Security Implications of Virtualization
I would be interested to know if the security implications of heading towards a fully virtualised environment have been discussed as part of these workshops?
Cost / Space savings need to be weighed up against any security impications that this may bring.
Threat Mapping and Risk Analysis – A broad threat mapping exercise should be undertaken to look at the level of risk and threats associated with virtualisation that is specific to the environment / business market that you are in.
Consideration will be needed in terms of patching and virus control being in a centralised environment; also what Denial of Service and recovery methods that will be required to manage a virtualised estate.
How will virtualisation impact on industry best practice advice in terms of ‘segregation of administrative duties’ e.g. virtualisation administrators assuming the role of traditional network engineers as we move to more layer 2 devices becoming a virtualised commodity.
No single security model should be applied across all groups or zones, specific threat maps and associated controls need to be identified and feed the creation of specific security zones. This would contain breaches within one zone and help protect against know attack types.
As an example consideration of the following would be required;
Hypervisor breaches (virtual machine management system) and the ramification, possibilities include:
Access to the restricted hardware layer resulting in data leakage.
Compromising other attached Virtual Machines controlled by the same Hypervisor and in effect gaining unauthorised access to user data and systems, in a hosting environment this could result in the entire customer base facing a breach as a result of a successful attack on one instance.