Virtualization has gained popularity in recent years because of its ability to improve efficiency and scalability at lower costs. Server virtualization is used by over 90% of businesses, and many companies are looking into other virtualization alternatives, such as application, desktop, network, and storage virtualization.
With the increasing popularity of virtualization, security has become one of the most significant concerns. As a result, there is a need to pay close attention to virtualization security risks. When compared to traditional server infrastructure, virtualization provides certain obvious security advantages. Virtual machines (VMs) have a lot of benefits, including increased availability, isolation from the operating systems and actual hardware they run on, and enhanced security measures
that come standard with most virtualization solutions.
Because so many firms use this technology, it's an attractive target for hackers and other cybercriminals. However, virtualization is no more or less of a security risk than any other component of your IT infrastructure. Its use necessitates a greater understanding of the problems that IT managers problems.
Virtualization security is an essential component of a larger security strategy
. Virtualization security must be applied to all physical, virtual, and cloud layers in today's settings, where more than 80% of them are virtualized.
“Virtualization allows organizations to cut costs, improve efficiency and increase essential infrastructure agility, but it also brings complexities – including scale and management concerns that impact the surrounding IT infrastructure. We support HP’s cloud initiative of delivering highly scalable and adaptable global-class services to ensure optimized application delivery to users and continue to collaborate with HP to help enterprises maximize the value of their virtualization investments.”
- Karl Triebes, senior vice president, Development, and chief technology officer, HP
Read on to know more about the risks of virtualization and how to mitigate them efficiently.
Top Virtualization Security Risks
Virtualization security risks are known to affect businesses adversely. So, it is better to be aware of these potential risks and find ways to mitigate them. Some of the top virtualization security issues can be:
• Keeping snapshots on VMs
• External attacks
• Network configuration
• File sharing between VM and host
• Offline virtual machine security
• Viruses, ransomware, and other malware
• VM sprawl
Ways to Mitigate Virtualization Security Risks
Now that we've covered the potential risks associated with virtualization, let’s look at reducing these risks. Here are some things you may do to lessen the effects of security issues
Protect Your Data Centre by Securing Management Interface
Virtualization systems may improve data center efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but they also add complexity with a different administration interface to protect. As a result, agencies must ensure that their management interface is safe. Even if an attacker gains administrative access to a system, they cannot take over a large part of the data center and alter hardware resources.
The best defense is to restrict access to a minimum. In addition to needing a strong multifactor authentication, cybersecurity teams should guarantee that the interface is only available from a virtual local area network devoted to that purpose. For administrators to get access, they first need to connect to the dedicated VLAN by VPN or jump box. This significantly reduces the risk of a breach because it prevents attackers from accidentally coming across the interface during routine network scans.
Find Out Warning Signs, Carefully Monitoring Networks
Even the most meticulously constructed security safeguards can fail at times. Therefore, monitoring networks and systems for signs of compromise is one of the most critical tasks for agency cybersecurity
teams. This necessitates a robust set of technologies and processes, such as intrusion detection and prevention systems, thorough logging and security data, and event management systems that correlate collected data. While developing monitoring techniques, another thing to keep in mind is to pay extra attention to monitoring virtualization platforms for signs of compromise, like unusual inter-VM network activity or administrative connections from unknown sources.
Protect Your Environment with Strong Virtualization Security Tools
Companies can deploy robust virtualization security
tools to protect businesses from virtualization security risks
. This will help safeguard against any potential threats and breaches. Some of the practical tools can be:
Antivirus and anti-malware software
Change auditing software
Backup and replication software
Have a Well-Designed Disaster Recovery (DR) Plan and Strong Backup
Whether you experience a cyberattack
or a hurricane bringing down your production data center, a proper disaster recovery plan and backup are critical to guaranteeing business continuity. In addition, having a disaster recovery site in a remote data center or the cloud can help reduce the virtualization issues of extended downtime. You can consider three steps as you put together your disaster recovery plan:
Back up VMs and physical servers
Use the 3-2-1 backup rule
Modern businesses must protect their virtual environments from various virtualization security attacks. Keeping all software up to date, utilizing antivirus software, following configuration best practices, and providing frequent user training are essential tactics. However, some threats will get through even the finest defenses, so it's critical to invest in virtualization security solutions that can track changes and logons to help you maintain security at all levels, all the time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does virtualization improve security?
Virtualization increases physical security by lowering physical hardware elements. In a virtualized environment, less hardware means fewer data centers. In addition, server virtualization allows servers to revert to their default state in an incursion.
What are the basics of virtualization security?
The basics of virtualization security are:
Secure all the parts of the infrastructure
Reduce the open ESXi firewall ports numbers
Have a robust backup and disaster recovery (DR) plan
What are some of the types of virtualization?
Some of the types of virtualization are: