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A New Era of Multi-Cloud Security: VMware Counters Evolving Cyber Threats
[April 27, 2023]

A New Era of Multi-Cloud Security: VMware Counters Evolving Cyber Threats

TMCnet News

As the digital landscape expands and organizations continue to adopt multi-cloud environments, the complexity and sophistication of cyber threats have grown exponentially. The work-from-anywhere trend has compounded the challenge, necessitating innovative solutions to safeguard users, devices, networks, applications, and data.

To help combat increasingly sophisticated threats in ever more complex IT environments, VMware has recently announced a suite of security enhancements designed to address these challenges.

Specifically, VMware unveiled new capabilities aimed at bolstering lateral security across multi-cloud environments. VMware's Contexa, a threat intelligence cloud, suggests that cybercriminals typically make two or three lateral moves to reach their targets. To combat this, VMware has enhanced its security solutions with features such as DPU-based acceleration using SmartNICs, VMware Carbon Black Workload and Cloud Configuration, an enhanced Firewall Service offering, VMware Secure App IX, and VMware Workspace ONE updates.

Gartner (News - Alert) suggests that by 2025, more than half of IT spending on system infrastructure, infrastructure software, application software, and business process service will shift from traditional solutions to the public cloud. This growing trend highlights the necessity for robust security solutions that can adapt to the changing landscape. Gartner also projects global public cloud spend to eclipse $724 billion (and likely grow to more than $1 trillion by 2026). Multi-cloud adoption is likely one of the key drivers of this growth.

As multi-cloud adoption accelerates, the need for lateral security has become increasingly critical.

A major enhancement in VMware's security suite is the DPU-based acceleration using SmartNICs for VMware NSX performance. This feature, now generally available in VMware NSX 4.1, allows customers to run NSX networking and security services on DPUs, delivering accelerated performance for applications that require high throughput and low latency connectivity.

Another addition is the VMware Carbon Black Workload and Cloud Configuration, designed for cloud-native architectures. The solution addresses the challenges of securing multi-cloud environments by providing continuous security across a workload's lifecycle. As organizations move to the public cloud, the attack surface widens, making security a critical priority.

Compliance plays a vital role in protecting organizations from cyber threats and improving their overall security posture, regardless of where their workloads reside. VMware Carbon Black Workload now offers an enhanced way for organizations to evaluate CIS compliance and understand the hardening status of the compute infrastructure in workload environments through the VMware Carbon Black Cloud console. Integrating an in-house benchmarking tool into VMware Carbon Black Workload allows for greater flexibility for customers.

Security teams often lack visibility and control in highly dynamic multi-cloud environments, making it difficult to protect workloads. VMware Carbon Black Workload introduces a Sensor Gateway (News - Alert) for Linux, enabling VMware Carbon Black Cloud for air-gapped systems. This feature helps enterprises keep workloads secure while insulating them from internet traffic, reducing the need for additional proxy servers, and enhancing lateral security.

With the introduction of VMware Secure App IX, organizations can achieve governance and compliance by securely connecting applications in multi-cloud environments. This offering enables application teams and lines of business to accelerate their digital innovation initiatives by standardizing and enforcing consistent security policies across single and multi-cloud environments.

Addressing another significant trend - and a driver of cloud adoption - the work-from-anywhere trend has also prompted VMware to announce innovations to its Workspace ONE solution, including phishing and content protection, secure access, and patch management. These updates are designed to help organizations secure their hybrid workforces more effectively, addressing the risks posed by mobile phishing campaigns and enabling IT teams to manage their environments more efficiently and proactively.

The Workspace ONE platform provides security policies that are segmented and tailored for employees to work from any location on any device. With automation and insights driven by intelligent learning, IT and security teams can become more efficient and proactive in managing their environments. Workspace ONE Tunnel, for instance, enables secure access without device management on all major operating systems, allowing organizations to start their journey to Zero Trust on unmanaged devices.

VMWare's Enhanced Firewall Service offering brings NSX Security capabilities to VMware SD-WAN edge appliances, simplifying operations at the enterprise branch. By integrating the capabilities of NSX Advanced Security with VMware SD-WAN Edge platforms, customers can confidently eliminate legacy firewalls without sacrificing security. This integration results in simplified network and security operations, as well as leveraging VMware's investment in threat intelligence.

Patch management is a fundamental aspect of endpoint security. VMware has extended the cloud-native patch management capabilities of Workspace ONE, enabling Windows OS updates to be delivered to PCs anywhere, on or off the company networks. New introductions include an updated data-driven user interface that dynamically updates patch management controls independent of console releases, and new device query and sampling capabilities via Intelligent Hub that facilitate direct data collection and evaluation to inform update plans. Combined with the platform's Freestyle Orchestration capabilities, Workspace ONE can assess vulnerability exposure data from third-party sources and deliver the needed changes.

By offering a comprehensive suite of security enhancements, VMware is helping enterprises address a complex security landscape created by the widespread adoption of multi-cloud environments and the work-from-anywhere trend. These innovative solutions demonstrate VMware's commitment to driving innovation in infrastructure and delivering enhanced protection against the cyber threats of today and tomorrow.

Edited by Erik Linask

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