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Report: Server Virtualization Requires Security Shift

NEW YORK -- Rapid adoption of server virtualization is forcing companies to think about the security implications of virtualization.

Most IT departments currently secure physical and virtual servers the same way. Unfortunately, consolidating servers into a pool of virtual machines interconnected by virtual networks invalidates many of the assumptions that underlie current data center security techniques. While the focus has been on the security of the hypervisor, the real risks may lie elsewhere.

“As server virtualization has gained acceptance in corporate data centers, security has gone from an afterthought to a serious concern,” says Andreas M. Antonopoulos, senior vice president of Nemertes Research. Much of the focus has been on the technologies of virtualization rather than the operational, organization and economic benefits the technologies offer companies. For server virtualization to deliver its benefits as securely as possible, companies need to conduct a more rigorous analysis of the risks associated with it. “Part of the uncertainly arises because most companies do not have a good understanding of the real risks surrounding virtualization, “says Antonopoulos.

The Nemertes Research Group Inc.