Operating System Virtualization: The Future of Security?
Virtualization is a popular concept in the tech industry and has many useful applications in modern security systems. Complex systems can be highly vulnerable to cyber attacks as hackers and cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to attack the systems and networks.
Even the most well-prepared companies fall victim to cyber-attacks despite having multiple security systems in place. Virtualization can be used to isolate operating systems and minimize the impact of the attack on the overall system.
Types of Virtualization Technology
There is a wide range of virtualization technology available on the market. Application-server virtualization, application virtualization, and operating system virtualization are among the more popular types of virtualization widely used in private cloud and business cloud infrastructure.
Virtualization helps address a system’s vulnerabilities and increase its scalability, agility, and interoperability. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure primarily deals with accessing server-hosted virtual images from end-user devices.
Whereas application virtualization aids security by running an application in its own sandbox, often leveraging virtual machine clusters and hypervisor technology.
In this post, we shall focus on operating system virtualization, and the reasons it will or will not be the future of security.
Operating System Virtualization
There are many different types of virtualization, but the most popular is operating system virtualization due to its flexibility and wide range of uses.
OS virtualization removes endpoint security common in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), browser, and application virtualization. It is also helpful in protecting sensitive information from attack. While users still have the option of accessing, installing, and working with different websites, apps, external devices such as USBs.
OS virtualization is often associated with cloud computing systems and enterprise clouds because these systems use virtualization to enhance the systems’ efficiency. However, many are unaware of the importance of virtualization in endpoint security.
How does Endpoint OS Virtualization Work?
OS virtualization technology runs below the system’s operating system by dividing the device into several local virtual machines with their own operating systems. Meaning that the activities of the end-users are performed side-by-side with total separation.
Hardened virtualization technology is used to isolate virtual environments while no virtual environment can directly access the corporate network. Instead, they connect via an invisible layer of network virtualization, which applies network segmentation.
Generally, two or three virtual machines are managed by a device. Some of the typical virtual machines that might run side-by-side are:
- A fully locked-down virtual machine – used to access confidential corporate data and systems like transaction systems, customer management systems, and others.
- An unlocked, open virtual machine – used for unrestricted access to non-corporate resources like web browsing and using external devices.
- A semi-locked-down corporate virtual machine – used to access standard corporate applications like office documents and email management.
The open virtual machine is only capable of accessing the internet. In contrast, the corporate virtual machine accesses the main corporate network, while only the privileged virtual machine can access sensitive resources.
The Bottom Line
Operating system virtualization eliminates the endpoint security problems, protects sensitive information and ensures a reliable performance. With OS virtualization, end-users can get their job done without security constraints and without having to worry about compromising sensitive data.
Today, many companies provide a wide range of security solutions with the help of OS virtualization technology and their applications to the endpoints. Business, enterprise, and private cloud service providers also use such technologies to provide efficient and reliable services.
There is no denying that a practical and well-planned combination of virtual machines helps to maximize digital security. As every virtual machine has some limitations, organizations and IT departments need to implement different operating system virtualization technologies to benefit from modern security measures.
So, is the operating system virtualization the future of security? You bet!