IT Security Goes Virtual

Michael Vizard
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Overreliance on Manual Processes Compromises IT Security

Given the fact that everything else in the enterprise is going virtual, it was only a matter of time before IT security followed suit. Security vendors across the board having been rolling out instances of their security software that runs on top of a virtual machine.

The latest offering comes from Sophos this week, which is now shipping Sophos Virtual Web Appliances software that deploys on top of VMware virtual machine software.

According to Chris McCormack, a Sophos product marketing manager, IT organizations are looking for security technologies that are substantially easier to deploy. Rather than having to set up a dedicated physical appliance, the Sophos Virtual Web Appliances software can be downloaded from the VMware Virtual Appliance Marketplace.

McCormack says that one of the things that will differentiate the Sophos approach to virtual appliances is the integration between the Sophos virtual appliances and the company's endpoint security software. Each endpoint that has Sophos software installed is updated by the virtual appliance software running on a server each time that endpoint connects to the network, said McCormack. The basic idea, he adds, is to make the end-to-end deployment and management of IT security a whole lot simpler.

One of the reasons that IT security doesn't get enough attention in many organizations is that it's simply too hard to manage. What Sophos and many other security vendors are now trying to do is take that issue off the table all together by relying more on automation to simplify the security management process.

The degree to which this succeeds remains to be seen. But given the fact that IT organizations are increasingly becoming overwhelmed by security management issues, continuing to manage IT security using manual processes isn't going to work very much longer.

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