Switching from traditional desktop computers to virtual machines has been proven to save companies money in just about all IT-related areas, including service and support operations. But there is one area where they may turn out to be more expensive: Security.
According to a new report from Kaspersky Lab, the security firm, the cost for recovering from a security breach is nearly double if it occurs in the cloud rather than in a traditional computing environment.
The bills can be hefty, too: $800,000 for a cloud-based breach at a large company, and $60,000 for one at a small or medium-sized firm.
Among the potential problems with VMs, said Kaspersky, was malware that migrates from machine to machine inside a server, along with virtual machines that don't get their security software properly installed.
Another problem: Because companies (wrongly) assume that virtual machines are inherently more secure than physical ones, they tend not to have recovery plans in place for them, adding to the time and expense involved in getting operations back to normal once an attack occurs. Intel recently published research about potential hypervisor security issues, leaving little doubt that it's an area that system administrators need to take seriously.
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