Digital Home Security with VT


Challenge

Improve security in the Digital Home by means of virtualization. As powerful entertainment PCs take over more functionality in the Digital Home, it will become more important than ever to secure these platforms. This necessity is even more pronounced in those cases where the same PC being used as a Digital Home appliance is being used for other functionality, such as productivity applications.


Solution

Use virtualization to isolate multiple user environments, enabling functionality such as dedicating resources to a PC game, productivity, and personal video recorder-type environments, as well as improving defenses against viruses or spyware. Many broadband users are familiar with stand-alone firewall devices. The firewall software runs on an embedded operating system. The benefit of putting that appliance inside your desktop PC or laptop is not just that it eliminates the need for a separate router. The greater value is that the firewall appliance can go with you wherever you take the PC – to the airport, the coffee shop, or the hotel room. You get the same consistent protection everywhere.

Such virtual appliances can be protected from user changes as well as attacks from outside the network; they can be extremely reliable. There are obvious benefits to having an isolated, highly reliable appliance with access to the full power of the PC processor. Applications include remote management, firewalls, intrusion detection, client isolation and recovery, collaboration, and voice services.

At the Intel® Developer Forum, Steve Ward, CEO of Lenovo, demonstrated Antidote Delivery Manager, a ThinkVantage* application running in an appliance virtual machine. The demo involved an infected client PC. The Antidote appliance saw that the PC was sending virus packets onto the network and immediately took the PC off the network. The application then updated the system and put it back on the network without any human involvement.

Further information about virtualization appliances is available in a related item, "How to Take Advantage of the Virtualization ‘Appliance’ Model in the Digital Home."


Sources

Intel® Software Insight: Virtualization and Manageability

 


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