must come to understand how cryptography can and should factor into the protection of their information and assets during Cloud migration. While cryptography can seem complex and overwhelming, the Cyber Centre encourages Canadian professionals to jump in with both feet to understand how cryptography should enhance their Cloud security efforts. By coming to understand the right cryptography solutions for your organization, your Cloud security effort will be as robust and strategic as possible.

Want to learn more about this from the Cyber Centre directly? You can find more detailed information and guidance on Cloud cryptography here.

Above all, when it comes to adopting Cloud-based services, the Government of Canada is urging Canadian businesses to adopt a structured, strategic, and secure approach to managing Cloud-related risks. The entire goal is to develop a strong understanding of how Cloud solutions should be used to support organizational needs and goals.

Here are some final tips for approaching Cloud migration strategically:

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of all the existing IT investments your organization currently has. This could include software investments and on-premise operating costs like servers, hardware, networks, or IT support professionals. Next, consider the specific value that can be gained from migrating to Cloud services.
  • Determine the level of data sensitivity your organization is dealing with. This helps you identify how different types of information can or should be stored and accessed in a Cloud environment. This will help ensure you are protecting business assets and sensitive data adequately to prevent Cloud-specific risks.
  • Carefully design and continually review security solutions and controls that have been implemented to protect your Cloud infrastructure assets such as web application gateways, network security groups, and security control baselines.
  • Get Cloud service provider agreements and policies on paper that define roles and responsibilities, document requirements, and outline financial penalties and restrictions for noncompliance or underperformance.
  • Take a look at the IT security resources that the Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity has already developed and made available to the public. You can access these resources here.
  • Recruit a team of Canadian IT security professionals to provide consultation, guidance, and support. Remember to make sure that their security best practices align with the goals and metrics of your organization. Enlisting a team of professionals that has experience in secure Cloud migration is the best option.

Looking for Support With Cloud Security? OnServe is a Click or Call Away!

We hope that the information provided by the Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity has offered you a foundation to build on when it comes to approaching Cloud migration securely and strategically. By following this guide and relying on the insights provided by professionals, your migration to cloud-based computing will be streamlined and secured at every step.

If your organization needs professional consultation and support when it comes to Cloud migration, reach out to the team of Cloud-security specialists from On Serve. We have the experience and expertise necessary to help you approach Cloud migration like an informed professional. Looking for Cloud migration support services? On Serve is happy to help.

Give us a call anytime at (613) 634-8125, or visit our website at www.onserve.ca to chat with a live agent and book a Cloud security consultation.