WHITE PAPER. The Protection and Operational Benefits of Agentless Security in Virtual Environments SPON. Published March 2012 SPONSORED BY

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1 WHITE PAPER The Protection and Operational Benefits of Agentless Security in Virtual Environments An Osterman Research White Paper Published March 2012 SPONSORED BY sponsored by! SPON sponsored by Osterman Research, Inc. P.O. Box 1058 Black Diamond, Washington USA Tel: Fax: twitter.com/mosterman

2 Executive Summary There are two important trends occurring in the security space that every organization must address: Increasing threat levels Not only is the sheer volume of malware, phishing attempts and other types of security threats increasing, but also increasing is the risk that affected organizations face from these potential incursions. The consequences of a successful threat include not only loss of funds, data and intellectual property; but also regulatory problems that can ensue, such as the obligation to remediate events like data breaches. As a result, security capabilities must continually evolve and do so frequently. A need for greater efficiency IT departments must manage a growing number of systems, services and data types, both on-premise and in the cloud. To accommodate this increase in the number of systems and capabilities that IT must manage, while continuing to become more cost-efficient in the datacenter, IT organizations must accelerate virtualization and cloud investments, and ensure that security now works more efficiently within this environment. The bottom line is that a) security must improve and b) it must operate more efficiently in a virtualized infrastructure. To accomplish these goals, the ability to deploy agentless security to the various virtual machines (VMs) on a host physical server can have dramatic impacts on IT staff efficiency and operational costs, while maintaining a high level of security against the prevailing threat environment. KEY TAKEAWAYS Osterman Research undertook a research program to understand how an agentless security architecture, as provided by Trend Micro Deep Security, performs among a variety of its customers and compares to businesses using traditional agent-based security. Our goal was to understand what customers thought of Deep Security, to determine if it improved operational efficiency, and to determine if it helped organizations to address their security requirements in a virtualized environment. Our high-level findings from the research are summarized as follows: The wide range of server security capabilities from anti-virus to intrusion prevention to integrity monitoring that are built into Deep Security enable a lower total cost of ownership by providing security features and functions under a single umbrella from one vendor. The Deep Security agentless security architecture enables faster provisioning of security capabilities on new VMs, as well as easier ongoing maintenance. The agentless virtual patching capabilities of Deep Security reduces the cost and complexity of keeping systems up to date on the latest patches, allowing organizations to roll out patches on a more scheduled and systematic basis. With agentless security, in particular agentless anti-virus, VM density is significantly improved when compared to agent-based security solutions, resulting in much lower total cost of ownership Osterman Research, Inc. 1

3 ABOUT THIS WHITE PAPER This white paper discusses the results of the research program that Osterman Research undertook to learn more about Deep Security s capabilities. It was sponsored by Trend Micro, information about which is included at the end of this white paper. Virtualization and Its Security Implications Virtualization has been used for decades, starting first in mainframe environments in the 1960s and later developed for the x86 platform during the 1990s. More recently, virtualization has found dramatically increased interest as a result of the push toward the cloud, both public and private. In addition to the cloud, the convergence of excess capacity in the computing infrastructure, tightening budgets that require IT departments to do more with less, and the growing use of Web applications, have all driven the rapid adoption of platforms like VMware vsphere, as well as virtualization platforms from Microsoft and Citrix. The result has been growth in the number of offerings that can take advantage of virtualization technologies and decision makers willingness to embrace them. For example, virtualization is used in every Fortune 100 company. The primary drivers for virtualization are: Consolidation of servers within data centers Because virtualization permits the deployment of multiple VMs onto a single physical server, and because virtualization is a key enabler for cloud services, organizations are embracing virtualization as a way to reduce IT staff costs, reduce power consumption and simplify IT management. Performance VMs can take full advantage of the performance of servers to provide a better backend experience for services like or CRM, as well as a better desktop experience in virtual desktop interface (VDI) environments. Agility Virtualization permits more rapid deployment, faster recovery, easier and more flexible assignment of computing resources to specific tasks, and other advantages, making IT departments and organizations better able to respond to planned and unplanned events. VIRTUALIZED ENVIRONMENTS REQUIRE A DIFFERENT SECURITY APPROACH However, security in a virtualized environment must address the unique threats and infrastructure considerations of this platform. Security cannot effectively be achieved with traditional, physical machine approaches, but instead requires virtualization-aware security if organizations hope to keep their environments as secure as possible. Among the many challenges associated with virtualized security are the following: Not only must IT maintain the security of the physical server on which the VMs are deployed, but they must maintain security on each of the VMs, as well. This adds to IT s workload and increases the threat exposure for a network Osterman Research, Inc. 2

4 With traditional security, scans or updates are often initiated simultaneously across all VMs on a host, causing resource contention and performance degradation. Some vendors suggest randomization or grouping in virtual environments to try to avoid these issues. However, randomization can take an excessive amount of time to run through a complete scan or update and is not designed to avoid times of high system usage, while grouping does not account for the dynamic nature of VMs, requiring reconfiguration if VMs are migrated or cloned. VMs are much more subject than physical servers to be out of date and therefore not updated with the most recent security patches and pattern updates. VMs that lie dormant for long periods and so are not patched like physical servers or continually active VMs are quite common in some organizations, such as when specific VM configurations are created to satisfy particular types of testing or for specific applications and are activated only occasionally. When these machines are reactivated, they are highly vulnerable to threats that have already been patched on other VMs and so pose a significant security threat until they are brought up to date. For example, Intel recommends that Care must be taken to apply in a timely fashion security patches and configuration changes required by policy to all VMs, including those that are not running. 1 Blind spots can be created when using traditional network security appliances because they are unable to see the communication between VMs on the same host unless all communications are routed outside the host machine to this separate appliance. However, this security configuration introduces significant time lags. Traditional security models using Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems are not as useful in a VM environment because these systems cannot see inside VMs. Other security challenges include: inter-vm traffic which can lead to attacks between VMs on the same host; hypervisor compromises, such as hyperjacking or guest VM escape; and mixed trust level workloads in which VMs with high-risk applications might be housed next to VMs with critical applications and data. In short, while virtualization offers a number of advantages, it opens up a new set of security threats that do not exist or are addressed with a different approach in the world of physical servers. WHY AGENTLESS SECURITY MAKES SENSE IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT Agentless security in a virtual environment involves deploying a dedicated security virtual appliance on each host physical server. This security virtual appliance integrates with the hypervisor APIs to communicate and protect each guest VM without requiring a separate security agent on each VM. The security virtual appliance coordinates and staggers scans and updates to ensure that all active, dormant, and reactivated VMs have up-to-date security while also preserving resources. The advantages of this approach are several: Osterman Research, Inc. 3

5 Traditional security solutions in which an agent is applied to each VM require significant amounts of IT labor to manage. As in physical environments, each machine must have a security agent installed, patched, updated and otherwise managed. In an environment in which many tens of VMs may run on a single physical server, this is a cumbersome and expensive process. And this issue is exacerbated when multiple security solutions are deployed across VMs, requiring several agents. With a security virtual appliance, multiple types of server security can be combined in one solution, such as anti-virus, intrusion prevention, integrity monitoring, and more. Moreover, this integrated protection can be deployed using an agentless approach that eliminates the burden of security agents on guest VMs. Agent-based security installed on each VM does not get around the problem of dormant machines with out-of-date security being reactivated and therefore becoming a security threat until they are brought up to date. Properly architected agentless security systems, on the other hand, can coordinate security updates across active, dormant, cloned, and reactivated VMs, ensuring that they always have up-to-date security. Agentless security requires much less virtual system resources (CPU, memory and disk) compared to traditional agent-based solutions on each VM. Resource-intensive operations, such as full system scans, are run from the separate security virtual appliance. And coordinating and staggering scans across guest VMs helps to preserve resources, avoiding resource contention issues, such as anti-virus storms. This results not only in better performance of the physical host on which the VMs run, but also much higher VM density better supporting one of the primary benefits of virtualization. Improving Security and Operational Efficiency ABOUT THE RESEARCH CONDUCTED FOR THIS WHITE PAPER To understand more about the security and operational benefits of agentless security and virtual patching using Trend Micro Deep Security, Osterman Research conducted in-depth interviews with a number of Deep Security customers across a range of industries and organization sizes. In addition, we also conducted a separate research program focused on agent-based security processes in order to provide comparative data with Deep Security. The goal of this research was two-fold: To understand the before picture in these organizations: how their security infrastructure was managed prior to the deployment of Deep Security and what prompted these organizations to seek a more comprehensive and easier-to-manage server security capability. To understand the after picture: how Deep Security has helped organizations to accomplish their security objectives and to determine if these organizations expectations have been met. The interviews for this white paper were conducted during August and September Osterman Research, Inc. 4

6 KEY BENEFITS UNCOVERED IN THE RESEARCH Our research uncovered a number of important benefits that Deep Security-enabled organizations have experienced: Time savings for initial deployment One of the fundamental advantages of an agentless security approach is the ability to avoid deploying security agents on every VM in an environment. Our research found that the initial deployment effort with Deep Security took some effort, often because of problems with corrupt databases on agent-based systems or other issues had to be rectified before Deep Security was installed. Even so, the effort required to deploy Deep Security was comparable to setup times encountered with individual agent-based solutions: a food processing company with whom we spoke, for example, initially required only 10 hours to deploy Deep Security with vshield Endpoint on 16 VMs with another four hours to fully document the environment an average of only 53 minutes per VM for the very first deployment of Deep Security. Where Deep Security saves significant setup time is when customers need to install multiple separate point security solutions for example, for separate solutions such as anti-virus, host firewall, host IPS, and integrity monitoring. By providing these technologies in a single integrated virtual appliance, Deep Security reduces overall setup time relative to other market alternatives that deploy multiple agent-based solutions, as shown in the following table. TABLE 1 Sample Anticipated Savings in Initial Install/Setup Time with Deep Security Activity Agent-Based Security Deep Security Install/setup time for agent-based AV on servers 44 min Install/setup time for an agent-based host firewall 38 min Install/setup time for agent-based host IDS/IPS 40 min 53 min Install/setup time for agent-based file-integrity monitoring 32 min Install/setup time for agent-based log inspection 28 min TOTAL MINUTES REQUIRED PER SERVER 182 min 53 min SERVERS DEPLOYED PER YEAR* 20 SALARY FOR IT LABOR ($80,000/year) $38.46/hour TOTAL COST $2,333 $679 INITIAL INSTALL/SETUP SAVINGS WITH DEEP SECURITY $1,654 * Note that these savings are based on a conservative estimate of 20 servers deployed per year. Many organizations will have considerably more servers, which will result in higher savings. Faster deployment on new VMs After the initial deployment and working through the problems that existed with the previous environments, however, standing up new VMs is extremely fast. Without exception, our research found that Deep Security permitted easier on-going management of security provisioning for new VMs. Some organizations had to do provisioning frequently, such as a food processing company that must provision roughly 200 new VMs per quarter, down to some organizations that perform this activity only a few times per quarter Osterman Research, Inc. 5

7 Our research found that provisioning with Deep Security requires little or no extra time per new VM, offering substantial savings over what organizations have found in their previous security environments. Below are examples of how quickly organizations were able to provision new VMs when not hindered by their security solutions: o o o A Canadian firm found that provisioning a new VM requires only two minutes compared to 15 minutes with their previous security solution. A Turkish steel manufacturer can provision a new VM in less than five minutes. A US food processing company requires only 2-3 minutes to provision on a new VM. The reduced amount of time for provisioning can result in significant cost savings for an organization. For example, let s assume that 200 new VMs will be configured each quarter and, using the Canadian firm s experience, this will result in a total time investment per quarter of six hours 40 minutes (200 machines x 2 minutes per machine). With their previous security solution, this would have required 50 hours (200 machines x 15 minutes per machine). Assuming a fully burdened annual salary for an IT staff member of $80,000, this translates to an annual cost savings of $6,667 and 173 IT staff-hours a significant savings for a single aspect of managing VMs. This data is converted into savings per 1,000 users in the table below. Moreover, and almost without exception, the companies we interviewed told us that it is easier to provide ongoing management for agentless security on existing VMs with Deep Security, resulting in further cost savings. Sample anticipated savings from Deep Security in terms of the time required for ongoing management is shown in the following table. TABLE 2 Sample Anticipated Savings in Ongoing Management with Deep Security Calculations per 1,000 Users Activity Agent-Based Security Deep Security Provisioning of new VMs introduced after initial install in hours per month per 1,000 users Reconfiguration of security due to VM migration and load balancing in hours per month per 1,000 users Manual administration of pattern updates in hours per month per 1,000 users TOTAL HOURS REQUIRED PER YEAR PER 1,000 USERS SALARY FOR IT LABOR ($80,000/year) $38.46/hour TOTAL COST PER 1,000 USERS $7,015 $923 ANNUAL MANAGEMENT SAVINGS WITH DEEP SECURITY $6,092 Patching is significantly easier Patching is a critical issue when comparing agentless and agent-based security solutions. For example, as noted earlier, when a VM that uses agent-based security is offline it will not be updated with the latest patches, making it vulnerable to security threats when it is 2012 Osterman Research, Inc. 6

8 brought back online the longer it is offline, the more vulnerable it is. However, with a dedicated security appliance, virtual patching can be applied to active, dormant, cloned or reactivated virtual machines. Virtual patching shields vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. This eliminates emergency patching, frequent patch cycles, and costly system downtime, saving on administrative time and costs and protecting critical systems, applications, and data. Our research found that patching using Deep Security is generally easier when compared to previous environments. For example, one interview subject told us, client patch updates [in their previous environment] were not as streamlined as with Deep Security. Another interviewee told us that the virtual patching in Deep Security, has been the single biggest benefit they have experienced with the solution. With their normal patch process in Windows, they had to schedule downtime to perform the patching, typically between 2:00am and 4:00am on a Sunday morning. Now, IT simply sets up the patch and runs it whenever it s convenient, perhaps every 90 days. This can result in enormous revenue savings, such as in the case of a retailer that is selling products through its Web site on a 24x7 basis. Organizations can spend up to one third of their time on patch management in conventional environments, including patching servers, desktops, laptops, and other endpoint devices. Add this to costly downtime, and patching in conventional environments can be very expensive. Instead, virtual patching with Deep Security can save organizations a considerable amount while also ensuring that their critical systems, applications, and data remain safe. Improved VM density Another important benefit of Deep Security is its ability to provide higher VM density. For example, one interviewee told us the following about their VDI efforts, our primary reason for moving to Deep Security was to increase our VM guest density per ESX host. We went from 50 to 80 guest VMs per host, which essentially paid for the upgrade and gave us better performance than using traditional agent-based AV for the VMs. The increase in machine density is one of the most important benefits of Deep Security. Using the example above going from 50 to 80 VDI images per host the cost savings provided by the increase in density alone would be 35%, as shown in the table below. The following table shows a sample of the savings that can be achieved with VDI density improvements based on that achieved by a Deep Security customer. Potentially higher savings can be attained depending on a company s VDI deployment. And additional VM density improvements can be reached with server deployments in addition to VDI Osterman Research, Inc. 7

9 TABLE 3 Anticipated Savings through VM Density Improvement for VDI Efforts Activity Agent-Based Security Deep Security Number of VMs supported per host Total VMs 1,000 Total physical hosts required CAPEX cost per physical host (2 CPU, 2 Core)* $8,954 $8,954 OPEX cost per physical host per year (power, cooling, and rack space per 2 CPU 2 Core)* $1,050 $1,050 TOTAL CAPEX COST OVER THREE YEARS $179,080 $116,402 TOTAL OPEX COST OVER THREE YEARS $63,000 $40,950 TOTAL THREE-YEAR COST $242,080 $157,352 TOTAL THREE-YEAR SAVINGS FROM IMPROVED VM DENSITY $84,728 THREE-YEAR SAVINGS FROM IMPROVED DENSITY PER VM $84.73 * The CAPEX and OPEX cost estimates are based on figures from VMware. SUMMARIZING THE BENEFITS Using agentless security in Trend Micro Deep Security provides savings across the deployment and use of the product, including installation, ongoing management, VM patching, and VM density improvements. These savings estimates in the tables above were based on input from current Deep Security customers. Actual savings will vary based on many factors, one of the most significant factors being the degree of virtualization. However, regardless of the extent of virtualization, all customers interviewed experienced operational benefits and cost savings using Trend Micro Deep Security. A comparison of agent-based and agentless security is shown in the following table. TABLE 4 Comparison of Agent-Based and Agentless Security Parameter Agent-Based Security Agentless Security Initial deployment On-going deployment to new VMs Patching VM density Variable. More time is needed when several point products are installed across VMs. Can be time-consuming, particularly in environments with large numbers of VMs. Slow, requires scheduled downtime to perform patching. Requires significant IT effort to accomplish. Networks are vulnerable to security threats during gap created between VM instantiation and patches. Can spike server resources. Modest because of significant processor horsepower required. Can require several hours of effort, largely to correct corruption and other problems in the previous environment, but saves time with multiple security modules integrated into one solution. Very fast: as little as 2-3 minutes per VM. Very fast, can be accomplished with no downtime. Little IT effort required to accomplish. No gaps exist when dormant VMs are activated. Much higher because processors do not have to run multiple security agents on each guest VM Osterman Research, Inc. 8

10 OTHER BENEFITS OF DEEP SECURITY A single console simplifies management Almost without exception, interviewees told us that having a single console in Deep Security has simplified management of their security infrastructure. For example, one interviewee told us that the single console has been a great benefit when compared to their previous environment that required the use of three or four separate tools one for the technicians, one for the Windows administrators, etc. Wide range of features One of the fundamental advantages of Deep Security is the wide range of features it offers across physical, virtual, and cloud environments, including firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, Web application protection, application control, integrity monitoring, log inspection and other capabilities. Our research, which was focused more on in-depth anecdotal analysis, suggests that most Deep Security customers are using only a fraction of the total capabilities available in the offering. This suggests that as these organizations roll out more features of Deep Security as their virtual environments expand, more of the functions currently being managed by competing products will be shifted to management under Deep Security. This will likely result in lower total cost of ownership for functions as a) fewer vendors will ultimately be used to manage security capabilities, and b) there will be fewer vendors to contact if issues arise in the future. This is consistent with other Osterman Research surveys that have found most organizations wanting to consolidate security under a single vendor for purposes of increased efficiency and lower cost. Recommendations for Deep Security Interviewees provided some additional insight into their experience with Deep Security when asked if they would recommend the solution to others particularly telling was the fact that every individual with whom we spoke would recommend Deep Security: o o o Agentless AV is a great improvement on resident solutions as there is always a concern that installing components may have an effect on the server configuration at a software level and from a performance level. We would definitely recommend Deep Security it s a package of compliance tools in a single environment and helped us roll out a new environment that needed PCI compliance in the context of IPS, host firewall capabilities, etc. We would absolutely recommend Deep Security we don t know of any other products that can provide integrated server security. Summary Deep Security is a comprehensive package of security tools that offers a wide range of features, functions and deployment models. Our research with Deep Security customers clearly indicates that it makes security provisioning on VMs easier and faster, makes patching simpler, improves VM density, and simplifies management. These benefits result in lower overall security costs and dramatic improvements in IT staff efficiency Osterman Research, Inc. 9

11 About Trend Micro ABOUT DEEP SECURITY Trend Micro Deep Security is a comprehensive, adaptive, and highly efficient server security platform that protects enterprise applications and data from breaches and business disruptions without expensive emergency patching. Tightly integrated modules easily expand the platform to ensure server, application, and data security across physical, virtual, and cloud servers, as well as virtual desktops. Choose from agentless and agent-based protection, including antimalware, intrusion detection and prevention, firewall, web application protection, integrity monitoring, and log inspection. This comprehensive server security platform helps you simplify security operations while enabling regulatory compliance and accelerating the ROI of virtualization and cloud projects. ABOUT TREND MICRO As a global leader in cloud security, Trend Micro develops Internet content security and threat management solutions that make the world safe for businesses and consumers to exchange digital information. With over 20 years of experience, Trend Micro is recognized as the market leader in server security for delivering top-ranked client, server, and cloud-based data protection solutions that stop threats faster and protect data in physical, virtualized, and cloud environments. Since its inception in 1988, Trend Micro has pioneered innovative technologies and services that protect users against threats on new and emerging platforms and devices. As the newest platform change, cloud computing, revolutionizes the way people share and make access to digital information, Trend Micro is prepared. By extending Trend Micro security to virtualized and cloud-computing environments, businesses and consumers can securely take advantage of new technologies in the public or private cloud. Powered by the industry-leading Trend Micro Smart Protection Network cloud security infrastructure, Trend Micro s solutions stop threats in the cloud, delivering proactive protection faster than any other security vendor. Test results confirm the effectiveness of Trend Micro s security from the cloud, with Smart Protection Network-powered solutions blocking over 4 billion threats daily for customers worldwide. Trend Micro delivers timely threat intelligence, service, and support to its global customer base and defends tens of millions of customers round-the-clock through TrendLabs SM a worldwide network of threat research and product service and support centers. As new threats and vulnerabilities emerge, Trend Micro remains committed to timely threat intelligence and ongoing innovation to help customers secure data, ensure compliance, reduce costs, and safeguard business integrity. By providing security from the cloud with our industry-leading Trend Micro Smart Protection, Network and security for the cloud with our server, data storage and encryption technologies, Trend Micro is the best choice for Securing Your Journey to the Cloud Osterman Research, Inc. 10

12 Appendix CURRENT ENVIRONMENTS PROTECTED WITH DEEP SECURITY The infrastructures about which we interviewed were varied as shown by the following examples: TABLE A Sample Organizations Interviewed for the Research Organization Healthcare company in the southeast US Dutch retailing group with worldwide operations Canadian provider of insurance and related services Turkish university Turkish steel manufacturer US-based food processing company Environment 33 physical VMware ESX host servers running 431 virtual servers, 4,000 PCs, Windows 7 virtual desktop being rolled out at physician sites Using Deep Security primarily to meet requirements for file integrity monitoring and host-based intrusion protection in a heavily regulated environment Operating 45 VMs on three VMware ESX host servers Running 60+ VMs in a VMware vsphere 4 cluster with four hosts Running 10 VMs Running 800 virtual desktops on 10 physical VMware ESX host servers The environments about which we interviewed ranged from small server deployments to large datacenters. They were quite heterogeneous and are using a number of other solutions beyond those offered by Trend Micro Osterman Research, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form by any means, nor may it be distributed without the permission of Osterman Research, Inc., nor may it be resold or distributed by any entity other than Osterman Research, Inc., without prior written authorization of Osterman Research, Inc. Osterman Research, Inc. does not provide legal advice. Nothing in this document constitutes legal advice, nor shall this document or any software product or other offering referenced herein serve as a substitute for the reader s compliance with any laws (including but not limited to any act, statue, regulation, rule, directive, administrative order, executive order, etc. (collectively, Laws )) referenced in this document. If necessary, the reader should consult with competent legal counsel regarding any Laws referenced herein. Osterman Research, Inc. makes no representation or warranty regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in this document. THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED AS IS WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED REPRESENTATIONS, CONDITIONS AND WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE DISCLAIMED, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH DISCLAIMERS ARE DETERMINED TO BE ILLEGAL Osterman Research, Inc. 11

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