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Containers Expo Blog: Article

HyTrust: ‘Get Your Finger Off That Button’

It has sent to market an appliance that enforces the “two-person rule” to prevent risk to virtual machines

HyTrust has sent to market an appliance that enforces the "two-person rule" to prevent risk to virtual machines, critical applications, data, and ultimately business operations - whether unintended or malicious.

It's called the HyTrust Appliance 3.0, which is supposed to make more virtualization possible while safely realizing the benefits of virtualization - including financial reward, business efficiency and operational flexibility - not to mention compliance.

The Doctor Strangelove-style two-person rule was originally designed by the US Air Force to prevent a single individual from accidentally or maliciously launching nuclear weapons.

HyTrust mandates that designated approvers authorize high-impact operations prior to users with administration privileges executing actions that can impact the business - like bringing down the data center.

CEO Eric Chiu says, "Without proper controls in place, the expansion of virtualization will continue to grow, but we'll see, in parallel, security and compliance concerns increase correspondingly."

HyTrust claims VMware and other virtualization platforms don't provide adequate controls.

So-called "privileged users" of an organization's virtualization platform typically have greater administrative power than their counterparts who manage physical data center infrastructure. They can copy, power off or delete a business-critical VM - accidentally or intentionally - in a few clicks from anywhere.

HyTrust says if it results in operational downtime, compliance violations or an internal security breach, the cost is too high.

Recent incidents of privileged users taking down virtual data center operations attest to the financial hits enterprises can - and have -taken when adequate virtualization controls weren't in place. Most of those events go unreported.

So-called Secondary Approval increases the power and flexibility of the role- and object-based access controls provided in HyTrust Appliance 2.5. Enterprises can now define policy rules that trigger the approval workflow when specified users attempt to execute selected operations.

HyTrust Appliance 3.0 also features advances in secure multi-tenant private clouds, including enhanced virtual network segmentation; labels for VMs and other virtual resources for greater policy enforcement and prevention of a cloud tenant's privileged users gaining access to another's applications or data; plus security and compliance usability, as well as availability, performance and scalability enhancements.

HyTrust Appliance Enterprise Edition is licensed at $750 per CPU for each ESX or EXSi host. The downloadable Community Edition is free and supports three hosts.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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