Getting Data Security Right When Migrating to AWS or Amazon S3

Digital transformation has become a must for businesses across industry segments to retain the competitive edge by improving efficiency, reducing waste, enhancing productivity, and engaging customers better. However, the pace at which this transformation is being embraced can leave them vulnerable in many aspects. One of the key areas is in the security lapses while migrating from on-premises systems to the cloud. Often this happens in the mistaken notion that the security on the cloud is the cloud service provider’s responsibility and becomes an area of neglect. However, though the cloud service provider does offer security, each business has to ensure the security of its organizational data and put permission-based controls based on its needs.

But data can be prone to attacks not only after the data has been migrated to the cloud but during the transit process itself. If a business is planning to migrate its operations to the cloud, it faces several security risks. Some of these include:

Data Loss and Exposure: Incomplete, corrupt, and missing files can lead to data loss during the migration process. Identity theft by hackers to enter the cloud storage and look for valuable information is another threat businesses face. Malware infection introduced by phishing emails is another reason for data loss and exposure.

Misconfiguration: Sometimes, granting users permissions when transferring applications and data from on-prem to the cloud, leaving the system vulnerable to new attacks and unauthorized access to sandbox environments.

Threats and Errors: At the time of migration, human errors can creep in leading to data corruption, erasing, or exposure. Confidential information may also be shared inadvertently or be exposed to insider attacks due to carelessness, theft, malicious intent. A negligent service provider may also compromise security through misuse and unauthorized access.

Insufficient Resources: For small and medium businesses, cybersecurity may prove to be a challenge due to the lack of internal skills, the necessary tools. or the finances to develop the necessary defense posture and countermeasures during the migration process.

Regulatory Compliance: Cloud migration requires changes to applications and information with controls to ensure security and compliance. This may be neglected or not implemented appropriately.

Migrating Everything at Once: In the eagerness to leverage the advantage of the cloud, businesses may try to migrate everything in one go. This can be a challenge and needs a more phased approach after prioritizing data and applications that need to be migrated first.

Insecure APIs: Insecure or unpatched APIs meant to streamline the cloud migration process may also leave data open to breach.

Migrating to AWS or S3 Securely

Among the cloud servers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most popular, being used by nearly 67% of the business surveyed by O’Reilly. Amazon enables fully managed support for file transfers directly into and out of Amazon S3 with AWS Transfer Family without the need for additional infrastructure or setting up. It includes Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), File Transfer Protocol over SSL (FTPS), and File Transfer Protocol (FTP), which enable file transfer workflows to seamlessly migrate to AWS and integrate with existing authentication systems. Amazon Route 53 facilitates DNS routing without affecting customer experience or the applications of partners. The data in Amazon S3 can be processed, analyzed, archived, or used with AWS services.

The protocols SFTP, FTPS, and FTP can be used across industries such as financial services, healthcare, retail, and telecom even to securely transfer sensitive documents such as medical documents, stock transactions, employee records, invoices, and software artifacts. While preserving the existing data exchange processes, it also leverages superior economics, data durability, and security of Amazon S3 or Amazon EFS. To store the transferred data, selecting one or two protocols and configuring Amazon S3 buckets or Amazon EFS file systems requires just a few clicks in the AWS Transfer Family console. End-user authentication is made possible by importing existing credentials or integrating an identity provider such as Microsoft Active Directory or LDAP. Existing clients can be used to transfer files that are stored in the Amazon S3 bucket or EFS file system

Some of the benefits of the Amazon Transfer Family include:

Infrastructure: Businesses do not need to purchase SFTP, FTPS, or FTP servers and storage for the secure exchange of data with partners and customers. The AWS Transfer Family not only provides the required infrastructure for you but also provides auto-scaling capacity that is highly available and provides a multi-AZ architecture.

Seamless Migration: Transferring workflows to AWS using the AWS Transfer Family does not require any change to the existing authentication systems, domain, and hostnames. This is because it is fully compatible with the SFTP, FTPS, and FTP standards and can directly connect with identity provider systems such as Active Directory, LDAP, and Okta. This also enables exchanging files with customers and partners without the need to modify their applications, processes, client software configurations, or behavior.

An AWS Native service: Being a native of AWS, the service allows data to be stored in Amazon S3 or Amazon EFS. This also provides easy access to AWS services for processing and analytics workflows and comes with native support for AWS management services, thereby making security, monitoring, and auditing operations simple.

To know more


Indium for Secure Migration to AWS

Indium Software is a rapidly growing technology services company with deep digital engineering expertise across Cloud Engineering, Data and Analytics, DevOps, Application Engineering, and Digital Assurance.

Indium Software is a trusted AWS Partner that leverages AWS’s pre-fabricated toolsets to help businesses become agile and cloud-driven. Indium’s certified cloud engineers and solution architects can help build highly scalable, secure, and cost-effective cloud architectures to meet business requirements.

Our AWS offerings include migration/modernization of applications and data on the cloud, by leveraging automation at scale and enabling innovation in a secure, reliable, and compliant fashion.

The three services we offer include:

App Migration / Modernization: License optimization, secure workload migration, cloud-native app development, monolith to microservices, containerization, serverless

Data & Analytics: EDW modernization, enterprise data lake, distributed data processing, real-time data processing, data governance, BI/analytics, AI/ML

DevOps: Maturity assessments, DevOps toolchain identification, microservices, containerization, CI/CD, Alerts & Monitoring, Log/Policy/Config management

Author: Indium
Indium Software is a leading digital engineering company that provides Application Engineering, Cloud Engineering, Data and Analytics, DevOps, Digital Assurance, and Gaming services. We assist companies in their digital transformation journey at every stage of digital adoption, allowing them to become market leaders.