I administer a number of linux servers (hosted on EC2 and linode) which provide VPN termination for thirty-odd users. I'm considering ditching my Macbook running OSX / Ubuntu in favour of setting up a server on one of the public clouds and using an iPad to access my 'computer in the cloud'. These are my assumptions :
- A web browser + flash is probably the most risky piece of software you can run if you are concerned with security, especially on general purpose Operating Systems. Using an iPad will provide me with a reasonable level of utility while limiting the risk of exploits delivered throught the browser / flash / java. All access to my servers will use One-Time-Passwords (Google Authenticator) on a separate device (an iPhone minus iCloud or anything else that could connect the two devices).
- a hardened linux OS instance without any GUI / browser / flash using a non-privileged user account and only sshd listening + default deny iptables (inbound and outbound) could mostly limit the potential attack surface to the big four (cloud provider / kernel / ssh / iptables). I will probably also use an encrypted home directory using LUKS or truecrypt.
Is my thinking OK?