The modern user is evolving – and so is the organization. Administrators are constantly working to find new ways to delivery data, applications – and do so in a secure manner. As data becomes more critical, the security aspects around it all become vital as well. In a private cloud world – organizations are pushing desktops, applications, and rich content to a wide variety of devices and end-points. But how can you make sure it’s all secured? How do you take proactive steps to create infrastructure integrity at the virtual layer?
According to a recent Forbes report – security is the biggest pain point when it comes cloud computing adoption (30%). Migration and integration of legacy and on-premise systems with cloud applications (18%) is second, and lack of internal process (18%) is third.
Private cloud and security don’t have to be two overwhelming thoughts. In fact, there are great ways to delivery security and maintain data integrity. With that in mind – let’s look at five considerations when it comes to security for your private cloud environment.
- Locking down your hypervisor. Your Hyper-V hypervisor is your gateway to your VMs you’re your private cloud. What are you doing to lock it down? Standard anti-malware can be installed on each agent, but this approach consumes system resources and can substantially degrade performance. In addition, agent-based solutions are more likely to lead to AV storms, which are a costly burden on IT. New Hyper-V security solutions now revolve around agentless protection built specifically for Microsoft Hyper-V. Plus, a virtual firewall gives you powerful kernel mode capabilities with the most comprehensive real-time traffic filtering available for a virtualized environment. This is how you lock down your hypervisor.
- Ensuring compliance, management and reporting. To maintain compliance organizations must effectively collect and audit data on each virtual machine. Furthermore, they must also control and protect intra VM traffic. But what do you do when hundreds—or thousands—of machines are involved? By having granular access to the VM layer and the security policies associated with users and virtual machines – administrators are able to get more detailed reporting. A good cloud security solution will allow you to enforce PCI-DSS, HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
- Create multi-tenant cloud security. The beauty of the cloud is the distribution that it provides. But what if you’re a cloud provider? Or, what if you’re a larger organization with a number of cloud instances? By deploying a multi-tenant cloud security solution you’re able to provide multi-layered protection with an integrated firewall, antivirus and Intrusion Detection System (IDS). The agentless firewall ensures complete traffic control and isolation between VMs. Furthermore, you’re able to control policies per VM as well as environment segmentation with user and workgroup policies.
- Centralize security management. So you’ve built your Hyper-V virtual environment and private cloud – now what? How can you centrally manage your platform? What if you have multiple Hyper-V sites? (Hyper-v 101.) Technologies like 5nine Manager for Hyper-V can be a cost-effective management solution for Microsoft Hyper-V environments. It provides most of the features of Microsoft System Center VMM that organizations need for everyday Hyper-V management. Furthermore, you can achieve antivirus protection with no significant impact on server performance. 5nine Manager with AV Plugin installs only once per host and provides real-time protection of VMs.
- Regardless of your private cloud size – make security a priority. Keeping a business up and running while managing costs is a primary goal for small and medium sized businesses. Moving to a virtual environment can reduce costs and improve business agility by eliminating the physical hardware and infrastructure of a physical server environment. But regardless of the size of your organization – security for your cloud and virtual environment is absolutely critical. A good, virtualization-ready, security solution can help maximize your investments by improving VM density as well as reduce your security costs by introducing new features like agentless AV.
Your cloud environment will continue to grow as demand around resources, application, and content continues to rise. Users have created an “always-on” generation where information is constantly required. For an organization, a private cloud model is a great way to facilitate mobility, efficiency, and a better distribution for disaster recovery and business continuity. Still, through it all – security plays a major role. When it comes to your private cloud, ensure that you have proactive security practices to help keep your cloud and virtual infrastructure running healthy.
Bill Kleyman, virtualization solutions architect