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Security Benefits and Challenges of Virtualization in a Cybersecurity Context

Security Benefits and Challenges of Virtualization in a Cybersecurity Context

Cybersecurity is a fast-evolving field that is continually being faced with new challenges for not only individuals but also companies and government agencies. Even though a great population of current users understands cybersecurity as a discipline concerned with protecting computers from viruses and other forms of malware, this is only one aspect of this noble subject (Corallo et al., 2020). It is, therefore, essential for users and organizations to understand that data breaches include breaking into the organization’s network and stealing confidential information that may result in the loss of revenue, together with penalties involved in safeguarding the organization’s assets.

Four fundamental concepts of cybersecurity dictate how data can be protected. The first fundamental concept is device protection, which individuals and companies should prioritize in protecting against cyber threats. Under this concept, individuals and organizations must consider protecting the devices that connect to the internet by adopting anti-virus software, activating two-factor authentication, and performing regular automatic system software updates (Wilson & Kiy, 2014). Second, securing online connections has been identified as a fundamental concept of cybersecurity. Further protection can be offered to individual devices when connected online by using Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Using a VPN ensures that online transactions are secured, including but not limited to browsing details, location, the identity of the user, and any sensitive information belonging to the user, such as passwords or bank details (Wilson & Kiy, 2014).

The third fundamental concept of cybersecurity revolves around securing email communication. Research has depicted cybercriminals as using email addresses to gather sensitive information about individuals or companies. Based on this understanding, encrypting email addresses is highly recommended as one of the proper measures to prevent sensitive data from being illegally accessed by third-party individuals (Wilson & Kiy, 2014). The last fundamental concept of cybersecurity relates to protecting and performing timely backups of files and documents. There are two broad categories of backups: remote backups, which are considered offline measures, and cloud storage, which is considered an online strategy (Wilson & Kiy, 2014). The only problem with remote backups is that they are not easily accessible from anywhere. This is where cloud solutions come in because they can easily be accessed from different locations.

Information assurance (IA) refers to protecting against and managing risks related to data processing, storage, use, and transmission across different systems. The five pillars of information assurance include the protection of confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, availability, and non-repudiation of the data being used by the users (Wilson, 2012). The first pillar of information assurance relates to confidentiality, which prevents the disclosure of information to unauthorized parties, devices, processes, or groups. This pillar calls upon encrypting highly confidential data to prevent third parties from decrypting it. Permission is only granted to authorized parties (Wilson, 2012). Additionally, integrity relates to the accuracy and completeness of vital information. Confidential information belonging to the organization should not be altered during storage or transmitted from one user to another. This requires organizations to have policies in place so that users can know how to use their systems properly.

The third pillar of information assurance is availability, which dictates that authorized users can easily access information services. Under this pillar, organizations must ensure that IT resources and infrastructure have remained robust and functional at all times, even when facing adverse conditions. Information can only be available if the organization protects its system against hackers, malicious codes, or any threats that may be blocking the accessibility of the information system (Wilson, 2012). Fourthly, the authenticity pillar focuses on establishing the validity of a transmission or message or verifying that an individual is authorized to receive some confidential information. Adopting authentication measures is important because it prevents impersonation and requires users to confirm their identities before being granted permission to access the resources on the system (Wilson, 2012). Lastly, non-repudiation focuses on offering proof that confirms the sender’s and recipient’s identity. This prevents either party from denying to have sent, received, or accessed the data.

A host operating system refers to software that runs on a computer by permitting it to communicate with its hardware. This type of system can run a type 2 hypervisor. On the other hand, the guest operating system is also a piece of software that strictly runs inside a virtual machine (Kumar & Shiwani, 2014). These two types of operating systems differ greatly in functionality. For instance, the host operating system is focused on managing the system resources, including but not limited to CPU, memory, and disk space. On the contrary, the guest operating system is responsible for properly coordinating its resources within the virtual machine (Kumar & Shiwani, 2014). Another difference is that the host operating system must be compatible with the physical hardware, while the guest operating system must be compatible with the virtual machine hardware and the hardware abstraction layer availed by the host operating system.

The term hypervisor refers to software that works by creating and running virtual machines (VMs). The utilization of the hypervisor permits the host computer to support a vast number of VMs through the virtual sharing of available resources, namely the memory and processing unit.

Hypervisors function by regulating the virtualization process by creating multiple virtual machines that permit the users to work on different computing instances simultaneously. Despite this functioning, the two categories of hypervisors are type 1 and type 2. Type 1 hypervisors are also called bare metal hypervisors, while type 2 hypervisors are known as hosted hypervisors (Kumar & Shiwani, 2014). Type 1 hypervisor is used to run the Windows operating system, thus providing excellent performance and stability. The type 2 hypervisor is used as a management console for virtual machines. The advantages of type 1 hypervisor include VM mobility that permits manual or automatic movement of virtual machines, increased security brought about by the decrease in the attack surface for potential malicious actors, and resource over-allocation (Kumar & Shiwani, 2014). The only disadvantages of this type of hypervisor are its limited functionality and complicated management. As for type 2 hypervisor, some of its advantages include being easy to manage, convenient for testing, and permitting access to additional productivity tools (Kumar & Shiwani, 2014). However, the disadvantages of type 2 hypervisor include rigid resource management, decreased performance, and security.

The virtualized computing environment has both advantages and disadvantages. For instance, one of the advantages of a virtualized computing environment is the efficient use of hardware. Adopting a virtualized computing environment is essential for an organization because it permits the creation of multiple instances on the same hardware, thus extracting the maximum value from the hardware (Rashid & Chaturvedi, 2019). Another benefit of a virtualized computing environment is availability. A virtualized computing environment is always available; it can be moved instantly from one server location to another without restarting the processes that are already running in place (Rashid & Chaturvedi, 2019). The other benefits of a virtualized computing environment are easy recovery and quick and easy setting up of the physical systems. On the other hand, the disadvantages of a virtualized computing environment include high initial investment, data security threats, and quick scalability, which may be a great challenge.

Virtualization is important for the work of a cybersecurity analyst with regard to exploring malware within their environment of operation. Sandboxing has been identified as one of the ways through which virtualization can foster the exploration of malware. Sandboxing allows the execution of suspicious programs operating within the virtual environment of one’s computer (Rashid & Chaturvedi, 2019). Additionally, cybersecurity analysts can use virtualization to perform node virtualization, thus creating an environment that suits their unique requirements. Virtualizing the nodes has been depicted to strengthen data protection and infrastructure security across the organization. The attack indicators on an organization’s network can be examined through various measures. For instance, the attack indicators can be analyzed by analyzing all the connections with the aid of a corporate network (Rashid & Chaturvedi, 2019). Other measures that can be adopted to examine attack indicators include using equipment with multiple active connections and using authentication processes while logging in to the organization’s system.


Corallo, A., Lazoi, M., & Lezzi, M. (2020). Cybersecurity in the context of Industry 4.0: A structured classification of critical assets and business impacts. Computers in industry114, 103165.

Kumar, A., & Shiwani, S. A. V. I. T. A. (2014). Guest operating system-based performance comparison of VMWare & Xen hypervisor. International Journal of Science, Engineering, and Technology2(5), 286-297.

Rashid, A., & Chaturvedi, A. (2019). Virtualization and its role in a cloud computing environment. International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering7(4), 1131-1136.

Wilson, K. S. (2012). Conflicts among the pillars of information assurance. IT Professional15(4), 44-49.

Wilson, K. S., & Kiy, M. A. (2014). Some fundamental cybersecurity concepts. IEEE Access2, 116-124.


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assessment Description
Virtualization began in the 1960s as a method for logically dividing the system resources provided by mainframe computers between different applications. Since then, the meaning of the term has broadened. Today, virtualization refers to the ability to create multiple independent instances of servers and desktops with disparate operating systems running on a single physical computer.

Security Benefits and Challenges of Virtualization in a Cybersecurity Context

Security Benefits and Challenges of Virtualization in a Cybersecurity Context

Research and write a 600-word report discussing virtualization and properly using the vocabulary associated with cybersecurity.

Address the following:

Describe the fundamental concepts of the cybersecurity discipline and use them to provide system security.
Describe the main components of confidentiality, integrity, availability, access, authentication, authorization, nonrepudiation, and privacy.
Define and contrast the terms host and guest operating system.
Define the term hypervisor.
Compare and contrast the different types of hypervisors, how they are used, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a virtualized computing environment.
Describe how virtualization can assist a cybersecurity analyst in exploring malware and explain how you would examine attack indicators and attack timing.
Support your report with at least 3 scholarly resources.

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