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Virtualisation systems introduce new security challenges

Quoting Security Park

According to a survey conducted by emedia, using its RapidResearch service, 50% of IT professionals are already virtualisation technology, or planning to do so within the next 18 months.

The survey also indicates that over half (52%) of respondents are saying virtualisation systems introduce some new security challenges. The main ones amongst those mentioned, include consideration for patching and update (32%), guest-to-guest attacks (27%), and the addition of new host software (22%).

Interestingly, the later the implementation of the technology is scheduled for, the more apprehensive IT professionals seems to be. emedia's survey shows that 51% of current users think that virtualisation poses some new risks, rising to 57% amongst those planning to use the new solution within the next 6 months and 66% amongst those adopting it within the next 6 to 18 months.

However, system vulnerability does not seem to be the main hurdle for non-adopters at that stage. Obstacles to virtualisation expansion for non-users include the lack of a compelling business case for total cost of ownership and return on investment (20%), priority given to other network upgrade projects (19%), cost/budget constraints (18%), insufficient staff expertise (15%) and security (9%).

IT professionals believe they can overcome these threats by taking various safety measures such as staff training/improving understanding (51%), patching/updating/hardening servers (38%), using firewalls (30%), and separating networks/subnetting/routing (25%).

When purchasing a virtualisation solution, the most important criteria respondents look for are server/physical space consolidation (64%), disaster recovery (54%), and reduced cost of ownership (49%), speed performance (48%) and ease of use (43%).

David Clark, managing director at emedia, concluded "The advantages of virtualisation appear to be tantalising but it seems that IT managers approach it with caution."

Read the original, here.

Published Friday, July 27, 2007 6:13 AM by David Marshall
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