10 Tips Virtualization Can Improve Security
Virtualization is simply software that creates a layer of abstraction on top of the hardware. Virtualization is a cost-effective way for organizations to host multiple virtual computers and other operating systems on one server. Virtualization refers to the partitioning of a single physical server into multiple virtual servers.
Modern computing systems have made security a key consideration. Security is essential for system performance and usability. Virtualization is one of the best ways to increase your protection against different risks and attacks.
Type 1 is known more as full virtualization and Type 2 is known as paravirtualization. Type 1 and Type 2 Hypervisors are different in that Type 1 runs on bare hardware, while Type 2 runs on top of an operating system.
A virtualization is an excellent option for today’s enterprise systems, which have a heavy workload. It also helps to keep costs down.
There are many other benefits, too.
- System availability high
- Decoupling the operating system and the underlying hardware
- Freedom of movement among hosts
Virtualization, in essence, is the complete and total duplication and software configuration of one server platform. Virtualization allows multiple operating systems or applications to run simultaneously on a single machine.
Virtualization technology can be used on many platforms. For example, virtualization can be used to share a memory, disk space, bandwidth, or machines, such as if you have 10 servers required for a project.
Security: The primary concern
Security is undoubtedly the most important concern an organization has regarding its enterprise systems. Each organization is aware of the immense scrutiny it faces in relation to its technology infrastructure. Security is an essential part of any organization in an environment that sees data breaches making headlines nearly every day. Security must be an integral part of the whole process.
Virtualization is a great way to eliminate many problems that are common in physical environments, provided you have the right configuration.
Let’s look at the ten main ways visualization can improve security for enterprise systems infrastructure.
Containerization, the latest method of virtualization. It is also called OS Level virtualization. The operating system creates distinct and isolated environments for every application. All applications will behave as though they were the only ones running on the system.
Applications cannot see one another and are therefore protected from security concerns. There are many options, such as Apache Mesos or Kubernetes. Docker provides containerization.
A popular feature of virtualization is sandboxing. This process allows programs to run from untested websites, parties, or vendors.
Sandboxing allows you to isolate the application in order to protect it from external malware and viruses. This prevents untested code and applications from entering the system. Virtualization is the actual implementation of this sandboxing technique on a larger scale. The technology is not designed to share vital data or information, but it allows for sharing systems and is flexible.
There are two types of Sandboxing. The OS-level provides an environment for your application to run and cannot access any other applications. Sandbox, on the other hand, is used to run your app and analyze security threats. This ensures that no malicious activity can affect your production network.
3. Server Virtualization
This technique can mask server resources and maximize resources. Administrators can sub-divide the underlying physical server into smaller virtual chunks, each with its own unique virtual environment. These virtual servers are able to run and reboot on their own, but the key advantage is that they create a layer between the operating system (and the virtualized hardware). Virtual servers allow for the isolation of compromised applications.
4. Network Virtualization
This method combines the resources of both software and hardware networks to create a single virtual network. Network virtualization uses the hardware of the network to create virtual networks.
Network virtualization is based on two fundamental components: isolation and segmentation.
- Isolation allows for the co-existence and sharing of virtual networks that are known to offer end-to-end cloud services. Infrastructure providers provide network resources that allow multiple services to be shared on virtual networks.
- Segmentation sub-divides a network into smaller networks to reduce traffic and increase performance. Segmentation also conceals the network structure, making it extremely secure.
5. Desktop Virtualization
Desktop virtualization allows users to access the physical computer used for access and create, modify or delete images. It also allows you to separate your desktop environment. Administrators find desktop virtualization extremely useful because it makes it easy to manage employees’ computers. They can also upgrade their resources quickly or remove any unnecessary programs. There is no risk of unauthorized access to the system or of any malware being introduced, provided that the appropriate permissions, protections, and configurations are in place.
This gives the user access to the desktop’s OS image. This allows users to copy/save data to the server, and not to the disk. It is therefore a safer option.
6. Hypervisor Security
A hypervisor is a piece of software or hardware that allows virtual machines to be created and run. The hypervisor is contained in the host machine. It is responsible for virtualization, including development, implementation, and management.
Hypervisor security can be improved by following these recommendations:
- Hypervisors are updated automatically once they are released. It is best to check for updates manually from time to time. Any updates to the hypervisor must be tested and approved in a locked-down environment before they are released into production.
- Thin hypervisors are easy to deploy and require less computing overhead. It is also beneficial in case of a malicious attack where the malware code will not reach the hypervisor.
- Avoid the use of network cards (NICs) or any unused hardware to the host system. Disks used to back up data should be removed when they are not being used.
- You should disable any services you don’t need. This is particularly true for file sharing between the guest OS and host OS.
- Guest OSes should have security between them while they communicate. non-virtualized environments must have security control systems, such as firewalls.
7. Virtual switches and physical switches
A virtual switch allows for security between virtual machines through isolation and inspection. It is basically a program that prevents inter-switch attacks. It allows network connectivity to communicate with virtual machines, applications within the virtual network, and the physical network.
High-end physical switches can also be used to protect the system. It can also prevent the sniffing of traffic addresses and other connected systems. The physical switches offer the same protection level as virtual switches.
8. Infrastructure & Guest OS Security
A virtualized information infrastructure allows for restricted access and proper information handling through visibility. All information must be traceable in the environment.
Guest OS is an OS that is installed on a virtual machine. It is used to host the main OS. It allows sharing of resources with other virtual machine hosts, such as sharing information via disks or folders using network disks.
9. Server Isolation & Virtual Hard Disk (HD) Encryption
Multiple servers running on one server can pose a risk to businesses. However, multiple servers can be run on one virtual machine. Virtualizations allow multiple servers to be run on one machine while isolating them from each other.
Another way to protect your data is with virtual hard disk encryption. This is especially important if the hard drive is being moved from one place to another. The virtual HD can be encrypted so that the data cannot even be read by current technology, even if an attacker steals a copy.
10. Disaster Recovery and Availability
These days, data preservation and availability of services are crucial. Virtualizations allow for the storage of backup data as a single file. This allows for quick installation of OS and data restoration, which reduces the time and cost of resolving any potential problems.
Enterprises can use virtualization to combat malicious intent and harm on the security front. These are just a few of the many benefits that virtualization can bring to your business.
Virtualization is just one example of technology-based issues. Regular updates and vulnerability scans are required to remove any potential weakness. It is highly recommended that you use hardened virtual machine images.