Security in VMware is an important topic worth discussing. Despite the enormous security benefits of using virtual machines, securing a virtual environment is a never-ending task. VMware offers several types of security features aimed at standard protection. But you can implement additional security to ensure multi-cloud environments are protected at all times.
In order to spread the word and dive deeper, it is crucial to note that zero trust visibility and frictionless operations of your apps are necessary schemes.
This guide will focus on the best security practices in VMware and how you can protect your virtual environment from all threats.
VMware Security Issues
We must first explain the potential VMware security issues that could disrupt your virtual environment.
A virtual machine is a file that exists on a host computer. The host uses a hypervisor to create virtual machines, which can then be accessed remotely. We use virtual machines to perform many tasks, including software testing, OS testing, etc. As such, here are the potential security issues that emerge:
- Unauthorized access to virtual machines;
- Unauthorized copying of virtual machine files (theft);
- Physical (unauthorized) access to the host computer;
- Malware and Ransomware attacks that could spread across your virtual network;
- Poor network configuration leads to hackers gaining access to your virtual infrastructure;
These are some of the potential virtualization security issues in general. These issues apply to every hypervisor and virtualization platform. As such, it’s important to implement the best practices to secure virtual networks, virtual machines, and your entire virtual environment.
Let’s see how to do that.
Best Practices to Secure VMware
You can implement various practices to reach optimal security for your VMware virtual infrastructure. In addition, VMware provides many security features that drastically decrease the chances of issues, risks, and threats.
Ensure the Host Computer Is Only Used for Your Virtual Infrastructure
One of the industry’s best practices is to ensure the host computer that runs your virtual infrastructure isn’t used for anything else. In VMware, securing the VMware Server by preventing its use on non-virtualization applications and tasks is one way to prevent outside threats.
Here are tips on what you shouldn’t do on your VMware Server host:
- Do not browse the web for non-virtualization tasks;
- Do not launch non-virtualization applications requiring internet access;
- Implement an IDS (intrusion detection system) to monitor VM and host activity;
Shore Up on Endpoint Security
Endpoint security in virtualization works identically in a non-virtual environment. The purpose of virtualization endpoint security is to scale across multi-cloud environments. VMware offers several multi-cloud products that secure your virtual environment. A multi-cloud platform that shares data across multi-cloud environments is greatly at risk of external and internal actors.
External actors are particularly harmful and could disrupt your whole virtual operation. To understand the dangers of malware, ransomware, and other external threats, you must discover the unique characteristics of malware and other threats and how they breach virtual systems.
As such, you can shore up endpoint security by performing the following:
- Install endpoint agents in every virtual machine;
- Connect VMware with each VM and monitor endpoints;
You can take it a step further and implement virtual network security practices to prevent threat actors from breaching your endpoints in the first place.
Secure Access to Virtual Machines
Unauthorized access to virtual machines presents one of the biggest issues in modern virtualization. VMware has several features that prevent unauthorized remote access to virtual machines, such as SSL encryption. However, that doesn’t mean malicious actors cannot obtain access to virtual machine files without your knowledge.
Even so, a malicious actor could gain unauthorized access to a virtual machine via the internet. Considering that some virtual machines on your network actively browsers the internet, a hacker could target unisolated ports and open them when required.
To prevent even this type of access, you should obtain a certificate signed by a CA (Certificate Authority). Additionally, you can create access policies that provide remote access to the VPN server only.
Lastly, you can implement a policy that prevents users from copying applications and data from VMs unless on the VPN server. That way, you not only secure access to VMs but your apps and data are more secure in VMware.
Secure the Multi-Cloud
We touched on the importance of securing your multi-cloud environment before. However, VMware puts a lot of effort into making sure your virtual network is fully safe across the multi-cloud.
The main purpose of VMware’s multi-cloud security is to protect against ransomware. Here is how you can secure the multi-cloud in your own virtual network:
- Block advertisements on guest operating systems when browsing the web as ads are perfect for distributing ransomware;
- Scan network artifacts;
- Secure container workload;
- Secure east-west network traffic across multi-cloud environments;
As luck would have it, VMware’s multi-cloud security products have these features built-in and deliver full visibility over your virtual environment. As such, you can secure with VMware your entire cloud environment regardless of platform.
Ensuring the security of your VMware virtual infrastructure is the only way to prevent external and internal threats from harming your organization. Luckily VMware offers several features that hope to eliminate threats. Still, you can also touch on other “best practices” to prevent all kinds of security threats.