While the promise of the cloud is now a reality for government agencies, the federal arena is still challenged with leveraging these new solutions – especially from a cybersecurity perspective.  And, rightly so … one highly publicized data breach can put agency leaders in the hot seat in the media and on Capitol Hill.

If done properly, cloud migrations can come with more cost-savings and operational opportunities than risks. Though, this begs the age-old question: how can agencies ensure a smooth and secure transition to the cloud?

Mark Johnson, Director, Modern Platform for Government at Oracle, tackled this question in a recent FCW guest article, which provides a list of “must dos” when considering a cloud migration.

Johnson provides the following suggestions, based on key learnings from other organizations that have successfully moved to the cloud.

  • Secure Applications from End-to-End: While many traditional security offerings were designed for client/server systems, they were not designed to control decisions in the database – thereby exposing databases to vulnerabilities. Agencies should look for end-to-end security solutions that manage application security for application users – not database users.
  • Make Sure it’s a Match: When migrating to the cloud, public sector organizations must take a look at their needs and how they align with their vendors. Thing to consider: Do you share the same point of view on security? Do the vendors understand your business objectives? Is it better to go with a small vendor or a large shop?
  • Expect the Unexpected: Last but not least, the most successful agencies plan ahead. With security breaches on the rise, an attack can occur anywhere and at any time. The organizations that are most poised for success have a plan outlining exactly what to do if and when a breach occurs.

Plan ahead, weigh the options, and expect the unexpected. These are great considerations that every agency leader should keep in mind when developing their path to the cloud.

For providing real-world advice for helping the cloud come to life for government, we are naming Mark Johnson as this week’s GovTransformer. Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of other federal executives and their agencies that are truly transforming how they support mission goals through the most effective use of IT.