Virtualization has become a key part of many IT organizations’ cost-saving plans. But many companies that have virtualized apparently aren’t ready to deal with the new security risks they’ve created.
That’s the word from a recent survey conducted by Symantec. Of the small businesses surveyed, just 40% said their virtual servers are completely secured. Also, just 15% regularly back up data on virtual servers.
That’s not all. Even among the businesses that feel their virtual servers were adequately protected:
- 78% don’t have antivirus software on virtual machines
- 74% forgo endpoint protection, and
- 48% don’t have a firewall.
Why the lack of serious security in virtual environments? Most respondents cited budgetary or staffing issues.
Of course security is always important, especially where sensitive or mission-critical data is concerned, whether it’s housed on a virtual server or not.
Here’s what Symantec recommends for businesses using or considering virtualization:
- Define a virtualization strategy – That includes coming up with a security plan and keeping security in mind throughout the planning and implementation stages.
- Secure the virtual environment – Businesses should consider what security tools they need for virtual servers — including antivirus, firewalls, and endpoint security — and factor those items into the project budget. Also, update security policies and practices to take the new virtual environment into account.
- Protect data – One of the advantages of virtualization is that it can make back-ups easier — however, as this survey shows, many small businesses fail to take advantage of that.