Although the advantages offered by the use of virtual infrastructure generally outweigh the minor drawbacks, it's inarguable that security products haven't evolved as quickly as virtualization technology.

However, a recently announced partnership between VMware and Kaspersky could go a long way toward rectifying the problem, according to a report from InfoBoom contributor Douglas Bonderud.

The anti-malware company's product, he said, will provide a centralized, robust protection scheme for VMware implementation, duplicating its functionality for traditionally structured systems.

That said, the real value may be in the way the Kaspersky offering takes advantage of virtualization technology itself. Rather than having to be installed on every client machine used by such a framework, Bonderud reported, the product operates as a single appliance that nonetheless provides protection across the network.

"Kaspersky has a solid track record in network security and integration with VMware only makes sense if the company wants to get ahead in the virtual security world. The notion that this appliance is the be-all, end-all, and that it completely eliminates the issues found in most dedicated security programs is something that real-world use will have to bear out. Security appliances are only as powerful as their weakest point," he wrote.

A CompTIA study recently found that executives are acutely alive to the security concerns facing them, the InfoBoom contributor added, with interconnectivity proving a particularly vulnerable point. About 70 percent of respondents said that information security would be a higher priority this year than the last, and four out of five expect their organization's budgets for protective measures to increase.

However, according to Bonderud, the technology itself will need to improve before decision-makers start seeing real value in return for their invested funds.

"The integrated VMware virtual security appliance from Kaspersky Lab is a step in the right direction, and away from resource-hogging standard security measures," he noted, but added also that the industry would need to pick up the pace significantly in the near future.

Experts agree that protection for virtualized systems should address threats to every layer of an implementation. While application-layer malware is probably the most widely recognized menace to IT security, it's important not to overlook the potential damage that can be done by network- and server-layer attacks.

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