Virtualization has been around for a long time, and many have enjoyed its proven business benefits. With virtualization, businesses can increase energy efficiency, reduce power and operating costs, boost productivity, respond more quickly in a disaster, and much more.
However, there are some businesses yet to embrace this “new” technology for fear of encountering unknown security risks. This is a common misconception. While virtualization cannot prevent all attacks, it can actually strengthen security when proper solutions are put in place.
Here are three virtualization options businesses should consider and how each can minimize risk and enhance security.
1. Server Virtualization
Server virtualization creates several virtual servers from a physical server and utilizes specialized software to maximize resources.
When it comes to security, virtualized servers place data in a centralized location, which makes activity easier to manage and monitor. This also means suspicious activity or compromised applications are simpler to spot and correct.
In the event of malware, virtualized servers also have the ability to separate applications that have been impacted from other applications, helping to better stop the virus in its tracks. Finally, virtualized servers offer the opportunity to build a highly efficient intrusion detection system, which can strengthen the security of the overall network.
2. Network Virtualization
Like server virtualization, network virtualization creates and decouples multiple virtual networks from the foundational network hardware. For businesses transitioning to an overall virtual environment, virtual networks are able to better communicate with and support related systems.
Known for its flexibility, network virtualization can create a more secure mobile environment. With the move to a more mobile workforce, virtualization offers team members an efficient and secure way to connect to company resources. It also allows administrators to centrally manage and monitor activity and provide secure access to those on the go.
In addition, the actual foundation of a virtual network can enhance security. The network is made up of multiple tiers, and each tier can be protected by firewalls. This effectively cushions the network in three layers of protection.
3. Desktop Virtualization
Desktop virtualization uses a hypervisor, or specialized software, to deploy and manage virtual machines.
Used in tandem with a server, company administrators are able to perform security updates, software upgrades, and more in a centralized place. Human error is greatly decreased, which also helps protect the network and systems. In addition, there is the opportunity to customize security settings to help meet changing and unique company needs.
3 Ways to Reduce Virtualization Risk
There are risk factors when integrating any new technology. Here are a few virtualization best practices to help prevent potential issues.
- Use Authority. Strict access policies can reduce the number of users with permission to critical applications and can further protect a network.
- Unplug. Unused or obsolete virtual systems can pose a risk and should be removed from the network.
- Update. It’s important to remember that although servers, networks, and desktops may be virtual, they still require regular maintenance and updates to work properly.
Overall, security should not be a barrier for adoption. There are far too many benefits that businesses can realize with virtualization, and when used properly, a stronger and more secure network and systems can be one such advantage.