Virtualization of server has attributed to various security concerns apart from the plethora of benefits. Most of the organizations are bit hesitant to migrate to the cloud just because of the considerable security gaps in cloud computing.

Hypervisor technology, which is used in any virtualized environment to exalt the virtual machine congregation, can be easily contravened if not secured optimally.

In fact, underlying hypervisor-based technology used in cloud server hosting is usually susceptible to Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) outbreaks. And, even a single point of failure can easily be subjugated to rip the entire cloud along with all its critical resources to shreds. This has raised a real security concern in the minds of business owners. Can they really take a leap of faith and trust their cloud vendor’s hypervisor?

A cloud is only as protected as the hypervisors that provision its virtual machines and how secure are these hypervisors? That's indeed a good question that some businesses at times tend to avoid looking at.

Weighing down the most possible probabilities you have to accept that hypervisors perhaps do have security loopholes that can be misused to gain access. Some believe that hypervisor can easily detect such type of unexpected attacks. However, the reality isn’t the same.

A case in point is let’s suppose you have hosted your website with reliable host. But, do you have any idea what all is running on the same hardware and what all services other users are running. By all means, No! It is quite likely that your main data and online transaction processing system VMs may be on the same hypervisor wherein some other user might be running a debauched PHP-based web server. In case that vulnerable server is unexpectedly hacked, then the hypervisor is expected to shield other users VMs from the compromised user.

However, what if the hacker can break and enter the hypervisor. In such scenarios, your so-called protected and up-to-date VM can be potentially attacked that too from an unexpected direction.

Therefore, you must enquire your cloud vendor beforehand about the security provisions they have implemented to protect your data from hacking. Things that you must enquire about are:

  • How one VM user is separated from the other VM user?
  • What all measures will be taken by them to handle any hypervisor security issue, in case any such situation arises?
  • What all mechanisms are used to detect such unexpected attacks?
  • Last, but not the least what all tools and techniques they will be using to probe such perils?

In a nutshell, ensure your journey to cloud is secured beforehand, than being remorseful later.