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Want Better Security? Look Toward Virtualization
Network managers have a running list of things to keep tabs on, but the top priority will always go to security. Network security by itself is a full-time endeavor, as it requires that much to manage. Threats have grown in complexity, and today’s businesses and enterprises need to be hyper aware of those threats, but to maintain all of that requires agility and solutions that can be flexible, based on each scenario. This is where virtualization can lend a big helping hand.
Virtualization can improve network security in quite a few ways. For one, multiple security appliances can be hosted on a single piece of high-performance hardware, or even on a collocated system at a remote data center. Virtualization also makes security portable since virtual machines can be copied from one physical system to another.
In theory, virtualization can also add an abstract layer between the virtual machine and the physical hardware. This can help limit the amount of damage that might occur when, for example, malicious software attempts to modify data. Even if an entire virtual hard disk is corrupted, the physical hard disks on the host computer will remain intact.
Of course there is a potential downside to using virtualization for security. Some of the risks are inherent in the architecture itself, while others are issues that can be mitigated through improved systems management, but the benefits seem to outweigh the risks.
Using a virtual machine for security is beneficial because of its ability to keep the dangerous parts of running a computer sandbox away from the other parts of an entire system.
Virtualization enhances portability and makes it easier to back up data, so it subsequently makes it easier for companies to get back to a known state in the event of some sort of compromise.
Will this change how virtualization is used? Can we expect to see it move beyond the data center?The prevalence of virtualization is continuing to expand and has so far proven to be a success for many businesses of all sizes. Servers and desktops are going to continue to get virtualized, and with the hidden security benefits of going virtual, we can expect to see the trend continue.
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