Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

6/25/2008
05:55 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Catalyst Conference 2008: Virtualization Security, Myths Vs. Reality

At Burton Group's Catalyst Conference, here in San Diego, security and virtualization analyst Alessandro Perilli explained what he sees as some of the greatest challenges to securing virtualized environments.

At Burton Group's Catalyst Conference, here in San Diego, security and virtualization analyst Alessandro Perilli explained what he sees as some of the greatest challenges to securing virtualized environments.In front of a standing room only presentation, Perilli said he sees the belief that there is a need for new virtualization security technologies as a myth: IT managers have all of the security tools they need to properly lock down virtualized environments. "You don't have to buy an old technology with the word virtualization slapped on it, with a new price tag to secure your virtualized environments," he said.

Rather, he pointed out, many of the challenges associated with virtualization are operational. Such as taking an unsecured virtual machine that's not being properly patched and using that VM as a template that is then spread about your environment. Then those VMs are cloned, and those unsecured machines spread quickly.

The other organizational issue is the collapsing of multiple IT responsibilities -- such as security, storage, access rights -- to a single virtualization admin, thereby removing the separation of duties many companies rely upon.

The third and final operational virtualization security challenge Perilli covered is the consolidation of different risk levels into a single machine. For instance, a company may have a server hosting a VM with highly classified information alongside several VMs managing what is considered public information. Not good for managing risks on all of the VMs in that physical host, or virtualized zone. Then there are implementation issues, which are caused in large part by the lack of mature native VM management capabilities: think weak access controls for multiple VMs accessing a shared storage pool. Then there is the fact that many security settings and other controls don't properly follow VMs when they're dynamically provisioned.

Let's not forget the fact that software itself, today, is inherently unsecure as it's developed. "Any software can be compromised," Perilli said. "The same will be true whether it's ESX or Hyper-V."

The problem of attacks on virtualization software will only become even more pronounced as vendors, as has been the case with operating systems, cram ever more features and functionality into the hypervisor. In fact, according to some stats Perilli provided, it's already happening: in 2006, VMware published less than 10 patches. That figure climbed to nearly 50 patches in 2007, and more than 60 patches being published already this year.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/21/2020
Hacking Yourself: Marie Moe and Pacemaker Security
Gary McGraw Ph.D., Co-founder Berryville Institute of Machine Learning,  9/21/2020
Startup Aims to Map and Track All the IT and Security Things
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-8344
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Notes: none.
CVE-2020-8347
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
A reflective cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was reported in Lenovo Enterprise Network Disk prior to version 6.1 patch 6 hotfix 4 that could allow execution of code in an authenticated user's browser if a crafted url is visited, possibly through phishing.
CVE-2020-8348
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
A DOM-based cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was reported in Lenovo Enterprise Network Disk prior to version 6.1 patch 6 hotfix 4 that could allow execution of code in an authenticated user's current browser session if a crafted url is visited, possibly through phishing.
CVE-2020-15850
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
Insecure permissions in Nakivo Backup & Replication Director version 9.4.0.r43656 on Linux allow local users to access the Nakivo Director web interface and gain root privileges. This occurs because the database containing the users of the web application and the password-recovery secret value i...
CVE-2020-15851
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-24
Lack of access control in Nakivo Backup & Replication Transporter version 9.4.0.r43656 allows remote users to access unencrypted backup repositories and the Nakivo Controller configuration via a network accessible transporter service. It is also possible to create or delete backup repositories.