This article discusses essential tools for securing modern virtual machine environments. It covers Endpoint Protection Software for securing devices, Extended Detection and Response (XDR) for comprehensive threat management, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) for internal monitoring, Virtualization Management for network maintenance, and Backup and Replication Software to prepare for worst-case scenarios. These tools collectively enhance the security and efficiency of virtual machine environments.
More and more business owners understand the benefits of using virtual machines in their workplaces. Virtual machines enable users to imitate multiple operating systems on one machine (so a user could run Windows software on a Mac, for example). And with so many businesses looking to downsize their office space, stacking multiple virtual machines into one physical machine has become necessary (not to mention a huge saver on physical office space AND your power bill!).
While all of these features make your office run smoothly, they are not without their weaknesses. Security threats, system outages, and sometimes human negligence can be devastating to your virtual environment. However, with due diligence and the right tools at your disposal, you can secure the safety and efficiency of your network.
1. Endpoint Protection Software
In a work culture where most office workers have gone remote (and many will stay that way), more devices are coming in and out of our workspaces than ever before. So when work laptops are coming home and personal tablets are coming to the office, this creates more endpoints, or openings, in your network.
Proper endpoint security protects your network by securing not only devices currently on your network; it also allows you to monitor devices trying to access your network. And for those who looked ahead and wondered why antivirus isn’t on this list, don’t worry. Many EPS platforms include antivirus functions in their overall performance. And your EPS is autonomously run by AI, freeing up your IT department to solve bigger problems.
2. Extended Detection and Response
While endpoint security is considered vital for most businesses, your network is so much more than endpoints. For a greater response to and management of potential and current threats, operate your endpoint protection software in tandem with an XDR security platform. XDR (Extended Detection and Response) programs resemble EPS programs in many ways. Both platforms utilize prevention, detection, and eradication measures to manage threats. But they differ in their approach to security.
While the EPS protects your endpoints, the XDR software covers cloud systems, emails, and all endpoint connections. In addition, your XDR platform automatically communicates with other platforms through its Application Programming Interface if that wasn’t easy enough. XDR combined with your EPS makes for a powerhouse combo to prevent external threats.
3. Security Information and Event Management
While many consider an XDR solution all-encompassing (especially when operating with your EPS), this is not entirely the case. Instead, these programs typically deal only with protecting your network from external threats. This is where Security Information and Event Management, or SIEM, comes into play.
At first glance, SIEM and XDR seem to have many similarities. However, SIEM technology predominantly focuses on reporting and managing factors such as compliance technology and operational risk management. This means that while XDR is all about monitoring and dealing with external threats, SIEM monitors all aspects of your network to alert you of any internal misdoing.
4. Virtualization Management
Your virtual machines environment can quickly get messy if it isn’t properly maintained. Sprawl, invalid machines, and unpatched machines are all problems that are largely the result of neglect. While these issues might be easy to forget (or put off to deal with later), they can cause serious harm to your business. And if you’re in a leadership role, they could cost you your job.
Virtualization Management software makes it incredibly easy to monitor your virtual environment. From a single application, you can observe your network’s use of resources and ensure everything is running as smoothly as possible. Maintaining your network is an essential part of maintaining your business network, and Virtualization Management makes it easier than ever.
5. Backup and Replication Software
Part of security is preparing for the absolute worst-case scenario. Nobody wants to be blindsided by a total network corruption or malfunction. Therefore, having backups of your virtual machines is a must. While plenty of businesses might still have physical backup servers, it becomes more difficult to back up larger and more intricate networks. This is where we utilize backup and replication software.
Anytime you make changes within your network, replication software duplicates these changes (either in real-time or on a predetermined schedule) and stores them elsewhere. This can help you keep track of all configurations and data changes made within your virtual machines. In addition, backing up your system gives you another reason to utilize your virtualization management software, as you don’t want precious storage space taken up by orphaned VMs.
Summary of 5 Tools Your Modern Virtual Machines Security Needs
Your virtual machines are compelling. However, it also needs much attention and care to operate to the best of its ability. There are already many threats and complications in place, and there’s no telling what new threats we could see tomorrow. But with all these tools in your arsenal, it’s never been easier to maintain your virtual machines.