A honeypot, in simple terms, is a trap. It’s a trap for spammers or malicious software peddlers. For IT professionals, it’s an interesting thing. You set out a computer or a network for the sole purpose of luring malicious viruses and such in and trapping them so that they can’t access your real networks.

If you are going to operate in the cloud – that is, use cloud hosting – then you need to become very familiar with honeypots, honeynets, and honeyfarms.

A honeypot is a single computer that is isolated from the rest of your network. It looks like it has valuable information on it for hackers, which is what makes it attractive. But you have to put a firewall around it so that hackers can’t access your real network through it.

A honeynet is a network of honeypots. If you have a larger network or cloud set up, then you might need a honeynet to be more effective.

A honeyfarm is a centralized collection of honeypots. It is distinguished from a honeynet in that several honeypots can co-exist at the same location without being networked. These are particularly useful to cloud hosting providers who have several clients on various machines and they want to keep all them separate.

Honepots, honeynets, and honeyfarms are useful security measures for anyone operating in the cloud. Get very familiar with them for your own benefit.