One of the best advantages brought to the table by virtual servers is the ability for companies to access their data anywhere – a link to a physical server in the building is no longer necessary – which means that employees can use laptops and smartphones in addition to desktops in order to use and manage data. This strength, however, can also be a weakness when it comes to security. Managing who is using data and for what in a virtual environment is much more difficult than in a physical one, and companies can often face serious concerns about how to ensure that their data remains for their eyes only.
Providers of virtual servers, PaaS and SaaS technology like Microsoft are now developing ways to deal with security issues, for example Microsoft’s Terminal Services program. The idea behind many of these security protocols is to have them built into any image of the virtual server that is created so that they are an integral part of the server itself and function regardless of what applications are loaded onto the server or for what purpose the server is used.
While this type of security architecture is a great start, companies must be leery of solutions that are too simple or that claim to be “catch-alls.” In addition to a server-ingrained option, companies must still do many of the same things they’ve always done including monitoring traffic and using reliable programs to track data use. In addition, any data being moved between virtual servers should be encrypted to prevent issues during the transfer.
Although the virtual server security field is not ironclad, new developments are making it safer than ever for businesses to migrate their data.