How does virtualization fit
in?"> When considering the protection of specific resources, Whitely and Lambert go beyond encryption and data access controls. They talk extensively about "virtualization" as a security mechanism. But their use of the term virtualization sounds like theyre really just talking about terminal access. Clearly theyre just abusing a hot buzzword. Its true that virtualization can be involved in such setups, but its hardly necessary for it and arguably adds little value. I wrote a book on Windows Terminal Server back in 2000 and dumb Windows clients with no local state were perfectly possible back then. Whitely and Lambert also talk in this context about how updating in a virtualized environment can be done "natively" and is therefore better. But they must really mean "locally," and this too adds no value, since a non-virtualized Terminal Server has the same advantage.And besides, whats it got to do with deperimeterization? The answer is that its a smokescreen to cover the fact that there are no real answers for protecting corporate resources on a client system exposed directly to the Internet. The reasonable approach is to treat local and perimeter security as a "belt and suspenders" sort of thing, not a zero sum game. Those who tell you that perimeter protections are a failure because there have been breaches are probably just trying to sell you protection at some other layer. Now I have to set a reminder for myself in Outlook for about two years from now to write a column on the emerging trend towards "reperimeterization." Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers blog Cheap Hack
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What is the security value in this? Im not completely clear on it, since youre only really protecting the terminal, which is a low-cost item. The user still has a profile with settings and data. You could use virtual machines to prevent the user from making permanent changes to their profile, but Windows provides for mandatory (static, unchangeable) profiles already, and has for ages. Someone explain the value of this to me, because I dont get it.