Along with a widespread migration to the cloud for infrastructure, storage, software and other computing needs, enterprises are increasingly tasked with saving money and operating more efficiently. This trend has given rise to a virtualized computing world in which machines do more with less, leading to massive savings all around.
Securing virtualized infrastructure is a whole new ballgame, and one that IT professionals are struggling with. A recent survey from Kapersky Lab found that one out of four IT professionals claim little to no understanding of their options for virtualization security. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that 36 percent of those queried ranked security concerns surrounding virtual infrastructures as significantly lower than those in physical environments.
And yet 52 percent of those surveyed said virtualization is a core component of their business IT infrastructure. Even in the slowest growing markets, financial and account applications, virtualization was expected to increase by 48 percent during the next year.
All of this begs the question of what needs to be done to secure these rapidly expanding virtual infrastructures. One of the main principles IT departments need to understand is that security solutions built exclusively for virtual environments provide the highest level of protection. By the same token, trying to cannibalize physical endpoint security solutions to work with virtual environments can hinder performance and put the network at risk.
A major benefit of virtualized security solutions for the data center is that they can be automated for provisioning secure machines and securing desktops no matter where they are located according to set policies. Similarly, automatic firewall rules for specific classes of servers may be assigned, pinpointing potential points of weakness.
Automated security solutions designed specifically for virtualization also offer a variety of management features spanning both physical and virtual computing infrastructure. A comprehensive solution can be beneficial for reducing the burden for both IT and security departments while increasing ROI and improving system utilization rates.
IT personnel should re-examine their security policies and solutions when it comes to virtualized infrastructure. With massive cloud and data center growth and a growing number of services and applications dependent on virtualization, security can no longer be a low priority.