Business

Practical Steps To Protect Your Data During Cloud Migration

So, you’ve taken the bold decision to move your firm’s IT services to the cloud – congratulations, you most definitely won’t look back. However, now you’ve decided to move to the cloud, there are some practical steps you should take today to ensure the migration goes as smoothly as possible.

A professional cloud services provider will be able to hand-hold you most of the way during your firm’s transition to their services, but there are still some precautions you’ll need to perform yourself before the move. Unfortunately, no matter how professional the firm is that you choose to work with, these small steps can often get overlooked, so read on for some tips to protect your data during a cloud migration. 

Learn the basics

While it’s a true one of the major benefits of partnering with a cloud company is the intrinsic level of support and guidance they can offer, it still doesn’t do any harm to have at least a basic working knowledge of cloud tech so you can oversee your network. If you learn cloud computing – or, at minimum, the basics of cloud computing – you’ll be in a much better position to choose the right provider, advise how you want your system to work, and look after day-to-day functions. 

Work out how you use the cloud already

If you look around your firm and check its current operations, chances are you’ll find you’re already using cloud services to some degree. You should take time to work out what cloud services provider you already use so you can advise your provider and give them a full breakdown of your current level of cloud integration. Most companies already use cloud platforms like Gmail, Dropbox, or other file-sharing/storage apps, so be sure to take a full inventory of your current cloud use. 

Keep your eye firmly locked on security and train employees

No matter how much you spend on security and protection, a cloud provider can only mitigate your risk of cyberattack to a certain degree. In truth, the onus lies very much with you to train your staff to be alert to the common dangers that lurk online. 

Humans are very often the weakest link when it comes to cybercrime, so you must educate yourself and your team on dangers like phishing and Man in the Middle (MitM) attacks. 

Do a data spring-clean

Not so long ago, there was a thinking that any data a company could collate would prove useful in some way or other – largely leading to recent findings that around 27% of business owners can’t verify the true accuracy of their firm’s data. If you check the information your firm holds, you may find you have screeds of old, inaccurate, or plain useless data, so you should perform a thorough clear out of the records you store.

Given the fact most cloud companies charge on a per-use basis (i.e. the Software as a Service (SaaS) model which charges for data and services as you use them), there’s little point in paying extra to store data your company doesn’t need. 

More importantly, however, cloud-based software can be used to automate vast chunks of your business activities (everything from email lists to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools) so holding inaccurate data will only hamper these processes and render them ineffective. You should also set up a plan for better data hygiene moving forward – for example by eliminating duplicate data capture, standardizing inputs and merging spreadsheets.

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