Desktop virtualization gets military-grade security

Tresys announces VM Fortress.

Tresys Technology has released a desktop virtualization platform with a difference - it is designed from the ground up for organizations needing tight security, including military bodies.

Tresys, which has a track record of providing military systems, said its VM Fortress can cut costs for organizations which would like to implement the consolidation programs offered by desktop virtualization, but haven't taken the leap because of security concerns.

The company said existing security technologies are often inadequate where it comes to the relatively new practice of virtualizing desktops.

"For virtualization solutions, traditional security measures provide inadequate security for critical systems," said Frank Mayer, president, chief technology officer and co-founder of Tresys, in a statement.

VM Fortress includes features from Security Enhanced Linux (SE Linux), such as flexible mandatory access control (MAC) features, which the company said can limit damage caused by vulnerabilities in virtual machines (VMs).

Tresys is itself known as a significant contributor to SE Linux.

Other features ensure data is not leaked across VMs and that applications on different VMs cannot interfere with one another while sharing the same hardware. VM Fortress is designed to limit the effects of attacks on one VM affecting other VMs or the host operating system.

The technology allows for centralized deployment and management.

Administrators control the system using a simple graphical interface, where they can provision sandboxes for each VM, controlling resources such as network connections, shard folders, USB devices, removable media and cut and paste activities, Tresys said.

Users can manipulate some configuration features, such as sound card volume, mouse configuration and user password, with the rest controlled by the administrator, the company said.

VM Fortress supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 5, 32-bit and 64-bit, on x86 hardware, along with VMware Workstation version 6 and VMware Player version 2.

Besides the military, Tresys is targeting industries such as banking, utilities, health care, manufacturing and higher education.

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