This module provides an introduction to key security issues, dangers and consequences when running a virtual machine in the cloud. Practical advice for making your machine secure and preventing it from being hacked. An introduction to data encryption including usage of a variety of tools is also given.

Cloud computing has grown exponentially over the last few years. However security concerns are still quite common amongst those who are reluctant to adopt it. Is cloud computing safe? What are the common security concerns, and how justified are they?

We will talk about security concerns in this Module and describe how NeCTAR addresses security issues, and what you need to do to make your virtual machine safe and protect it.

Videos

The following videos go through most of the content in this module and offer a less in-depth description of the subject than the documentation does.

Conventions

The notation throughout the training documents can be interpreted as follows:

Words in italics are used for names and terminology, e.g. name of a software, or name of a computing concept. It may also just emphasise a word in the traditional way. Quotations are also written in italics and are put in between quotatioin marks.

Words in bold are used to highlight words which identify important concepts of a paragraph, to make it easier for users to skim through the text to find a paragraph which explains a certain idea, concept or technology.

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Additional information which is optional to read is displayed in info boxes like this one.

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Important information is displayed in boxes like this one.

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Definition of terms are displayed in boxes of this style.

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Possibly specific prerequisites for reading a particular section are contained in this type of box at the beginning of a section.

The use of command line tools is part of this course. In a Terminal, you will be directed to type in commands. Commands are formatted as follows:

command-name argument1 argument2 ... argumentn

Throughout the exercises, when you see a word in pointed brackets, like <this-word>, it means that you have to replace everything inside the brackets, and including the brackets, with whatever is described within the brackets.

For example, if you are prompted to run a command named the-command which takes two arguments:

the-command -f <yourfile>

Then you have to replace the second argument, <yourfile>, with the file name that is being referenced in the exercise. For example

the-command -f thefile.txt

When editing a file, the contents of it will be displayed in a different font and with background colour as follows:

The content of the file
The next line in this file

Output on the command line terminal is printed in boxes formatted as follows:

NectarInstance:~ Jennifer$ whoami
Jennifer