Virtualization Technology News and Information
Survey: Among U.S. Companies Adopting IT Virtualization, 53 Percent Use Sub-Par Protection to Secure Virtual Infrastructure

Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, has announced findings from a recent study on virtualization performed by O+K Research. Conducted in March 2012 among IT professionals employed at midsized-to-large organizations that either have virtual infrastructures in place or have plans to deploy virtual technology, the survey paints an interesting picture of attitudes towards virtualization security:

First, some usage statistics:

  • 69% of US companies are currently implementing or have already implemented server virtualization.
    • 46% plan to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure.
    • 51% plan data storage virtualization.

No surprises here, as the benefits of cost savings, efficiency gains, and ease-of-management associated with virtualization are compelling for most companies. But while the benefits may be clear, the risks associated with virtualization – both real and perceived –can vary dramatically.

  • 27% of US professionals working in IT believe that the security risks in a virtual environment are lower or significantly lower than those for physical infrastructure.
  • Only 47% have the more justified perception that virtual security risks are at least equal to those in a physical environment.

These numbers show a significant gap in attitudes towards virtualization security. With that in mind, the study found that 53% of virtualized US businesses have no intention of implementing specialized security technology for their virtual environments. In fact, a mere 17% of surveyed companies reported the implementation of agent-less security for virtual environments.

With similar results from European companies, it seems the security risks associated with virtualization are not being fully accounted for on a global level, and as such, companies are using security software designed for physical environments to protect their virtual infrastructure. Using traditional, agent-based security for virtual environments not only produces security holes, but can actually undo the productivity and cost-savings benefits that virtualization is supposed to bring to an organization.

Now available for purchase, Kaspersky Security for Virtualization is an agentless anti-malware solution that operates in conjunction with VMware’s VShield Endpoint to secure virtual environments. It is installed as a security appliance for each physical host, and automatically protects all virtual machines without installing on the virtual machine itself. So what does that mean to IT professionals?

  • Efficiency: Kaspersky’s virtual appliance scans all guests on the host, ensuring optimal performance with no redundant anti-virus applications competing for resources. This also avoids creating an “AV-Storm” where security updates are pushed across virtual endpoints simultaneously, creating a huge load on network bandwidth.
  • Security: Kaspersky Security for Virtualization automatically protects virtual machines as soon as they are created eliminating the “instant-on gap” inherent in agent-based solutions.

Konstantin Voronkov, Senior Product Manager of Virtualization Solutions, Kaspersky Lab
This survey shows that the perception of virtual security risks among businesses worldwide is alarmingly unsound. We believe that virtual infrastructure has to be treated with the utmost attention in terms of security, and failure to do so could result in significant damage. We also see that most companies are simultaneously facing security issues in both virtual and physical environments. That is why Kaspersky Security for Virtualization provides specialized agent-less security for virtual environments and integrates with Kaspersky Security Center, the management console designed to handle security challenges across the entire corporate infrastructure.”

Learn more about security for virtualization at Kaspersky Lab’s ‘Be Ready for What’s Next’ website:

Published Monday, April 30, 2012 6:39 AM by David Marshall
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