What is Virtualization Security?
Increasing virtualized environments all across the globe helps several industries to experience improving productivity, control workload, and enhance scalability. With many positive features of boosting the performance of the operations carried out in organizations, virtualization also creates emerging security challenges of protecting information over the server. This creates the necessity for virtualization security which can offer better terms of security measures than that physical security systems. Before moving toward the numerous benefits of virtualization security, let’s start with the fundamentals first.
What is Virtualization Security?
Virtualization security (also known as security virtualization) is a software-based network security solution built to protect virtualized IT environments. Virtualization – or deploying software-based security such as next-generation firewalls or antivirus protection in place of hardware – is quickly becoming the main way organizations build out their network infrastructure.
Deploying rigid hardware-based network security solutions doesn’t provide comprehensive protection in virtualized environments. Instead, you must implement a flexible, dynamic virtual security solution to match your new infrastructure needs.
How does it work?
At the functional level, virtualization security does everything that hardware-based security solutions like firewalls, VPNs, or antiviruses do. The only difference is that this concept replaces hardware-based deployment with cloud-based deployment and delivery the facilities of all these security tools via software
Based on the business requirements, virtualization security can handle:
- Encryption application
- Micro-segmentation of applications so that the attack surface is trimmed drastically
- Early finding of threats and vulnerabilities
The practice is generally applied at application using the bare metal hypervisor. However, it’s often applied as a hosted service on VMs. No matter how it’s implemented, virtualization-specific security is optimized according to the need of the hour. It’s so flexible that it automatically deployed where it’s most productive and result-driven.
What are the key benefits of Virtualization Security?
With growing demands for complex security over a virtualized network, the necessity of virtualization security is increasing across the virtualized environment. Moreover, the effectiveness and flexibility of virtualization security are the major factors boosting the usage and reliability of such security systems. Some more specific benefits of this type of security are listed below:
- Cost-Effective in Nature – By using virtualization security an organization can save itself from spending on expensive branded hardware. The pricing of cloud-based security systems is more dependent upon the usage of resources. This helps organizations utilize resources properly by saving on additional expenses.
- Greater Operational Efficiency – Virtualization security is easy to deploy than hardware-based security. Moreover, unlike hardware-based security, this type of security does not require IT teams for making setup and configuration. They can be set up through centralized software with rapid scaling.
- Higher Flexibility – Virtualization security can provide optimum security across multi-data centers in multiple hybrid cloud environments. This allows organizations to take advantage of virtualization by keeping data secure.
- Regulatory Compliance – As hardware-based security is not capable to meet the rising demands of maintaining risks and threats of virtualized networks, the necessity of virtualization security is increasing across organizations to sustain regulatory compliance.
What are Virtualization Security solutions?
A virtualization security solution (VSS) is a product that protects against threats posed by virtual environments. VSS works by monitoring activity on a host computer and detecting suspicious behavior. They then take action to prevent damage caused by an attack. There are two main categories of VSS: intrusion prevention systems and firewalls. Both products help reduce the risk of unauthorized access to data.
An IPS monitors network traffic and alerts administrators whenever something appears out of place. It can detect attempts to compromise a network and stop hackers before they gain access to sensitive information. An IPS can be used to identify and eliminate viruses, worms, spyware, and other malware. It can also be configured to block inappropriate content such as pornography.
A firewall protects networks from outside intruders. It blocks incoming requests from unknown sources while allowing authorized ones through. It can also control which applications can connect to a specific port.
In conclusion, security virtualization is a viable solution that offers many advantages and few drawbacks. It should be considered part of your overall IT strategy for protecting your organization’s most valuable assets.
The Risks & Challenges
Even if virtualization security is very viable and brings a lot to the table, it’s not a risk-free process. Certain challenges and risks are always involved. For instance:
- It’s a complex approach to follow as a virtual ecosystem features a wide range of apps and workloads. Their management becomes too complex over time.
- VLAN vulnerabilities can still penetrate and can give birth to network latency.
- Occurrence of VM sprawl as many unused and unaccounted VMs are present. This happens because IT teams often deploy too many VMs.
- Hypervisor attacks can still happen. And if successful, all the linked VMs will be compromised.
- The chances of DDoS attacks are still there because VMs often share the same servers; if one VM is infected, the others will also get infected.
Virtualization provides new security challenges for firms. The virtual components and environment cannot be protected by existing security mechanisms and processes alone. Virtualization creates a different network that is a hybrid between the established physically centered network and the new virtual or logical environment. Additional considerations and protections must be put into place to ensure a strong security posture, and much planning and preparation as well as training needs to be implemented in advance. Virtualization security must not become an afterthought after the new virtual infrastructure and components are put into place. Security in this area will improve as virtualization technology advances, and standards will need to be put into place so that firms have guidelines to follow to secure their new environments.