Attackers will look to hit virtualised environments' choke points as companies move into the cloud

News by Dan Raywood

Attacks on virtualised environments are expected to increase over time as more companies move into the cloud.

Attacks on virtualised environments are expected to increase over time as more companies move into the cloud.

Speaking at a security and virtualisation roundtable hosted by Check Point, Simon Perry, principal analyst at Quocirca, claimed that virtualisation has changed things but the main problem is that the attack surface has gone up but most exposures are coming from the processes in technology.

Perry said: “Are we going to see attacks on a choke point? This is the place that enables access to the physical machine so there is access to 30 virtual machines. So will we see attacks at the choke point? Yes. Will they be successful against the hyper visor? Yes they will.

“We have to decide the level of complexity, there are flaws in the hyper visor and enough problems that someone will make a motive. There is a level of complexity in the code and less legacy code than in the operating system. The target of the hyper visor is much higher, so we will see attacks but I can think of two areas to go for – the operating system that is hosting the hyper visor and the system admin.”

Perry also claimed that he had seen the development of management software, and those deployed had supervisory access.

Nick Lowe, regional director for Northern Europe at Check Point, said: “We will see attacks at the virtual environment, it is only a matter of time. The whole added complexity is also a risk as you bury your services into a single entity, so there will be a shift in attacks.

“The virtualisation of security is much more fundamental than the security of virtualised environments and it is very different to traditional security techniques.”

Fredrik Sjostedt, product marketing director EMEA at VMware, claimed that you need to look at the layer of complexity, as 'security is always a never ending process'. He said: “IT is delaying the capability and funding and need to make it possible, it is not about moving one machine to another as the net stats do not go with it.”


Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Video and interviews