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Customers need to make sure they maintain basic concepts of security when they move into a cloud environment, according to VMware.
Security is a huge market and while VMware only focuses on the cloud aspect, there are still billions of dollars worth of opportunities partners can get a slice of, the virtualisation vendor claimed.
“Inherently, security is an inhibitor [of the cloud] as it goes against the concept of availability,” VMware senior engineer, Mike Jawetz, said at the VMware Partner Exchange in Orlando, Florida. “While data and applications need to be available, they need to be secure as well and that is the problem.”
This presents opportunities for partners to approach customers to educate them on how to deploy a safer cloud infrastructure or to strengthen the security on what they already have.
But customers cannot rely solely on an integrator or reseller to make their cloud safe; it requires effort on their part as well.
“It is inherently important that customers understand that basic concepts of security do not go out the window when they implement a cloud environment,” Jawetz said.
Standard security practices such as locking down network ports cannot be discarded. While VMware products can automate some aspects of security in the cloud, the infrastructure still needs to be managed.
Jawetz also addressed the issue of customers hypothesising security flaws that may exist in the cloud. His advice is to avoid worrying about those 'what if' scenarios.
“The bad guys are almost always ahead of the good guys, which is why there will always be a security market,” Jawetz said. “Nobody has ever written perfect software. But in the meantime, let's make sure your time is not wasted out there by people trying to convince you that by switching to the cloud they are inherently less secure.
VMware's cloud security product line is vShield, which provides virtualisation protection to virtualised datacentres.
Spandas Lui attended VMware Partner Exchange in Orlando, Florida, as a guest of VMware.