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Virtualisation is immature and could cause security problems

Warwick Ashford

Virtualisation technology is still immature and could cause security problems if deployed without adequate controls in place, says security firm Sourcefire.

Around 38% of companies are using the technology, according to a YouGov survey of more than 200 IT directors published in November.

Server virtualisation, which reduces the need for physical servers, is becoming increasingly popular because of the environmental and cost benefits.

Virtualisation also helps companies to use existing servers to full capacity by enabling a single server to run multiple operating systems.

The real threat is that organisations are deploying virtualisation so quickly that security is often an afterthought, Martin Roesch, Sourcefire founder and chief technology officer, told Computer Weekly.

Organisations need to keep track of what virtual machines are running in their environment, how they are configured and whether they are up to date with security patches, he said.

Sourcefire and software supplier VMware released a management tool in September aimed at improving security, but Roesch said there is still a long way to go to understanding the full scope of security problems that virtualised environments are going to bring.

"Virtualisation is still evolving rapidly and [the security industry] needs to come up with good, pragmatic solutions," he said.


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