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New McAfee Service to Focus on Virtualization Security

McAfee's Foundstone Professional Services Outlines Security Best Practices for Virtualized Environments

McAfee unveiled a service designed to help organizations securely deploy virtualization technologies.

As part of its strategy to provide a solution for secure virtualization, McAfee Foundstone Professional Services also outlined a set of security guidelines covering people, processes and technology to educate enterprises adopting virtualization technologies.

"With the popularity of virtualization and the rush to reap its benefits, companies may not always follow the best security best practices," said Bill Hau, vice president of McAfee Foundstone Professional Services. "Many of the security practices that work in physical computing environments also work in the virtual world, yet there are some unique requirements. Our new service will help customers meet the security requirements of these new virtual environments."

"The new Foundstone Professional Services offering complements the robust security features built into VMware virtualization software," said Brian Byun, vice president of global partners and solutions at VMware. "Together, VMware and McAfee will ensure that customers can continue to run their virtualized environments with even greater security than purely physical environments."

McAfee Foundstone Professional Services helps enterprises create, deploy and maintain virtual infrastructure with security. Foundstone consultants help identify and mitigate the risk to a virtual infrastructure by reviewing the people, processes and technology surrounding this virtual deployment.

"By formulating a holistic approach to people, process and technology, security professionals can be confident that their virtualization strategy is in line with the rest of their traditional security policy," said Hau. "Organizations can now enjoy the full benefits of virtualization with enhanced security by taking a risk based approach. This is not only recommended but critical when making any such large and revolutionary changes."

Virtualization Security Requirements
Virtualization is generating global momentum because it can deliver business benefits for customers: reducing capital and operating expenses, assuring business continuity, strengthening security, and going green.

However, the security implications of adding virtual machines to a corporate environment also need careful consideration. In a 2007 InformationWeek survey of IT professionals, only 12 percent said they had put strategies in place to protect their virtual machines.

Just as with physical systems, IT organizations using virtualization technologies must focus on people, processes and technological considerations associated with securing their operations. Some of the items enterprises need take note of when deploying virtualization technologies include:

  • Data protection
  • Management controls need to be protected
  • It is important to consider what access users have with respect to the host.
  • Administrators must understand the nuances and possible attacks on the systems they are deploying.
  • Hardware or firmware changes on a physical machine could affect confidentiality, integrity and availability of the virtual machines running on that machine.
  • Asset and inventory management.
  • Contingency planning and disaster recovery strategies can be optimized to gain significant synergies from virtualization deployments.

McAfee's security risk management offerings are fully compatible with virtual environments and can help enterprises create a safe computing environment. ePolicy Orchestrator, McAfee's award-winning security management technology, provides powerful unified management, reporting and auditing features for physical and virtual systems.

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