VMware to Launch Security Initiatives

The company's VMsafe technology is just the start of several security initiatives VMware officials have planned for the months ahead.

Officials at VMware said the new VMsafe program is just one of many security initiatives coming from the company in the months ahead.

The VMsafe technology, announced Feb. 27, provides a set of APIs for security vendors to use to tap into information in the hypervisor about a virtual machine, and for it to handle security events in real time as they are discovered. The idea is to use the transparency provided by VMsafe to stop malware before it harms a machine or steals data, including rootkits, Trojans and viruses that are undetectable on physical machines.

The company announced it has garnered support from 20 security vendors to use VMsafe APIs, and while VMware company officials were tight-lipped about what the upcoming initiatives would entail, they confirmed more of these types of partnerships are on the way.

"VMsafe is one in a number of security initiatives that we have going on around security, a lot of which involve partners," said Nand Mulchandani, senior director of products at VMware. "There is great transparency provided by VMsafe, given that we have APIs for CPU, memory, networking, and input/output. ... The security vendors who build VMsafe-enabled products can use this rich information to catch both existing and new threats as they emerge, wherever they might be hiding on the virtual machine."

Supporters of the VMsafe program so far include companies such as Symantec, McAfee, Sophos and Trend Micro.

"Fortinet has been invested in security virtualization solutions for large enterprise and service provider customers for some time and we are very complementary to VMware's various server offerings," Michael Rivers, vice president of corporate development for Fortinet, said in a statement. "All virtualized servers need multiple layers of security protection that can be either network based, host based or both, which is what Fortinet recommends."