Information Superiority for the Virtual Enterprise

Anthony Perridge, channel director EMEA, Sourcefire says virtualisation is a top priority

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Information Superiority for the Virtual Enterprise Security professionals should look for comprehensive, integrated, intelligent, continuous solutions to protect their environments, according to Perridge
By  Anthony Perridge Published  October 31, 2012

Vicios consistently rank virtualisation and cloud computing among their top strategic IT initiatives. In fact, earlier this year a study by IDC found that virtualisation is the number one priority for CIOs in 2012 with cloud computing second. At the same time CIOs also cite security as the main inhibitor to the adoption of these technologies. Blind spots, Virtual Machine (VM) sprawl, lack of separation of duties, new advanced threats and the dynamic nature of virtual deployments all contribute to security concerns.

Many CIOs have begun to realise the benefits of virtualisation from datacentre deployments—reduced operating costs, energy savings and increased flexibility. But as they look to expand their virtualisation strategies to the desktop to drive further value, security concerns compound. In order to reap the substantial benefits virtualisation promises, CIOs must be able to move forward with confidence.

So what’s keeping security professionals from being able to secure the enterprise against threats to their virtual environments, just as they protect their physical assets?

The challenge is a lack of visibility into and control over the virtualised infrastructure to defend it effectively.

In essence, security professionals haven’t established information superiority over attackers. This becomes particularly challenging as organisations expand their virtualised systems from the datacentre to the desktop.

To achieve information superiority in their virtual environments, security professionals must be able to enforce security policies across both physical and virtual environments. They also must be able to establish visibility and control to detect and stop threats targeting virtual infrastructure and the impact of these threats to applications and users.

When considering technologies to help secure the virtual environment, security professionals should look for the following attributes:

Comprehensive  - connecting physical and virtual security elements together:

Corporate security and risk management policies as well as compliance mandates demand consistent protection across physical and virtual environments. The ability to monitor, manage and report on security activities across the entire infrastructure from a central console is a critical step in enabling information superiority for the virtual enterprise.

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