By far, the lowest hanging fruit of virtualization and cloud environment security is the segregation of your management control from your workloads. Separation of data and control planes have been recommended for everything from storage (EMC ViPR) up to the workloads running within virtual machines. The same holds true for cloud and virtual environment management tools, tasks, and functions. Up to now there have been very few choices in how such segregation could occur using properly placed firewalls or by using some form of proxy and the only proxy available was HyTrust. But this has changed. There are some other tools that will help with this segregation of data from control and do they give the level of auditing we require to solve the delegate user problem?
As I met with people at RSA Conference last week, the common question was: What was interesting and new? My view was from the world of virtualization and cloud security, which often differs from general or mobile security. This show was more about general and mobile security than it was about virtualization and cloud security due to the confluence of VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) and RSA Conference. There were quite a few things that were new from the show floor, RSA Innovation Sandbox, and other conversations.
On the 7/29 Virtualization Security podcast we continued our discussions on defense in depth. We discussed authentication and authorization with IdentityLogix. IdentityLogix provides a unique solution that correlates users and groups against VMware vSphere’s own role based access control stores. In other words, IdentityLogix can identify if a user or group within active directory has more access to VMware vSphere’s management tools than they were intended to be allowed based not only on the user’s username but on the groups in which the user belongs. Why is this important to know?
Now that VMworld 2012 is well underway I wanted to share some of my first thoughts and observations about the conference. At the start of the conference, during the first General Session, the virtual passing of the torch from the outgoing CEO, Paul Maritz to the new incoming CEO, Pat Gelsinger took place with Mr. Gelsinger getting his opportunity to say hello to a crowd of around twenty thousand people that are present at the show.
The 6/14 Virtualization Security Podcast we spoke about firewall placement within the virtual environment as well as storage based defense in depth. While we covered Encryption on the 5/31 podcast, in the 6/14 podcast we covered other measures when dealing with storage (which will be part of a followup post). This conversation was slightly different than all other firewall discussions, as it was about migrating from a physical environment to a virtual environment, and keeping the same firewall placements. Spurred by a customer, we sought to come to a set of guidelines to follow for defense in depth within the virtual as well as physical and hybrid cloud environments.
Symantec and others are providing more products that fill the gaps in current End-to-End Hybrid Cloud Security. These solutions range to improved log analysis through multi-layer security for critical systems. If these solutions are rolled out would we finally have secure environments? Would we be approaching the dream of secure multi-tenancy? But first what are the products that have come to light?