IT security is often virtually forgotten

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The IT industry has seen a rapid move towards ‘virtualisation’. The 2012 InformationWeek State of the Data Centre survey highlighted that half of the 256 respondents would have at least 50 per cent of their production servers virtualised by 2013.

Virtualisation is the general term used in the IT industry to denote the movement from physical to simulation (i.e. virtual) technologies and machines. Virtualisation has many forms, for instance virtual components includes hardware platforms, operating systems, and storage devices. Virtual products include those operating via a cloud, or providing platform, server, application, desktop and/or network virtualisation.

A recent example of an organisation’s ‘virtualisation’ is Dublin Airport Authority’s 2012 IT infrastructure overhaul, whereby it went through a process of ‘virtualisation’ of more than 360 servers – it used a software application to divide a physical server into multiple isolated virtual environments.

In many circumstances, virtualisation can reduce costs and increase efficiencies. However, these benefits should be considered in light of the security risks applicable to using virtual products and/or services.

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