If you’re not, you’re already behind. Studies show more than 75 percent of businesses have already been virtualized, and all of these businesses—regardless of size or sector—need a way to help secure their virtualized data resources. In other words, if you’ve already moved to the cloud, but you haven’t launched a coordinated virtualization security program, you have some work to do.
I think it’s safe to day the days of on-site security software have officially ended. Virtualization represents what I’ve called a “digital approach to data protection”—security designed to meet the ever-changing, high-speed need of today’s digital marketplace. As companies are shifting more data and programs into the cloud, IT managers are shifting their security strategies to follow suit. Traditional physical security measures like firewalls and network-based malware control will no longer be sufficient to keep our mobile cloud-based environments safe. New and continually evolving virtualization services from companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMware are making it even easier to keep your company’s data and programs safe.
What Do I Need to Know About Virtualization?
It’s growing and improving every day. Just as companies are working to build complex hybrid and cloud-based infrastructures, developers of virtualization security are working just as hard to build equally complex security systems to support them.
Still, it’s never been more clear that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to keeping data safe. To help protect companies using a web of different cloud services, AWS and VMware are working to support a wider range of cloud collections. Meeting customer demands for improved flexibility, they’re also working to provide more granular-level and container-level security services that can protect certain workloads that are more sensitive than others. This helps companies save money by paying for high-level security for only the data that truly needs this protection.
How Safe Is It?
That depends on your provider. Virtualization security can protect your data as well or better than physical data centers. What’s more, until blockchain becomes more easily available, virtualization is the only game in town when it comes to keeping your cloud-based and hybrid systems safe. Still, cloud attacks can be dangerous and costly, as they can easily spread to other attacks within the organization. They also pose a greater risk for failure and outages. As such, protecting them is a whole different beast, and choosing the right virtualization service provider is critical.
What Should I Keep in Mind When Choosing a Provider?
First, make sure your cloud provider is committed to updating its security details regularly. If they are using outdated systems to detect malware, your system will be at risk. You need a provider who is as committed to keeping your data safe as you are.
Second, keep in mind virtualization technology is changing quickly. Make sure your provider offers flexible Customer Service Agreements that will allow you to grow as needed, change service providers if necessary, and pay for only the services you need, such as granular-level security or container-level protection.
Third, explore all the automated services the provider offers to make the most of your virtualization partner. Many providers offer more than firewall and antivirus protection. They can also help automate things like compliance and access controls. Make sure you find out as much as you can about services that can help improve efficiency and productivity for your company.
Last, keep in mind that finding a perfect off-the-shelf virtualization solution is unlikely. With so many cloud providers and hybrid infrastructures in the marketplace today, you will likely need to personalize your virtualization service to ensure it truly meets your needs. Doing so will always be worth the cost. If there is one part of your tech structure where you do not want to press your luck, it is with data security.
Additional Resources on This Topic:
Virtualization Security: The Line of Defense Your Cloud Needs
Hybrid Cloud Means Hybrid Security Measures
Security Monitoring: Safeguarding Your Cloud
Virtualized Desktop Environments: The Future of Work in the Enterprise
Moving to Virtualized Desktop Environments
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.