When cloud computing first hit the market, many companies initially used the technology for simple, less-sensitive tasks such as email management and file sharing. Because security was not as much of a concern for these functions, public cloud computing models quickly became the most popular among organizations in the public and private sectors.

However, now that companies are beginning to use the technology for a wider variety of functions, some of which being highly sensitive, enterprise-class cloud computing is starting to be a more common choice. Businesses that started with a public model and are ready to migrate into a high-functioning private model should be careful during the transition period to avoid loss and vulnerability proliferation.

One bank's pursuit
CIO Australia recently reported that the National Australia Bank has chosen to migrate its systems and infrastructure into a private cloud environment, which it believes will take roughly one year to complete. Financial services companies often handle some of the most sensitive data, which generally make the use of public cloud models a poor option.

The news provider stated that the bank is specifically leveraging a private Infrastructure-as-a-Service model to simultaneously strengthen its security performances and reduce the cost of IT.

"The data centers will be more efficient, use less power, remove the risk that comes with older data centers, process data and transactions more quickly and respond to the 24/7 digital future," an NAB spokesperson explained, according to the source.

One of the reasons why this process is going to take so long is because of the sheer number of data centers and other environments that must be consolidated. CIO Australia noted that the bank hopes to consolidate its 20 data centers and computing facilities into only two, leveraging enterprise IaaS solutions to accomplish this feat.

Protection in migration
Data in motion is often more vulnerable than data at rest, and any type of migration should involve a robust security strategy. Help Net Security contributor Sam Erdheim recently explained some of the best practices of using a firewall to ensure protection when migrating applications and data into a private cloud environment. The source suggested using whichever firewall solutions had been in place during the migration, and then using those that are more customized to the private cloud environment once the project is complete.

Decision-makers will need to ensure that all security solutions are properly configured to the new environments to optimize the private cloud experience.