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7 Best Practices for Secure Cold Storage Migration 

We get it — it’s tough to move to the cloud. You’ve got your cold data under control in the location of your choosing. You’ve implemented the exact security measures you want, and you know your data is in compliance. 

The only problem? It’s breaking the bank. 

Moving cold data to the cloud can bring major cost benefits, with some suggesting a reduction of over 70% in storage costs. One source estimates that the cost of an on-premises server can be as high as $2,500, compared to $400 or less for a cloud server. Another study calculates that a company can save 58% on its IT budget by opting for a cloud solution over a span of five years. 

The exact numbers depend on your individual business and your industry — and there’s no one single way to execute your cold storage migration. But there are several best practices you can follow to maximize your savings and make the move to the cloud as safe as possible. 

1. Know your data

In their guide on simplifying and securing cloud migration efforts, the National Cyber Moonshot lays it out: “It is critical that you have a complete understanding of the inventory and interdependencies of the workloads and applications before migration.” 

It might sound simple, but many companies don’t know how much data they actually have. A recent report by the Institute of Directors and Barclays revealed that more than 43% of companies were not able to identify the location of their critical data. 

 Every company should begin the cold storage migration process by cataloging what data they have and deciding whether it should be classified as hot, warm, or cold data. From there, they can choose the best storage options for their needs. 

2. Understand the shared responsibility model

To protect your cold data, it’s vital to know who’s responsible for what in the cloud. While the shared responsibility model leaves some security features in the hands of the cloud provider, individual companies are almost always responsible for securing their own privileged access control and setting up security features like multi-factor authentication. Make sure you’re up on things like how patches will be applied and whether you will need to deploy your cloud provider’s updates yourself, and always read your service level agreements carefully. 

3. Make sure you can continue to migrate cold data

As you grow your business, your storage needs grow, too. When you migrate your cold data to the cloud, make sure you choose a scalable cloud storage provider — or else have a plan to easily migrate your data to another provider when the need arises. 

The ideal cold storage migration solution will allow you to move your cold data among cloud providers without any noticeable changes to your UX or data security. 

4. Ensure high availability

One downside of storing your cold data in the cloud is the impact of cloud provider outages. With the average cost of a critical server outage in 2019 coming to over $300,000 per hour — and the proportion of data outages that cost $100,000 or more up to 60% in 2022 — it’s reasonable to be concerned about data availability in the cloud. 

Because cold data is rarely accessed, it may seem safer from the impact of short-term outages. But that’s only the case if your cold data doesn’t include backups — and isn’t stored in the same location as the rest of your unavailable data. As the Harvard Business Review points out: “Servers and technology can be found at secondary sites, but if the data is locked in the cloud, the business’s ability to function may be severely compromised.” 

To support cold storage migration and avoid problems with outages, companies should consider putting a data resilience solution in place. That solution might include microsharding, which can offer redundancy in the form of virtual clusters to provide failover and guarantee high availability. 

5. Minimize disruption to user workflows

People are creatures of habit. If your new cloud storage involves major changes to your employees’ data handling workflows, you’ll have to invest in retraining and monitoring employees. The more changes you make, the more potential there is for mishaps and noncompliance. 

Even though cold data involves less handling than other kinds of data, considering your process is still important. Look for a solution that functions transparently and integrates easily with your existing workflows to help prevent avoidable mistakes. 

6. Consider hybrid solutions

Maybe your company has some cold data that truly needs to be maintained on-premises — but you still wish you could take advantage of the cost savings of the cloud.  

Luckily, your approach doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Use a solution that allows for a hybrid environment with a mix of cloud and on-premises storage. You’ll be in good company: According to Fortinent’s 2021 Cloud Security Report, 71% of organizations are already pursuing a multi- or hybrid-cloud strategy. 

7. Remember that encryption isn’t the only option for data security

Although encryption has long been considered the gold standard for data security, new and innovative solutions have emerged to protect data in the cloud. For instance, microsharding allows businesses to maintain data confidentiality, integrity, and availability in the cloud. By desensitizing data without any concept of a key, microsharding allows companies to dispense with encryption key rotation, key management, and concern about third-party access for their cold data in the cloud. 

Secure cold storage migration with ShardSecure 

Beyond working as a replacement for or supplement to encryption, microsharding helps companies follow many of the best practices for secure cold storage migration.

  • Our game-changing Microshard™ technology provides advanced data security and resilience in multi- and hybrid-cloud environments, keeping your cold data unreadable to unauthorized users. 
  • Microshard technology also provides strong data resilience, helping ensure high availability in the face of cloud provider outages, attacks, and other disruptions. 
  • When cold data fails a data integrity check upon reassembly, we use our self-healing data feature to automatically alert your security team and reconstruct the data in real-time so you can continue working uninterrupted. This neutralizes the impact of ransomware attacks, data deletion and tampering, outages, and other forms of data compromise. 
  • We function transparently and integrate easily with your applications. Data users will not see any changes to their workflows, so data can be moved without issue. 
  • Moving your data to a different cloud provider happens with a few clicks, giving you the flexibility to store your cold data exactly where you want. 
  • Lastly, we partner with Komprise and their intelligent data management solution to ensure that companies know their data and maximize their cost savings. Our Komprise integration allows you to seamlessly optimize your storage and protect your data, regardless of where it’s located. 

Keeping your cold data safe no longer has to break the bank. Get in touch with ShardSecure to learn more about how we support secure cold storage migration today. 


Quantifying the Business Value of Komprise Intelligent Data Management | Komprise  

Cost of Server Comparison: On-Premises vs Cloud | Parallels 

Total Cost of Ownership of Servers | Sherweb 

Simplify and Secure Your Cloud Migration Efforts | National Cyber Moonshot 

More Than 40% of Companies Don’t Know Where Their Data Is Stored | Lepide  

The Role of Privileged Access Control in a Secure Cloud Migration | CyberTalk 

6 Cloud Security Best Practices for Vulnerability Management | Retail & Hospitality ISAC  

How Much Does Internet Downtime Cost a Business? | ICTSD 

Uptime Institute’s 2022 Outage Analysis Finds Downtime Costs and Consequences Worsening as Industry Efforts To Curb Outage Frequency Fall Short | Uptime Institute 

Don’t Get Stuck in the Cloud | Harvard Business Review 

2021 Cloud Security Report | Fortinet