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Virtualization simulates hardware or software on which other software can run. It can virtualize various technologies such as hardware platforms or elements (such as CPUs or graphics processors), operating systems, network devices, storage, etc.
Virtualization is currently a hot buzzword and many applications are finding their way into enterprise IT departments. High on the list of implemented virtualization technologies is that of creating virtualized server environments, where separate individual servers are consolidated into a unified hardware system. This allows IT organizations to more optimally utilize processing, memory and storage resources, as well as provide central administration and the ability to scale servers dynamically based on demand.
Another area is desktop virtualization, also known as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). In this case the virtual computer is separated from the actual hardware and accessed over a network connection. The host computer can run multiple guest computers or applications at once, again providing more optimal utilization, central administration and scalability. This also allows an IT organization to provide a more controlled and secure way of accessing corporate resources. This is especially useful when the guest device is not owned by the organization (such as BYOD). The employee or visitor device creates a connection to a virtual desktop or application, but data does not need to leave the host system.
In addressing solutions to the current BYOD trend, Gartner recommends using virtualization as part of an overall approach. However, implementing virtualization does not guarantee a fully secured environment or that data cannot leave the corporate servers. It also does not eliminate the need to check the security posture of the guest device. They are still susceptible to malware such as “keystroke loggers” and “screen scrapers” which can collect a user’s input or what is shown on screen.
Using CGX to secure the virtual infrastructure
CGX can ensure that proper protection software is installed and running on guest devices before they can access the VDI. The CGX agent software and apps can make sure that anti-malware packages and appropriate security software are installed on the end device and are active. Non-compliance with the security policy of an organization will result in an immediate loss of connectivity and quarantining of the offending device.
In addition to helping protect guest devices, CGX can also protect the virtual desktop itself for organizations that allow end users to customize and install their own applications. In such environments, a security policy must be enforced that requires the virtual desktops to have security software and settings set, such as anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall settings.
InfoExpress also takes advantage of server-side virtualization technologies by offering the CGX as a virtual appliance to our customers. This is especially useful for customers who already have implemented a virtualized server infrastructure.