How to Secure Your Cloud Configuration
Your corporation’s cloud server could be susceptible to outside attacks if your IT department doesn’t understand how to secure and prepare your servers. Many enterprises don’t understand or even realize that they share the security responsibilities with their cloud service provider. Your cloud service provider is responsible for securing the underlying infrastructure, while you’re responsible for securing your cloud servers and specific workload that run in the infrastructure for IaaS.
Before starting your cloud server workload understanding proper configuration and cloud server security is necessary. Otherwise, your company risks the chance of alerting hackers to an easy mark. A recent cloud survey showed that a novice hacker can compromise your cloud server in just a few hours. Consider these five import considerations for configuring and safeguarding your cloud servers.
1. Verify tight hardening by internally verifying the master image.
Cloud providers provide a catalog or marketplace where they provide master images. The master images have been advertised and vetted as pre-hardened but it is necessary that your IT department verify the master images before using them in your cloud servers. You need to understand that multiple instances will become the offspring from these images. Therefore, even a single vulnerability will become a much larger issue to rectify with repeated propagation. If using a pre-built AMIs both you and your cloud provide have to verify the AMIs before utilizing. Remember, never trust the master image and always verify the image internally against possible exposure.
2. Limit root access and monitor all API access.
Always monitor the use of your server accounts, limit access to your servers, and pay special attention when giving access to accommodate APIs. Pay close attention to improper use of stolen, authorized credentials and always limit root access. You should enforce multi-factor authentication for all your access types on your servers. Also, for all API access, use time outs credentials and keep logs of all activity on your servers. This ensures that all activity on your servers is accounted for.
3. On your cloud servers disable all unnecessary services.
Keep a lean profile on your cloud servers by disabling unnecessary ports and services. Look at how your servers are updated and determine if the updates should be automatic or though a process your IT department oversees to ensure against running unnecessary risks. If you don’t need the port or service, then don’t enable it. Guard against breaches by not activating unmonitored services.
4. Watch for drift on your cloud servers.
Your IT department needs to manage drift from hardened configurations through tactfully patching. Many companies forego patching and solely rely on a refresh from completely new server images. Don’t introduce complications outside your maintenance window by creating an addition, slack with excess responsibilities and roles.
5. Continually watch for anomalies in your cloud server’s environment.
Even when your IT security team is diligent about security hygiene, at times threatening situations still occur. You need a security team that can handle dynamically changing cloud conditions and elastic compute environments. When an anomaly suddenly appears a traditional security measure isn’t enough to handle a cloud environment and can weigh down your cloud flexibility.
How to Secure Your Instant Messaging Communication
Instant Messaging is a popular tool for many people. It allows instant communication over computers, without the need to spend extra money. However, it is not always secure. You need to look after the security of all your methods of communication. Here are four tips to keep your instant messaging system secure.
Use a Strong Password
All instant messaging accounts are password protected. It is important to use a strong password, which is difficult for even computer systems to break. Use passwords that involve upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. The harder it is for you to remember and get right, the stronger it is!
Avoid Clicking Links/Accepting Files
If you were not expecting files or links to be sent through, avoid clicking on them. There is the risk that viruses are hiding within them. The sender can then download all sorts of information on your computer, or force you to spend money to remove the virus he/she has placed on your system. If you were expecting links or files, make sure they are from the actual sender rather than just assuming. Their account may have been compromised.
Avoid Sharing Personal Information
It is very difficult to encrypt information sent via instant messaging. The best thing you can do is avoid sharing any personal information at all. This also involves your real name. Choose a screen name that is easy for you to remember but not too close to your real name. Those who are eavesdropping will not be able to get the information they need to put your life or finances at risk.
Update Your Security Settings
Do not let your computer automatically download files that are sent to your computer. This gets away from the issue of automatically accepting unexpected files. You want to verify everything that is sent through instant messaging personally.
You should also check the security settings within your instant messaging itself. How does it deal with sharing your location? What does it tell people about what you are currently doing or listening to on the computer?
It’s also worth checking the version of the software while you are there. Make sure you have the most up to date version, as this will offer more protection when it comes to security.
Make Sure Your Antivirus Software is Up to Date
Your instant messenger may be secure, but is your computer? Remember that you are still using the internet, so you need to make sure your antivirus software is fully up to date. This is important whatever type of application you use on the computer, and should even be considered when using your phone or tablet device.
Take your time to protect yourself whenever you are online. This is especially the case with instant messaging. Just because it is a quick and easy form of communication, does not mean you should throw caution to the wind. Keep your password strong, avoid sharing personal information and always check that your software (both instant messenger and antivirus) is fully up to date.
How to Secure your Web Browser
Off-late I have been seeing many advertisements popping up on my laptop obstructing my work, what is scarier is that all these advertisements are very relevant to the information I use on a daily basis. Also, these advertisements multiply in number, and do not disappear at all. All this has hampered the performance of my laptop and have caused a great deal of inconvenience to me.
A little research on the web and brainstorming sessions with my friends revealed that this could possibly be a case of virus attack and may have more serious implications’ such as loss of personal , business related sensitive information along with financial fraud, as I make transactions on bank’s website using the same laptop.
As we browse the net there is a risk of dangerous and malicious code sneaking into our computers through an unsafe or malicious website. Browsers have to be properly configured to make sure, security of our information is guaranteed. Allowing certain features on the browser, most of the times, reduces the security cover and increases the chance of malicious software, web sites opening up splitting venomous virus into the computer.
Here are a few tips on securing your browser to protect your privacy
Purchase and install trusted software from Reliable sources only:
Always purchase and install software that is trusted and comes from reliable sources. The different types of software, available on the net, lure you with options such as free to download and many other options. If you are not sure about such offers or companies offering such promotions never install their software on your computer. There is a great risk of spyware, virus being installed along with such software.
Update the software regularly:
Companies always strive to improve the security measures and come up with additional codes and updates to provide for better security. Such updates are available online, and can also be manually installed. It is highly recommended to install such updates regularly for safe browsing.
Enable Pop-up Blocker and Fraud protection features:
The aim of Virus is to make money, either by showing unwanted advertisements on your screen or by phishing and using your personal and financial information. To fight this, we need to enable pop-up blocker which blocks malware and other forms of virus being installed on to your computer. Also, enabling fraud protection on your browser’s setting will prevent phishing sites opening up on your computer; as such websites may steal your personal information.
When using a shared computer at an internet kiosk, café, or library make sure you clear the browsing history, before the browser is closed. You can set this as a permanent option in the browser setting, as well. Private browsing tab is available with the new versions of all the browsers, to let you browse privately.
Strong Encryption Support:
Your browser should support strong encryption technology, for higher levels of security. Use browsers with SSL / TSL encryption support, such latest encryption establishes a secure and safe link for data to pass between your browser and the website. Should you sense a threat of Virus or any other malicious software infecting your computer, it is strongly advised to install anti –Virus software, etc to cleanse the system and get privacy cushion.