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By: Mark Gaydos

I was recently reading an article called “Only One In Four Data Breaches Are Intentional”. What it lacks in a sexy title it makes up for in interesting content. The results of the report from the Computing Technology Industry Association pose that most security breaches don’t occur due to attack or maliciousness but from human error. “Human errors are mostly caused by a failure to follow security procedures (45 percent) and a lack of security know-how (25 percent).”

This corroborates what we have heard about virtualized environments. The real security risks of virtualization aren’t inherent in the design of the software but in how the virtualized environments are setup and configured. This is why it is important for IT personnel in VMware shops to follow the recommendations outlined in the VMware Security Hardening Policy guidelines.

Tripwire ConfigCheck exists for those people who don’t want to have to manually check all the settings in the hardening guidelines. The utility not only helps identify where an organization is out of alignment with the guidelines but provides remediation advice on how to correct the configuration.

Bottom line: most companies probably don’t even know what they don’t know when it comes to their configuration settings in virtualized systems. If most risks are associated with configuration than use of an automated tool is a great way to minimize the effect of human errors and low security know-how (as referenced in the above article) in a virtualized environment.