How Secure is Your Cloud?

How Secure is Your Cloud?

As more companies move towards virtualizing their businesses, they venture into the private cloud, while some gear towards the public cloud. There are various issues with private and public cloud security. With the announcement of Heartbleed in April 2014, which was a serious Open SSL bug that affected nearly every company, agency, business and other individuals utilizing the cloud. Before making the jump to a public cloud, businesses have to think about a few issues that will make your cloud more secure and also make your IT department happier.

1. Cloud Providers Need Specific Security for Virtual Machines

While public clouds don't have the best security, it doesn't mean they are not secure. However, virtual machines require specific security measures and strategies that will identify and resolve issues that are specific to the infrastructure with that machine. The security should also note how it communications with cloud applications and multiple tenants on the same machine. Customers who plan to go into the public cloud need to also think about perimeter security. VMwhare vShield is one platform that offers security services to hypervisor and a group of APIs that allow third-party security vendors to create security services based on VMware's platform.

2. Lock Down Endpoints

Have you looked at mobile device sales lately? Tablets have been growing and are likely to hit 300 million sales by the end of 2015. In addition, 1.1 billion smartphones are slated to be sold in 2015 alone. Many businesses who want to capture the mobile market are moving to the cloud. They are sending data across the cloud and storing even more in applications built entirely on the cloud. In some businesses, companies allow employees to use their own devices, and it's causing major concerns for security. To lock down endpoints, there has to be a policy in place and employee procedures to ensure that users can't use personal devices on the corporate network. To do that, network security administrators need policy roadblocks in place. Devices may even need to be confiscated if there is a malware issue.

Sometimes it is imperative to give upper management more controlled access through cloud computing. You can use things like mobile device management modules to make it more effective and secure. In addition, a cloud provider's ID management scheme must go along with your internal management procedures, or else you could run into other issues. If you lock a personnel into a set role through ID management then you must ensure they don't have access to certain data outside their jurisdiction.

3. Get More Security From Your Service-Level Agreement

Cloud providers have a standard service-level agreement that do not mention more severe aspects of security. However, providers like Virtual Stacks go beyond just monitoring service usage in order to keep you secure. Customers should push their cloud providers for better compliance procedures and an overall security infrastructure that will make it easier to transfer to the cloud. Many companies don't realize this but you can request a custom security SLA. You may even have the ability to set up specific terms.

4. Take Action Lightning Fast

When security holes pop up, reacting quickly isn't quick enough. Businesses have to stay on top of their public cloud usage and ensure that any security problems are dealt with as soon as they discovered. Many companies have dealt with security issues in a slow fashion, which has only led to more security issues and frustrated IT departments for those same companies. It's imperative to always work on security breaches as they arise and get holes closed as soon as possible. Having a good cloud provider is one to prevent issues before they start, but an excellent cloud provider will also be able to help with security issues.

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9 Resources on Prevent Hacking and Fraud

9 Resources on Prevent Hacking and Fraud

If you have ever been browsing and you get bombarded with pop-ups that may induce a heart attack?  It may be because some malware advertisement just alerted you of a pesky virus you might have, and if you only download their software, you'll be free from all virus-causing harm. While most people are no longer fooled by these pop-ups, malware still gets on to your website, computer and now, your mobile phone. Hacking is another issue. For webmasters, hackers are the pebble in the shoe that might be covered in poison ivy or a tornado approaching your hometown. In some cases, when your site is hacked, these pop-ups will flood visitors as soon as they load your site. It's a big problem, and you're the only one who can solve it.

The best way to prevent these attacks is to prepare for them in advance. A good time to start would probably be now. The instances of hacking have become harder to ignore. For example, Target's credit card hack in 2013 and most recently, Heartbleed, which exposed vulnerabilities in OpenSSL. There are tons of resources out there that show you how to prevent attacks and what to install, but unless you decide to stop being in the business of webmastery, there will always be hack attempts on your site.

The following are a few of the most beneficial and smart techniques for preventing hackers from gaining access to your site. All of these authors conducted some thorough research and share step-by-step on how to make your site strong-like-bull against intruders, spammers, DDOS attacks and malware.

Smashing Magazine's "Are You Prepared Against a Hack"

With some updated information and seven steps to follow,Smashing Magazine has a great preventive guide to hacking that focuses on securing your WordPress site. However, the tips can be applied to different types of sites, not just WordPress. They outline a "KISS" plan or "keep-its-short-and-simple" disaster recovery plan that lays out everything you need to do in the event of an attack. One thing that many people don't realize is that they should always copy a hacked website and access log files before trying to roll back or completely take down their site. They also have tips on how to make the process quicker to bring your site back up to running smoothly.

CNET's "How to Protect Yourself from 'Heartbleed' Bug"

The Heartbleed bug shocked webmasters everywhere when it was revealed that sites on any platform with OpenSSL could be vulnerable. The heartbleed bug was so pervasive that it may have affected 500,000 web sites and was able to scrabe a server's memory collecting user data. This guide gives you a rundown on how to prevent your site from being vulnerable from the attack as well as some information about the heartbleed bug.

Dark Reading's "5 Tips to Prevent IoT"

- Basic Guide

For an essential guide to preventing hacking that includes mostly the basics, go to Dark Reading and read 5 tips on preventing IoT attacks. Hackers generally have too much time on their hands, and then there are those that are extremely malicious. This guide goes through some of the more blatant and obscure security threats while giving some basic tips on how to prevent hacks on your site. The directions are simple and easy to follow, and the list might include some things you hadn't heard of before.


Protecting Your Ecommerce Site from Hacking and Fraud

Many businesses have brought their stores online and started ecommerce sites that are a little bit more vulnerable than your average website online. That's because so many of these sites take customer information on a variety of levels. Fit Small Business published a well-written article on what every business needs to know about ecommerce security. Tips range from picking the best ecommerce platforms to what types of DDoS protection and mitigation services you can use to protect your site against these types of attacks.

Huffington Post's "How Hackers Protect Themselves from Getting Hacked"

Huffington Post did an interesting article that explores the ways that hackers prevent themselves from being hacked. While it's not a step-by-step, you can see the mindset of hackers and employ some of their systems into your own virtual servers to prevent against malicious attacks. The story follows an experience hacker and how he prevents vulnerability in his own browsing activities and servers.

IT Governance Blog

- Overall Great Resource

There are a ton of how-tos, guides, updates and news on the IT Governance blog. All types of information can be found here including current lists of cyber attacks and data breaches. You can follow their updates on Facebook or Twitter as well for instant updates and tips.

Spam Prevention Without Captcha

One final thing worth mentioning is the sophistication of spam prevention on blogs and the use of captcha. There are a few different ways to implement these on your site and prevent lots of spam from comments and phishing. One method doesn't involve the obnoxious captcha forms at all. You can check out this method which uses hidden form fields. In fact, you never have to use captcha if you try one of these alternatives.

Moving a Git Repository to a New Server

If your company decides to change around its code, or you are working with a new hosting provider, you can easily move your own Git repository to the new host. There is a great method for moving to a new server that takes less time.

Doing this properly takes some knowledge of how Git works, but you could do this as a beginner if you have some knowledge of servers.

How to Move Repositories Quickly

First, we have to fetch remote branches and tags from the existing repository to our local index:

"git fetch origin"

If all branches and tags were already fetched and exist in a local index, you still don't have a copy of them in a nearby location. Local copies are necessary to start migration.

If the resources above does not minimize your problems, you might be able seek help from your local data center. Online Fraud and Hacking occurs every second, on the look out for personal and sensitive information. Stay alert!

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