Survey reveals virtual security fears

Around 50% of UK IT users have or are preparing to deploy virtualisation technology in the next 18 months, despite concerns that virtualisation poses new IT security challenges.

According to the latest RapidResearch Quarterly Survey conducted by emedia, 52% a of 278 UK IT directors, managers and systems engineers said they believe virtualisation introduces new security challenges. 32% said they were chiefly worried about issues connected with patch management and updates; 27% said they feared the potential guest-to-guest attacks (27%); and, 22% cited worries about the introduction of new host software.

Despite these fears, only 9% of respondents said security issues would deter them from implementing virtualisation technology.

Proponents of virtualisation claim that the technology solves more security problems than it creates, since virtual machines act as containers than can prevent compromised systems from impacting others. However, it is possible that a virtualisation layer could be vulnerable to attack, and “pose a threat of its own” said Reza Malekzadeh, VMware’s European product marketing director.

To ensure against such threats, Malekzadeh said users should ensure that they only deploy virtualisation products with certified security credentials.

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