Although virtualization can pose a number of security challenges—such as increasing network complexity and developing new avenues of attack—it can also create opportunities for improved security. InformationWeek’s Next-Generation VM Security report states that “virtual software appliances that mimic the functionality of traditional hardware devices offer far more deployment options, while security software embedded in the hypervisor can provide fine-grained control and monitoring of application and network activity.”
The report draws from InformationWeek’s recent Virtualization Management Survey, which revealed that 63% of its respondents plan to have at least half of their production servers virtualized by the end of the year. With the growing number of organizations adopting virtualization, the Next-Generation VM Security report focuses on how organizations can secure their virtualized infrastructure. The report offers the following advice:
- Develop a VM-based network security strategy. According to the report, server and network virtualization should be “part of your security team’s charter and project plans—not a one-off implemented by VM server administrators.”
- Understand that network security does not replace application and system administration governance policies. You will need to develop policies for VM system management and application deployment.
- Don’t throw away your existing security strategy. Although VM-based security can help protect your network, it shouldn’t replace your other security tools, such as perimeter hardware firewalls, IPS appliances and content filters.
For more advice on how to secure your virtual environment, click here to download the complete report.