Article | September 9, 2022
Analyzing risks and implementing advanced mitigation strategies: Safeguard critical data, fortify defenses, and stay ahead of emerging threats in the dynamic realm of virtual machines in cloud.
2. 10 Security Risks Associated with Virtual Machines in Cloud Computing
3. Best Practices to Avoid Security Compromise
Cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate by providing flexible, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure for running applications and services. Virtual machines (VMs) are a key component of cloud computing, allowing multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical machine. However, the use of virtual machines in cloud computing introduces new security risks that need to be addressed to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and services.
Effective VM security in the cloud requires a comprehensive approach that involves cloud providers and users working together to identify and address potential virtual machine security threats. By implementing these best practices and maintaining a focus on security, cloud computing can provide a secure and reliable platform for businesses to run their applications and services.
2. 10 Security Risks Associated with Virtual Machines in Cloud Computing
Denial of Service (DoS) attacks: These are attacks that aim to disrupt the availability of a VM or the entire cloud infrastructure by overwhelming the system with traffic or resource requests.
Insecure APIs: Cloud providers often expose APIs that allow users to manage their VMs. If these APIs are not properly secured, attackers can exploit them to gain unauthorized access to VMs or manipulate their configurations.
Data leakage: Virtual machines can store sensitive data such as customer information or intellectual property. If not secured, this data can be exposed to unauthorized access or leakage.
Shared resources: VMs in cloud environments often share physical resources such as memory, CPU, and network interfaces. If these resources are not isolated, a compromised VM can potentially affect the security and performance of other VMs running on the same physical host.
Lack of visibility: Virtual machines in cloud environments can be more difficult to monitor than physical machines. This can make it harder to detect security incidents or anomalous behavior.
Insufficient logging and auditing: If cloud providers do not implement appropriate logging and auditing mechanisms, it can be difficult to determine the cause and scope of a security incident.
VM escape: This is when an attacker gains access to the hypervisor layer and then escapes into the host operating system or other VMs running on the same physical host.
Side-channel attacks: This is when an attacker exploits the physical characteristics of the hardware to gain unauthorized access to a VM. Examples of side-channel attacks include timing attacks, power analysis attacks, and electromagnetic attacks.
Malware attacks: VMs can be infected with malware, just like physical machines. Malware can be used to steal data, launch attacks on other VMs or systems, or disrupt the functioning of the VM.
Insider threats: Malicious insiders can exploit their access to VMs to steal data, modify configurations, or launch attacks.
3. Best Practices to Avoid Security Compromise
To mitigate these risks, there are several virtual machine security guidelines that cloud service providers and users can follow:
Keep software up-to-date: Regularly updating software and security patches for virtual machines is crucial in preventing known vulnerabilities from being exploited by hackers. Software updates fix bugs and security flaws that could allow unauthorized access, data breaches, or malware attacks.
According to a study, 60% of data breaches are caused by vulnerabilities that were not patched or updated in a timely manner.(Source: Ponemon Institute)
Use secure hypervisors: A hypervisor is a software layer that enables multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical server. Secure hypervisors are designed to prevent unauthorized access to virtual machines and protect them from potential security threats. When choosing a hypervisor, it is important to select one that has undergone rigorous testing and meets industry standards for security.
In 2018, a group of researchers discovered a new type of attack called "Foreshadow" (also known as L1 Terminal Fault). The attack exploits vulnerabilities in Intel processors and can be used to steal sensitive data from virtual machines running on the same physical host. Secure hypervisors that have implemented hardware-based security features can provide protection against Foreshadow and similar attacks.
Implement strong access controls: Access control is the practice of restricting access to virtual machines to authorized users. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide more than one type of authentication method before accessing VMs. Strong access controls limit the risk of unauthorized access and can help prevent data breaches.
According to a survey, organizations that implemented multi-factor authentication saw a 98% reduction in the risk of phishing-related account breaches.
(Source: Duo Security)
Monitor VMs for anomalous behavior: Monitoring virtual machines for unusual or unexpected behavior is an essential security practice. This includes monitoring network traffic, processes running on the VM, and other metrics that can help detect potential security incidents. By monitoring VMs, security teams can detect and respond to security threats before they can cause damage.
A study found that 90% of organizations that implemented a virtualized environment experienced security benefits, such as improved visibility into security threats and faster incident response times.
Use Encryption: Encryption is the process of encoding information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. Encrypting data both in transit and at rest protects it from interception or theft by hackers. This can be achieved using industry-standard encryption protocols and technologies.
According to a report by, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. The report also found that organizations that implemented encryption had a lower average cost of a data breach compared to those that did not
Segregate VMs: Segregating virtual machines is the practice of keeping sensitive VMs separate from less sensitive ones. This reduces the risk of lateral movement, which is when a hacker gains access to one VM and uses it as a stepping stone to gain access to other VMs in the same environment. Segregating VMs helps to minimize the risk of data breaches and limit the potential impact of a security incident.
A study found that organizations that implemented a virtualized environment without adequate segregation and access controls were more vulnerable to VM security breaches and data loss.
(Source: Ponemon Institute)
Regularly Back-up VMs: Regularly backing up virtual machines is a critical security practice that can help mitigate the impact of malware attacks, system failures, or other security incidents. Backups should be stored securely and tested regularly to ensure that they can be restored quickly in the event of a security incident.
A survey conducted found that 42% of organizations experienced a data loss event in 2020 with the most common cause being accidental deletion by an employee (29%).
The complexity of cloud environments and the shared responsibility model for security require organizations to adopt a comprehensive security approach that spans multiple infrastructure layers, from the physical to the application layer.
The future of virtual machine security concern in cloud computing will require continued innovation and adaptation to new threats and vulnerabilities. As a result, organizations must remain vigilant and proactive in their security efforts, leveraging the latest technologies and best practices to protect their virtual machines, the sensitive data and resources they contain.
Virtual Desktop Strategies, Server Hypervisors
Article | April 27, 2023
Businesses use a lot of technology to keep themselves competitive and Businesses use a lot of technology to keep themselves competitive and operationally efficient. One way that organizations use to make their technology infrastructure more accessible is through the use of virtualization. Let’s discuss what virtualization is, how it benefits businesses, and some examples of how you might consider leveraging virtualization to your company’s benefit.
Virtualization for Hardware and Software
Virtualization in its most basic sense is taking something and making it virtual. In regards to hardware and software, it involves taking these parts of your technology infrastructure and making them available in a virtual environment. Virtual applications and hardware solutions can be deployed to the cloud so that they can be accessed by any online device. Some examples of virtualization might include creating virtual machines, like workstations and server units, that are hosted in a virtual environment for as-needed access
Virtual Desktop Strategies
Article | July 26, 2022
Although remote working or working from home became popular during the COVID era, did you know that the technology that gives the best user experience (UX) for remote work was developed more than three decades ago?
Citrix was founded in 1989 as one of the first software businesses to provide the ability to execute any program on any device over any connection. In 2006, VMware coined the term "virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)" to designate their virtualization products.
Many organizations created remote work arrangements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the phenomenon will continue even in 2022. Organizations have used a variety of methods to facilitate remote work over the years. For businesses, VDI has been one of the most effective, allowing businesses to centralize their IT resources and give users remote access to a consolidated pool of computing capacity.
Reasons Why Businesses Should Use VDI for their Remote Employees?
Companies can find it difficult to scale their operations and grow while operating remotely. VDI, on the other hand, can assist in enhancing these efforts by eliminating some of the downsides of remote work.
As long as employees have sufficient internet connectivity, virtual desktops can accompany them across the world. They can use a tablet, phone, laptop, client side, or Mac to access the virtual desktop.
Reduced Support Costs
Since VDI setups can often be handled by a smaller IT workforce than traditional PC settings, support expenses automatically go down.
Data security is raised since data never leaves the datacenter. There's no need to be concerned about every hard disk in every computer containing sensitive data. Nothing is stored on the end machine while using the VDI workspace. It also safeguards intellectual property while dealing with contractors, partners, or a worldwide workforce.
Comply with Regulations
With virtual desktops, organizational data never leaves the data center. Remote employees that have regulatory duties to preserve client/patient data like function because there is no risk of data leaking out from a lost or stolen laptop or retired PC.
Enhanced User Experience
With a solid user experience (UX), employees can work from anywhere. They can connect to all of their business applications and tools from anywhere they want to call your workplace, exactly like sitting at their office desk, and even answer the phone if they really want to.
One of COVID-19's lessons has been to be prepared for almost anything. IT leaders were probably not planning their investments with a pandemic in mind.
Irrespective of how the pandemic plays out in the future, the rise of remote work is here to stay. If VDI at scale is to become a permanent feature of business IT strategies, now is the moment to assess where, when, and how your organization can implement the appropriate solutions. Moreover, businesses that use VDI could find that the added flexibility extends their computing refresh cycles.
Article | May 26, 2021
System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) is a management tool for Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization platform. It is part of Microsoft’s System Center product suite, which also includes Configuration Manager and Operations Manager, among other tools. SCVMM provides a single pane of glass for managing your on-premises and cloud-based Hyper-V infrastructures, and it’s a more capable alternative to Windows Server tools built for the same purpose.