As many companies are moving to the cloud for the benefit of access and security, migrations are becoming a way of life for the IT teams. In this process, companies are modernizing their legacy applications (also known as a migration process). While conducting the migration process, companies are failing to consider the robust security aspects, which is costing them heavily. In this blog, we list out 6 key security measures that an organization should not miss when performing a legacy migration.
Data is crucial in any type of legacy migration process. During the data migration, extreme care must be taken, as data blocks may be missed or deleted.
Consider an example of a banking application migration process, where customer data is critical. In this application, data is abstracted at various levels and based on the authorization data access is given. The data viewed by the bank manager and the customer may not be the same, as the bank manager has more authority to view sensitive information than a customer.
Data migration typically takes 30 to 40 percent of the effort in any new application project"
During the migration process, due to poor data migration practices, chances are that customer data may get deleted or stored in the wrong place. The other case would be damage caused due to changes in data security levels. This will result in access to data by unauthorized persons, (the sensitive information normally only seen by the manager is visible to the customer).
If the loss is pertaining to critical business data, then the company may face huge losses. The severity of damage due to data sensitivity issues is purely based on the data criticality.
Encryption and Decryption Issues
To ensure secure access to data, the storage and retrieval process involves encryption and decryption. This involves usage of customized hybrid encryption algorithms to ensure maximum security. The migration of such encrypted databases, if not properly done, would clutter up the data and ultimately lead to data corruption and data loss. This may also lead to security vulnerabilities being introduced into the migrated system.
Usage of Primitive Tools or Processes
In the haste to migrate, often companies employ primitive tools, which often lead to building a weak system that will fall prey to hackers.
For example, let us consider the issue of a ServiceNow auto update issue. The ServiceNow’s upgrade Helsinki is going to expire soon. If you are still using Helsinki, ServiceNow will first send a notification and later will auto upgrade to the latest version, as per instance types and its upgrade dates.
The ServiceNow auto-upgrade process uses a very primitive process. This situation would result in many problems, such as, breakage of existing environment customization, functionality breakages, lost instances, and depreciation of existing plugins.To ensure a smooth migration to the new version, it is required to define well-structured processes and use robust tools that are functionally specific.
Insufficiencies in the Systems Framework
“To err is human”, is the saying, and it applies to the technology created by humans too. Every technology comes with some security flaws. The legacy systems with outdated technologies have a different set of problems and only these problems can’t be taken into consideration while migrating, as migration may bring in new problems. This would result in new bugs arising, due to a lack of understanding on inefficiencies in the availability of knowledge about the older framework.
So, prior to performing the migration, get a detailed understanding of systems framework to be migrated and plan interfaces to conduct smooth migration.
Less Security Testing Measures
The legacy migration processes requires testing to perform, either after building the system or when a vulnerability arises. This is indeed a bad practice. Instead, assess the probable bugs and use these as a guide in assessing the threats. The best practice would be the development of an Automated Test Framework, which would act as a guidepost in the entire testing process to check and fix vulnerabilities on a timely basis.
(Are you unsure of how to perform a vulnerability assessment? V-Soft Consulting is willing to help. To reach out to our experienced cyber security experts)
Lack of Stringent Security Policies
Most of the organizations fail miserably in getting their security measures tight due to lack of a concise security policy. This is also known as a security road map. This security policy defines the directions and actions the migration performing teams need to abide by. This guide teams in understanding and handling data, and provides a clear view on current as well as evolving threats.