Is Your Data Ready to Be Virtualized?

June 23, 2014

Are you in the midst of a virtualization initiative?

Nearly half of all businesses have virtualized their data centers, at least partially. Better Disaster Recovery, Rapid Deployment, Easier Segregation, Enforcement of Policies & Regulations, Reduced Operational Cost for Datacenter, DMZ, Mission Critical Apps or Desktop Environment & Scalability Factors are some of the benefits that make a Virtual Computing Environment a near de facto choice for data centers and clouds. If this isn’t on your current project short list yet, it most definitely will be soon.

While planning or augmenting your VM World, it’s vital to include integration of monitoring and access control in the mix. Insights into your inter-VM traffic can help fortify your virtual network; if necessary access controls are in place, all traffic would be business appropriate and enabling.

Let’s give a thought to the level of the control and management that File Security receives in a virtualized world. Since resources here are abstracted, it’s easy to see how security for file systems—not just virtualized disk blocks—could potentially be neglected.

  •  How are file permissions managed on your virtualized servers?
  • Are you careful about setting permissions and controlling subsequent updates?
  • Do you merely set initial permissions only to forget about them later?
  • Have you set file-level auditing in your virtual environment?

Many global organizations, even today, have little or no auditing implemented nor have any kind of file-access event logging capabilities in place. This must be an essential part of your data governance program.

Suggested Security Best Practices for your Virtual World

  • Create VM service ‘Good App List’
  • Implement layered defense capabilities, secure network controls
  • Enforce access control per VM
  • Control VM proliferation
  • Train administrators
  • Security auditing, monitoring & testing
  • Backup early, backup often
  • Centralize storage, to minimize proliferation and any potential for data loss
  • Don’t treat virtual systems any differently than physical systems

Clearly, there’s room for improvement in monitoring your file permissions and safeguarding today’s leading virtualization strategies.

What’s your readiness plan for your Virtual World?

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