Juniper Networks has upgraded its vGW Virtual Gateway platform with new security features, including virtualization-specific antivirus protection and monitoring against malware and hackers.

The vGW version 5.0 integrates monitoring, firewall, intrusion detection and compliance capabilities with new layers of defenses, including antivirus protection, hypervisor compliance monitoring and large-scale virtualization security management capabilities, said Johnnie Konstantas, director of product marketing for cloud security at Juniper, adding that the virtual environment requires purpose-built protection because of the specific risks created by it.

“The virtual environment is quite dynamic—you can have a lot of virtual machines created in a short time, so it’s hard for administrators to keep track of. That’s a security risk,” she said, adding that the constant moving around of resources also introduces a security threat. “As you move, you can traverse zones of trust—so you need security to move with you.”

The high rate of change in cloud-based environments, especially change involving people in an organization outside of the IT department, also creates new security issues, Konstantas said. “These aren’t security people, so they don’t always use the strictest controls,” she said.

The vGW 5.0 antivirus feature provides on-demand scanning so that administrators can scan VMs offline at optimal off peak times when network resource use is low, she said, which allows optimal VM host performance even when what is traditionally CPU and RAM-intensive AV security is turned on.

“We’re developing our footprint in the hypervisor to do very smart AV security,” Konstantas said. “You wouldn’t haven this disc scanning capability if you weren’t in the hypervisor.”