The Virtualization Practice

Virtualization Security

Virtualization Security focuses upon end-to-end security, integrity, auditability, and regulatory compliance for virtualization and clouds. Virtualization Security starts where the cloud and virtual environments begin: the end user computing device. ...
We follow the user through the virtual and cloud stacks until they reach the application the user wishes to use to retrieve the data that is important to them. Virtualization and cloud security is implemented where there is an intersection between user, data, and application while maintain strict control of management interfaces. As such virtualization security looks into all aspects of security devices, tools, controls, and guides that impact or can be used to secure virtual and cloud environments.

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There is a dilemma for all tenants of a public or private cloud: Scope. For the tenant, they want everything to be in scope. For the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) they want to limit scope to the bare minimum. What does it mean for a Cloud to be ‘PCI Compliant’ and why is this a requirement for some tenants. The real issue, is what is in scope for PCI-DSS while your data is in the cloud and how can you as the tenant meet those requirements.

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On the 4/4 Virtualization Security Podcast, Pete Nicoletti, the chief information security officer for Virtustream, joined us to discuss how VirtuStream does cloud security. VirtuStream runs some of, if not the largest SAP installations in the cloud for very large enterprises around the world. The key to VirtuStream is that they are an Enterprise Cloud that looks at everything from the Enterprise perspective, whether that is billing or security. For security, they have implemented many changes required by their customers and allowed the end-enterprise to dial that security to 11 if necessary. But what does VirtuStream do that is different from all others?

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There have been a spate of press releases and news in and around the industry over the last few weeks that bear further consideration. They could actually solve some of your current cloud and virtual environment issues while opening new doors for future expansion. As an architect and analyst I find these technology very interesting for their possible impact of the future of virtual and cloud environment not to mention data center designs.

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The software defined data center has the potential to expand the control plane well outside of anyone’s control by the simple fact that we do not yet have a unified control mechanism for disparate hardware (networking, storage, and compute), for disparate hypervisors (vSphere, KVM, Xen, Hyper-V), new types of hypervisors (storage and networking), and new ideas at managing SDDC at scale.

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Security is not compliance and compliance will not get you security. At least that is what I hear from security teams. Conversations with security focal team members from non-security focal people can be quite interesting and has its unique challenges and hurtles to overcome. You can find yourself speaking the same language but not fully understanding each other very well at all. One topic point of discussion is that “security is not compliance and compliance will not get you security.” Or does it?

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I asked @MrsYisWhy to join the podcast as she is from the other side of the world from virtualization and cloud security folks and has quite a different view. The rent we saw being sewn up is now a vast divide as we jump feet first into Cloud deployments, virtualization business critical workloads, and generally using more and more virtualization and cloud in our daily lives.