The adoption of virtualization technology brings with it a variety of cyber risks, especially if you are virtualizing business-critical applications. With this in mind, many regulatory standards now contain requirements specific to virtual and cloud environments. If your organization relies on VMware virtualization software, the compliance regulations you are subject to likely require controls in your IT infrastructure to ensure the integrity, availability and security of your information systems and sensitive data.

Cloud computing continues to evolve rapidly in both private and hybrid cloud deployments, as well as high-performance data centers. Nowadays, enterprises use specialized public clouds to run various computing and storage workloads better, faster and more cost-effectively than is possible with private cloud providers, while software-defined data center (SDDC) technologies such as VMware NSX are being adopted by smaller businesses.

Although cloud computing has significant advantages, it still requires risk mitigation and audit processes. Based on the NIST framework, GDPR, PCI and other compliance guidance programs, to increase the security posture of their products, VMware and its technology partners have introduced compliance & cyber risk solutions — a set of guidelines addressing security risks and compliance requirements to guide enterprises in building compliant architecture, virtual environments and cloud management.

However, this is the only first part of the task; another aspect is to make sure the infrastructure stays compliant, does not experience unauthorized changes, and is not subjected to unwarranted attempts to access its resources. In addition, proving compliance to both internal auditors and authorities in order to pass compliance audits requires special attention. To maintain compliance of your virtual infrastructure, you need visibility into changes and access events. 

Why Proving VMware Regulatory Compliance with Native Logs is Challenging

Internal and external auditors will require proof that IT controls fulfilling the requirements of applicable regulations are — and have always been — in place. They will ask questions such as who created a new virtual machine (VM) or who reconfigured one. Answering these questions with native logs can be challenging because native logs are sparse and difficult to interpret, and because they can be overwritten as a result of short-term retention capabilities. Therefore, having control over who is doing what in your VMware environment and being able to review that activity in an easy-to-read format is essential for maintaining a compliance capable virtual environment.

With requirements becoming stricter, security and compliance assessments will only grow more costly, time consuming and difficult to pass if you all have at your disposal are native logs. Accordingly, IT managers are looking for ways to both prove compliance and make the overall process as easy and straightforward as possible.

Overcoming Limitations of Native Logs and Streamlining VMware Compliance

Netwrix Auditor for VMware delivers full visibility into the activity in your VMware products, including changes made to VMware vCenter and its servers, VMware vSphere, standalone ESXi hosts, and virtual machines, along with their technical configurations and the resources assigned to them. Hundreds of customers report that Netwrix Auditor has helped them streamline compliance reporting and maintain continuously compliant environments by enabling them to:

  • Automatically track user activity and receive actionable data about it in a readable format, including detailed information on who changed what, when and where each change was made, and the before and after values for each modification
  • Easily provide evidence of their compliance using out-of-the box reports aligned with the compliance controls of major regulatory standards, including CJIS, HIPAA, PCI DSS and NERC CIP
  • Accelerate investigations and quickly address specific questions from auditors with the Google-like interactive search
  • Get alerted about activity that violates their organization’s VMware security policy with customizable email notifications
  • Keep audit data archived for years while retaining easy access to it for future compliance reference