CSA’S Virtualization Working Group Publishes New Position Paper on Network Function Virtualization

February 29, 2016 | Leave a Comment

With the broad adoption of virtualized infrastructure, many security teams are now struggling with how to best secure these vital assets from targeted attacks. And because almost anyone can now easily virtualize resources such as compute, storage, networking and applications, the velocity and impact of security threats have increased significantly.

In response to these trends, the CSA’s Virtualization Working Group has convened a forum of experts to help network and data center practitioners adopt new best practices for securing their virtual infrastructure. The result is a new position paper on Network Function Virtualization, which discusses some of the potential security issues and concerns, and offers guidance for securing a Network Virtual Function (NFV) based architecture, whereby security services are provisioned in the form of Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). We refer to such an NFV-based architecture as the NFV Security Framework. This paper also references Software-Defined Networking (SDN) concepts, since SDN is a critical virtualization-enabling technology. The paper is the first step in developing practical guidance on how to secure NFV and SDN environments.

This white paper consists of five core sections:
Section 1: Provides a basic overview.
Section 2: Introduces NFV concepts, and briefly discusses SDN.
Section 3: Expounds on some of the security issues and concerns when introducing NFV into a cloud environment.
Section 4: Explains the benefits and opportunities of an NFV Security Framework.
Section 5: Expounds on the challenges and important elements of the NFV Security Framework.

“NFV and SDN have introduced significant new threat vectors into cloud providers and enterprise environments.  The CSA Virtualization Working Group looks forward to collaborating with the industry to determine how best to mitigate these threats.  We have created an initial step in that direction and hope to accelerate our ability to guide security experts with practical guidance in the near future”, said Kapil Raina, Co-Chair of the Virtualization Working Group

The Virtualization Working Group is sponsored by Trend Micro. Download a free copy of the paper.

You can catch the co-chairs and members of the working group during RSA 2016 at the CSA Research Working Group meetings. Visit CSA Research Working Group more information about the meetings.

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