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Network Virtualization: Benefits, Risks And Best Practices

Network virtualization is a way of combining different physical networks to make them function collectively as a single virtual network or vice versa. At times, the process may also include virtualization of storage solution, which facilitates using all storage devices as a single resource. Network virtualization can serve multiple purposes, depending upon the specific requirements of an organization. This may be aimed at either improving the efficiency of the in-house IT systems or lowering investment in additional hardware components.

Given below are some of the benefits offered by network virtualization:

Centralizing Confidential Data

Due to the increasing data breaches and other online attacks, many business owners are considering storing their data on a centralized location. With this, a hacked computer system, lost/stolen device or negligence on the part of an employee would not pose a major risk to the security of sensitive information. When IT administrators store the data on a centralized server, it mitigates the risk of theft, malware infections and unauthorized access to the company’s intellectual property.

Setting Up A Sandbox

Sandboxing involves demarcating and isolating all the applications that may pose a potential threat to the internal network of the company. Network virtualization proves to be a great help in this regard. When a sandbox is created for web browsing, it prevents all the online attacks from affecting the host server and applications that are operating out of the virtual environment.

Facilitating Secure Network Access

With the increase in ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) and work from home culture, a lot of employees access the corporate network from their personal devices as well as from multiple locations. When virtualization is used, the employees do not have to deal with the management and security aspects of the network. All these can be handled at the back-end by trained IT staff at the office.

Security Risks Of Network Virtualization

  • When virtualization is added to the IT infrastructure, it can make it more difficult to monitor and detect security issues, such as advanced persistent threats (APTs).
  • Network virtualization creates a dynamic environment which, at times, may lead to virtual sprawl. This means that the administrator may not be able to keep a track of the online activities and security vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
  • To eliminate these risks, it is important to improve the security of the host machine. Virtual systems that are not performing important business operations or remain unused should be removed from the network. Lastly, strict access control policies must be implemented to secure the virtual network.

For more information on network virtualization, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

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