Network Virtualization: Don't Try this at Home
More and more organizations are turning to virtualization as they face an increasingly complex IT environment. Enterprises of all sizes have found that relocating their operating, network and/or hardware resources to an offsite host server provides an array of business benefits.This virtualized IT environment can lead to reduced capital and operating costs, flexibility in the allocation of system resources to meet changing requirements, the ability to quickly integrate legacy and new systems, and scalability for expanding operations. Another key but often-overlooked advantage of using virtualized machines in an enterprise-level data center is the improved data and network security provided to an organization.
Despite the common misconception that virtualization increases security risk, in actuality today’s virtualized networks can be much more secure than an entity’s in-house network. This is particularly the case in an IT ecosystem where threats originate from evolving network technologies, protocols and devices, as well as sophisticated hackers and data thieves, internal breaches, hardware and software failures, business partner security breaches and even natural disasters.
Real Security Advantages
A well-designed, fully automated virtualization strategy outsourced to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) gives an organization the capacity to more easily thwart security threats and successfully mitigate hardware and software crashes before they have the opportunity to create liabilities. Benefits an organization can expect from a virtualization approach include the ability to:
Reduce Security Management Complexity
By offering a single point of control, virtualization has the capacity to centralize the management of an organization’s systems and tighten security operations. It also provides the ability to assign role-based access, thus limiting the security footprint of each user.
Achieve Full Security Automation
Virtualization allows for programmed security actions and parameters that centralized administrators may apply enterprise-wide or in specific areas of the IT ecosystem. These activities can include the automatic provisioning of new equipment and the installation of software updates. Automatic responses to system failures and malicious intrusions also help protect sensitive data more effectively while, at the same time, virtually eliminating down time for critical operations.
Proactively Detect Threats
Unlike many in-house enterprise teams, MSPs provide IT security specialists who focus solely on threat intelligence and system vulnerabilities. Moreover, virtualization increases real-time visibility into an organization’s IT ecosystem, including intrusion identification of malicious software and access by unauthorized individuals.
Provide Guest Security
The ability to easily segment zones within a system allows organizations to develop and offer customized guest settings that
help protect sensitive data, more simply meet compliance regulations and shield an enterprise’s overall systems and network from human error.
Virtualization allows an organization to easily isolate and protect sensitive information from less-secure systems. If a malicious attack does take place, the segmentation ability of virtualization can avert a total network shutdown by providing an entity with the ability to quickly isolate and protect business-critical applications.
Improve Business Continuity
Recovery from hardware and software failures, natural disasters and security breaches is easier and faster in a virtualized environment. Quite often non-virtualized systems employ slow, cumbersome backup systems. Virtualization, on the other hand, provides a means for failed systems to automatically and immediately migrate to new hardware, or to immediately revert to a previous point in time. This near-real time reaction results in virtually no interruption in service.
Because virtualization provides centralized, fully automated auditing and logging capabilities for organizations, they are better able to meet compliance reporting requirements, conduct post-attack forensics and capture information vital to making good business decisions. Just as importantly, a compromised system can be immediately cloned for forensic analysis while the live environment is immediately restored to a point in time prior to an attack.
Better Patch Implementation
Patching is safer and more effective when executed in a virtualized system. Organizations have the ability to clone a production server to test security patches before going live, to quickly revert to a previous point in time if a patch installation causes problems, and to segment and shield known vulnerabilities until patching is complete.
What to Look for in an MSP
With an MSP that combines technical proficiency in virtualization with deep expertise in security management, organizations are able to quickly and cost-effectively take advantage of the many benefits that come with virtualizing their IT systems. In addition to safeguarding its reputation with customers, partners and other key stakeholders, an organization that selects an MSP as its virtualization partner will benefit from: 1) Real-time protection with application intelligence that detects and prevents malicious traffic from gaining network access; 2) an enterprise-class cloud solution built on robust, scalable, fully redundant architecture that can be customized to its specific needs; 3) access to IT experts trained in the interpretation and implementation of infrastructure security best practices; 4) validation of the security of software against third-party standards; 5) around-the-clock support; 6) the ability to quickly scale as an enterprise grows; 7) risk-free, easy deployment and a single point of contact for all issues; 8) security log storage and robust reporting.
Although each entity ultimately is responsible for its own security, confirming that an MSP’s services meet industry standards and compliance requirements allows an organization to rest assured that it is fully protected in an IT environment that continues to face a growing number of internal and external threats.
With a company like Connections as your MSP for IT virtualization, you can stop worrying about security breaches, hardware and software failures and always-changing security threats. Instead, you gain access to seasoned professionals who use powerful security technology, highly accurate threat intelligence and state-of-the-art cloud solutions to provide comprehensive, 24 x 7 network protection.
Connections' Managed Services team members will work with you at every point to safeguard your network and your business via the implementation of the industry’s most cost-effective, reliable virtualization solution. Rely on its expertise with complex network security requirements and you will strengthen your organization’s security while freeing IT resources for projects that contribute to your business goals — and your bottom line
If you are confused about virtualization and need help, call Connections at (954) 920-9604