Every business has some information that is highly confidential, and storing this on the cloud may not be in your best interest. Be selective about the processes and the information you plan to shift to the cloud. Anything that is critical or confidential is best kept on local machines.
Encrypt Sensitive Data
All exclusive and sensitive data you’re putting on the cloud must be encrypted, and the encryption keys should be closely guarded. Cybercriminals can steal data only if you are using an insecure API. But when the data is encrypted, it cannot be decrypted unless one has access to the release keys. The sensitive data should remain in the encrypted form not just during transmission but also when it is stored in the cloud. An equally important rule to remember here is that all such information is decrypted only within the secure container of your virtual machine. For an additional layer of security, supplement encryption with DLP (Data Loss Protection) software and you can be doubly sure that your data is protected irrespective of whether it is in use, in transit or at rest.
Protect Your Virtual Machines Individually
Even though every good cloud service has its own built-in firewall, IPS and IDS to protect the cloud, it is not enough to ensure complete security of your virtual machine. IPS means intrusion prevention system and IDS means an intrusion detection system, and the two are sometimes collectively known as IDPS (Intrusion Detection and Prevention System). IDPS observes events, identifies possible incidents and reports them to the security administrators. You can radically reduce cloud computing security risks by ensuring that each and every virtual machine you are using is individually protected with a firewall and IDPS. Building up this security perimeter will protect you not just from outside attacks but also from malicious insiders operating within the cloud.
Limit Privileges and Access
Set down limits on the privileges of the users and the administrators. In addition, use stronger passwords and two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access. Two-factor authentication, which comes inclusive in most cloud computing packages, uses a double layer of identity verification to restrict access.
Monitor Privileged Users
As we mentioned earlier, every cloud has a few privileged users, and it is important to constantly keep checking on when and for what your account was accessed by these users. Nearly every cloud service comes with tools to keep track of these privileged users and your authorized users. Make it a point to periodically scan through these reports to identify any abnormal activities.