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Cloud Managed Services (MSP) Cybersecurity

How Safe Are Virtual Machines?

How Safe Are Virtual Machines

The use of virtual machines has already revolutionized how businesses do their work for more than a decade. A virtual machine allows you to place your operating system into an app so you can access it anywhere you use mobile devices.

While this is always convenient, just how safe is it to use?

That question is one many businesses ask in the age of depending on digital devices for everything. Let's look at some facts on how to keep your VM safe at all times.

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Is Your VM Safe From Hackers?

It's certainly possible for a virtual machine to become compromised, especially if you access it on a mobile device in a place with public Wi-Fi. Just like all devices going on a public Wi-Fi system, hackers could infiltrate your OS if not taking proper security measures.

In this case, it's a good idea to consider a firewall on your mobile device. Or, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to ensure no one can infiltrate your network data.

These are simple things you can do to protect your software from data intrusions. What should you do to protect the OS itself, though? A hacker could tap into your OS while you're working on it from a remote location. Other outside threats could occur as well.

Your best action to protect the OS is to download the system's latest security patches.


Use of Anti-Spyware and Anti-Malware Software

Never do without anti-spyware and anti-malware software on your VM's. These also help with outside threats like hackers or viruses picked up through websites or emails.

Sometimes operating systems provide these tools on their own, even if too many don't bother to install them. These provide further protection if your employees happen to open emails that unleash malware on their mobile devices.

With so many phishing emails still out there, it's easy to have your OP compromised by malware or other viruses. General anti-virus software with a complete package of protective tools is a good investment.

Since the point of a virtual machine is for your employees to access the OP while out in the field (or at home), it doesn't mean they still won't open emails or potentially land on a website with a virus. Once you have security software in place, your virtual machine is more than safe wherever it goes.


You Can Minimize Potential Points of Attack

Another safety vulnerability with VM's is also very fixable. Any unnecessary functionality of your VM, though, could make it vulnerable to points of attack. Some functions of your VM you don't use often are occasionally disabled automatically. However, some may not, leaving them a security risk without your employees maybe realizing.

To keep your VM completely safe, it's best to disable these functions manually. Specific hardware you don't intend to use for a long while should be disabled. Also, other features like a Host-Guest File System are sometimes an entryway for hackers.

Another thing to disable is any web services in the file server. All physical devices should also be turned off. Many of these might include DVD drives or USB adapters.

Screen savers should additionally be removed. Based on the idea virtual machines don't require as much function as a large server does, it's time to create an effective security system with your employees.


The Use of Serial Ports

You're better off using the serial ports on your virtual machines to connect any peripherals. Doing so prevents any sort of problem with logins or setting privileges for specific users. In that regard, it also brings more safety for any further hacking attempts.

As a low-level connection, serial ports are easy to use on any mobile device. Use of these and the other ideas above keeps your VM safe in any location. Your next step is to seek out a technology partner providing all your tech solutions to keep you competitive.

We're here for you at Network Connections. Contact us to learn more about our virtualization technologies that make work more efficient than ever.

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