In simplest terms, cloud computing is a subscription-based or free service where you can obtain networked storage space and other computer resources through an Internet access. While these systems may remove the need for owning physical components, they also introduce new risks to your information. Before you float your digital assets to the cloud, make sure you take the appropriate steps to protect yourself.
- Know your needs. Before you start, make sure you carefully plan what your security and privacy needs are. This includes knowing what your legal and regulatory requirements are for protecting data.
- Read the contracts. End User License Agreements and Service Level Agreements are important because they describe the terms and conditions of the cloud service. If you're not sure of what they do or do not provide, contact the provider to clarify the services.
- Protect Your Machine. Enable your firewall, use anti-virus/malware and anti-spyware software.
- Protect your data. Don't store unencrypted sensitive information in the cloud. You don't know with whom you're sharing the cloud!