Small Businesses Not Protecting Virtualized Servers, Says Symantec Survey

Paul Mah

A new survey from Symantec has found that while small businesses have a strong interest in server virtualization, they are not necessarily cognizant of the risks and procedures required to secure and protect their virtual environments. This puts smaller businesses that have deployed virtualization at a heightened security risk, even as their limited IT skills may be holding some back from implementing the technology.


The above conclusion was drawn from the 2011 Small Business Virtualization Poll (pdf), which surveyed 658 respondents in 28 countries around the world. The diagram below (used with permission from Symantec) sums up the key findings, which I briefly outline below:




  • Small business has a strong interest in virtualization, with financial benefits ranked as the highest reason to adopt server virtualization. The motivation behind the interest in virtualization ranges from reduced capital expenses to reduce operating costs.
  • Despite the interest to deploy virtualization, one major issue cited as holding many of these businesses back is related to their lack of experience. Some of the other top challenges range from concerns performance (60 percent), backup (56 percent) and security and pack management (56 percent).
  • For the 10 percent of businesses surveyed that have completed their deployment of virtualization, it was determined that their security posture is sadly lacking. Almost half (48 percent) don't have a firewall, while a majority don't use anti-virus (78 percent) or endpoint protection (74 percent).

I think a takeaway from the survey would be the need for SMBs to re-examine their server virtualization security.


One way I can think of would be to protect virtualized infrastructure on a per-server basis, which can be achieved by employing security solutions designed with virtualized environments in mind. This is an especially pertinent move given that a single physical server can accommodate anything from two to 10 (or more) virtual servers; traffic flowing between them may be invisible to traditional security and monitoring tools.


What are some measures that your SMB employs to protect your virtualized infrastructure?

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Sep 1, 2011 2:27 AM Howard Baldwin Howard Baldwin  says:

I can fully understand this attitude, because who wants to add yet another point solution to manage a new technology? The fact is, as this SolarWinds article ( points out, it's best to avoid point solutions and find systems management tools that provide a broad spectrum of capabilities.-Howard Baldwin (


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