Nearly Half of IT Staff Fear Unauthorized Access to Virtual Servers

Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:00am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  NEW YORK, NY, Jan 29 (Marketwire) -- 
Research conducted by Varonis, the leading provider of comprehensive data
governance software, found that data security in virtualized environments
is often neglected by IT organizations, with 48% either reporting or
suspecting unauthorized access to files on virtualized servers. The
study, conducted at VM World conferences(i), suggests that there is a
limited awareness of security matters when it comes to virtualized
servers, with 70% of respondents having little or no auditing in place on
virtual servers. 

    According to Gartner, there are more than 50 million installed virtual
machines (VMs) on servers.(ii) In line with this, application servers
were virtualized by almost all respondents (87%), mainly due to speedier
deployment (76%) and disaster recovery (74%). On the other hand, those
who do not virtualize cite disk storage (37%), performance (30%) and a
lack of advantages (20%) as the three main reasons for not doing so. 

    Across different company sizes, one area that appears to be neglected by
organizations is file security. While almost 60% said they were very
careful about setting permissions and controlling subsequent updates, a
revealing 70%, regardless of company size, had implemented little or no
auditing -- even at the high end of the enterprise space. In fact, 20% of
enterprises with more than 5,000 employees admitted to having no file
logging capabilities in place. 

    The lack of sufficient security is further highlighted by 48% either
reporting or suspecting unauthorized access to files on their virtualized
servers -- putting sensitive company information at risk of being
misused, lost or stolen. Surprisingly, even for those who do audit all
activity, a significant 68% believe there is still unauthorized access. 

    "We suspect that for IT departments, virtualization may be something of a
black box. We have found that, after a workload is virtualized, the
actual details of managing file permissions and monitoring access is
considered to be automatically 'taken care of.' It is also quite possible
that the teams managing virtualization projects see file security and
governance as outside their discipline. The security team may have no
visibility of what is happening," said David Gibson, VP of Strategy at

    The results suggest that, while virtualization has been groundbreaking in
allowing IT to isolate applications and services with a few clicks, it
doesn't solve permissions management and access auditing -- in fact it
might make it even more complex. 

    "Data protection, obviously, requires the same level of vigilance in a
virtual environment -- and perhaps even more so given the complexities of
managing multiple operating systems on a single computing box. For
organizations to stay on top of their digital assets it is vital to
further IT education in this area, both in terms of training staff in
understanding virtual file systems, as well as in effectively using
automation to uncover security holes, monitor activity, and control
permissions," said Gibson.

    To download the full virtualization research report, visit

    About Varonis
 Varonis is the leader in unstructured and semi-structured
data governance software. Based on patented technology and a highly
accurate analytics engine, Varonis solutions give organizations total
visibility and control over their data, ensuring that only the right
users have access to the right data at all times from all devices, all
use is monitored, and abuse is flagged.

    Varonis makes digital collaboration secure, effortless and efficient so
that people can create and share content easily with whom they must, and
organizations can be confident their content is protected and managed

    Voted one of the "Fast 50 Reader Favorites" on, and
winner of the SC Magazine Innovation, Product or Service of the Year, and
Best Network Security Awards, Varonis has more than 4,500 installations
worldwide and is headquartered in New York, with regional offices in
Europe, Asia and Latin America.

    Varonis, the Varonis logo, DatAdvantage(R), DataPrivilege(R) and the IDU
Classification Framework(R) are registered trademarks of Varonis(R)
Systems in the United States and/or other countries and Metadata
Framework(TM), DatAnywhere(TM), and Data Transport Engine(TM) are under a
registration process in the United States and/or other countries. All
other product and company names and marks mentioned in this document are
the property of their respective owners and are mentioned for
identification purposes only.

    (i) Survey conducted by Varonis in August 2012 at VM World Conferences in
Barcelona and San Francisco with 107.

    (ii) Reconsidering Heterogeneous x86 Server Virtualization, Gartner (2012)


Press contact:
Paula Brici
Eskenzi PR
+1 949 677 6527 

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