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Going into the cloud from on-premise

Migrating to the cloud from on-premise storage can reduce management costs, protect data and give you the flexibility to expand or contract your storage capacities at the touch of a button. The move also makes it easier for teams to cooperate and share information, whether working in the same office or remotely. However, much like moving house, there is some heavy lifting involved in the migration process, and you should handle certain items with special care.

4 steps for moving into the cloud

Cleaning up privacy data when migrating to the cloud is a critical step to ensure compliance with data protection regulations and to safeguard sensitive information. Here are key steps to effectively manage privacy data during the transition:

  1. Discover your privacy data
  2. Classify your privacy data
  3. Minimise your privacy data
  4. Control access

By following these steps, organisations can successfully clean up privacy data during the migration to the cloud, ensuring a secure and compliant transition.

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1. Discover your privacy data

First, find out what you have. Your team may be storing company information in a variety of different locations online and on their own computers.

Automated data discovery is the simplest way to do this. Invite the whole team to participate so that all company information can be gathered and mapped. This will give you a clearer understanding of the data you store.  

A good data discovery tool will give you a complete overview of files and documents from all users on a single dashboard. This bird’s eye view of company documents lets you discover sensitive data, including files you may not have known existed. 


2. Classify your privacy data

Now that you have eliminated superfluous data, you can turn your attention to information that will continue to be an asset for your company.  

Before you move this valuable data to its new home, you’ll want to make sure to sort and label it. But manually organising documents scattered across mailboxes, servers, local drives, cloud storage, and USBs is an enormous task with a significant potential for human error. 

Use a data discovery tool to organise your data intuitively based on content and context and tell you each sensitive document’s risk level. Look at what you have, then decide: 

  • How much sensitive data will you be moving? 
  • What controls should you put in place to prevent data leaks? 
  • Which data will take special coordination to migrate?
  • Which department’s data should you migrate first? 
3. Minimise your privacy data

Next, identify data that can be excluded from your migration scope, archived, or deleted. Analysts have found that at least 30 percent of the total unstructured data stored by organisations is redundant, obsolete, or trivial (ROT).  

All that unnecessary data costs money to store and protect, slows down your processing speeds, and may expose you to a greater risk of data leaks and privacy regulation violations.  If you are migrating to cloud storage, now is the time to identify and eliminate any files you don’t need. 

This includes: 

  • Duplicate files, stored in multiple locations
  • Files you have not used in a long time, that you are unlikely to need again
  • Files that are not relevant and have no business or legal value. 
4. Control access

Sensitive data requires special care. Before moving the data, assign a data owner for each set of critical data. The data owner can make decisions such as who has the right to access and edit data and how it is used. 

Start your GDPR cleanup where it is needed the most

Sensitive data can tends to accumulate in the employees' e-mails. With a GDPR Risk Scan from DataMapper, you get a report that shows any potential GDPR risks in the company's e-mails.

Need help moving into the cloud?

In the intricate dance of migrating to the cloud, cleaning up privacy data stands as a paramount concern. By meticulously assessing and securing sensitive information, organisations pave the way for a seamless transition. As data becomes the lifeblood of modern business, ensuring its privacy integrity is not just a compliance necessity but a strategic imperative.

Do you need help as you head into the cloud? At Safe Online we have developed the Data Discovery tool named DataMapper to discover and map your team’s files by using AI.

Sebastian Allerelli
Founder & COO at Safe Online
Governance, Risk & Compliance Specialist
Follow me on LinkedIn to get tips on GDPR →


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