Keeping Clients Safe: Best Practices for Cloud Data Migration

Clouds – hi-tech background

In today's digital age, businesses increasingly rely on technology to drive their operations. One of the most important trends in technology today is cloud computing. Shifting operations to the cloud allows businesses to store, manage and access data over the internet, making it easier to scale their operations and reduce IT costs.

As more and more businesses move mission-critical data to the cloud, IT service providers must understand how to help their clients with cloud data migration — and how to protect them during this process.

Why move to the cloud?

According to a report by Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow 20.7% in 2023, to a total of $490.3 billion. This impressive increase comes even after multiple consecutive years of double-digit growth.

For most businesses, moving to the cloud means significant savings. Organizations only need to pay for the cloud resources that they’re actively using, meaning that they can easily scale services and spending up or down, depending on their current demands. This is especially helpful for ensuring assets that only see sporadic use remain cost-effective. And because most cloud platforms have a global presence, companies can support customers with quicker performance by running processes and storing data on servers that are physically closer to users’ locations.

“Current inflationary pressures and macroeconomic conditions are having a push-and-pull effect on cloud spending,” says Sid Nag, Vice President Analyst at Gartner. “Cloud computing will continue to be a bastion of safety and innovation, supporting growth during uncertain times due to its agile, elastic and scalable nature.”

Cloud migration is increasingly becoming a necessity for businesses. However, migrating to the cloud comes with data protection challenges that need to be addressed.

Understanding the cloud migration landscape

Before helping clients migrate their data to the cloud, it's essential to understand the types of cloud environments available. There are three primary types of cloud environments: on-premises, hybrid, and public cloud.

On-premises cloud environments are those where businesses own and operate their servers and data centers. They provide complete control over data, but they can be expensive to maintain and lack scalability.

Hybrid cloud environments combine on-premises and cloud-based services. This type of cloud environment provides businesses with more flexibility in managing their data, and it can be more cost-effective.

Public cloud environments are provided by third-party providers and are accessible over the internet. They provide businesses with easy access to scalable infrastructure and can be more cost-effective than on-premises solutions.

Each type of cloud environment has its advantages and disadvantages. As an IT service provider, it's essential to understand your clients’ needs and help them choose the best environment for their data.

Data protection challenges during cloud migration

Security is one of the biggest concerns when migrating data to the cloud. The threat of data loss or breaches, as well as maintaining compliance with applicable data protection regulations throughout the process, can pose significant challenges.

Viewing and monitoring data across an entire organization can be very different in cloud environments (especially multi-cloud ones), leading some security teams to struggle with the adjustment. Additionally, cloud migration is likely to introduce new types of privileged users — such as cloud architects and site reliability engineers — to your environment. Ensuring strong privilege oversight is a must, to keep sensitive data accessible only to those users who require such privileges.

Regulations such as the GDPR, HIPAA, and others introduce specific requirements for businesses to protect sensitive data and ensure its confidentiality, integrity and availability. It's crucial to first understand which regulations may be applicable to your clients, and to help them maintain compliance accordingly during the migration process.

Best practices for data protection during cloud migration

While there are many potential security issues that can arise during cloud migration, a little preparation can do wonders to keep everyone safe.

Here are some best practices for data protection during cloud migration:

Comprehensive risk assessment: Before beginning any actual migration, perform a comprehensive risk assessment of the client's data to identify vulnerabilities and evaluate potential threats. What privacy regulations must be met, and what would happen if something did go wrong?

Develop a data protection strategy: Create a protection strategy that aligns with the client's business objectives. Set specific goals, such as data confidentiality, integrity and availability.

Implement data protection tools and processes: Choose tools and processes that match the client's needs. Encryption, access control, and data backup and recovery can be used to protect data during the cloud migration.

Continuous monitoring and auditing: By actively monitoring and auditing the migration process, you can detect problematic behavior and act quickly to prevent data breaches.

Incident response planning: Develop an incident response plan that outlines what to do in the event of a data breach or security incident. It’s important that you be ready to act quickly, as even brief exposure of sensitive information to unauthorized parties can have catastrophic consequences.


Cloud data migration can provide businesses with significant savings and other benefits, but the migration process itself carries very real risk for the unprepared.

As an IT service provider, it's critical to understand the different types of cloud environments and to choose the optimal one for your client's data. It's also essential to follow best practices for data protection during the migration process, including performing a comprehensive risk assessment, developing a data protection strategy, implementing data protection tools and processes, establishing continuous monitoring and auditing, and creating an incident response plan.

To learn more about how Acronis supports quick and easy cloud migration, check out our Quick Start guide.

This guest blog is courtesy of Acronis. Read more Acronis guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program.