Server Virtualization: Powerful Tool, Extra Exposure

Dividing a server into multiple virtual machines has brought down firms’ purchasing costs and allowed for more efficient use of existing hardware. However, virtualization also poses security risks and challenges, including managing a more complex network, additional layers of technology, potential data leaks as multiple virtual machines share common communication lines, and the threat of rogue machines.

The most common form of virtualization entails creating a layer–a hypervisor–between the cold, hard metal of the server and the virtual machines that sit on top of it. Each virtual machine has its own operating system and runs its own applications.

But someone who gains access to the hypervisor level could damage all the virtual machines, potentially bringing down multiple applications. “Server virtualization technologies are prone to security issues if the requisite security architecture and best practices are not in place,” says Eric Greenfeder, director of product management at San Francisco-based technology consultancy Primitive Logic.

Article originally appeared in Securities Industry News, which has since closed down.