Antivirus for vmware

Antivirus for vmware DEFAULT

Sophos Antivirus | VMware vShield Endpoint VDI


  • Provides superior performance using a centralized scanner and advanced caching
  • Ensures consistent, up-to-date protection as guests are created,clonedand resumed.
  • Eliminates scan storms by automatically staggering scheduled and on-demand scans.
  • Protects against known and unknown threats using our unique Behavioral Genotype technology.
  • Connects to SophosLabs via Live Protection, providing real-time lookups of suspicious files.
  • Shares an intuitive management console with our workstation and physical server solutions.
  • Includes best in class 24/7/365 SCP-certified support.

Sophos for VMware Vshield Performance

Security designed for virtual environments
We built Sophos Antivirus for vShield to work seamlessly with virtual platforms. Instead of installing a traditional antivirus agent on each virtual machine, we provide a lightweight centralized scanner to secure all the guests on a host. The result is fast, effective protection with lower resource use and simpler management.

High performance, low impact
Sophos Antivirus for vShield uses advanced clean-file caching to eliminate redundant scanning and minimize scan times We prevent scan storms—spikes in resource use caused by concurrent scans -- by automatically staggering scans. Similarly, update storms are nonexistent, as only the centralized scanner has to be updated.

Simple management
Virtual environments are dynamic, so it can be a challenge to consistently deploy security software and keep it current. Fortunately, Sophos Antivirus for vShield automatically protects every supported guest as soon as it comes online. Create policies, view alerts, request scans and generate reports for all your virtual systems from our intuitive management console. And you can use the same console to manage your Sophos-protected workstations and physical servers, too

Real-time threat protection
With malware evolving by the minute, it’s critical that your protection can keep up. Our unique Behavioral Genotype technology is able to detect malicious behavior even before specific signature-based detection has been issued. Combine that with Live Protection, which looks up suspicious files in the cloud in real time, and you can be confident your systems will be protected from the latest threats.

Support when you need it
Malware infections, system issues and maintenance windows are not limited to business hours. That’s why Sophos provides 24/7/365 support standard—so you can get help when you need it. The prestigious SCP certification recognizes our commitment to providing effective, responsive support.

Technical Specifications

Platforms supported

  • VMware vSphere 5.1, 5.5
  • VMware vShield Endpoint 5.1, 5.5
  • The vShield Endpoint Thin Agent supports:
    Windows 8 (64 bit)(vSphere 5.5 only)
    Windows 7 (32/64 bit)
    Windows Vista (32 bit)
    Windows XP (32 bit)
    Windows Server 2003 (32/64 bit)
    Windows Server 2003 R2 (32/64 bit)
    Windows Server 2008 (64 bit)
    Windows Server 2008 R2 (64 bit)
    Windows Server 2012 (64 bit)(vSphere 5.5 only)

Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless has been specifically designed to protect software-defined data centers built on the VMware vSphere platform, including support for NSX technologies. The solution delivers advanced security capabilities with near-zero impact on platform efficiency so you benefit from an industry-leading anti-malware solution while retaining high consolidation ratios.


  • Specifically designed for VMware security

    • Native integration with VMware NSX

      The tight integration of Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless with the VMware vSphere and NSX platforms means that the infrastructure and security layers work together in close co-operation, bringing improved levels of automation and protection to software-defined data centers. Anti-malware scans, as well as network attack blocking functionality, are offloaded to dedicated security virtual appliances (also known as Security Virtual Machines or SVMs) and delivered to each VM from the moment it’s powered on.

      • Next Gen anti-malware protection, featuring multiple machine learning-powered technology layers, is delivered instantly to every virtual machine (VM) managed by VMware NSX, with no need to install any agent on the VM.
      • Full, flexible network threat detection capabilities are also delivered to every virtual host managed by the VMware NSX platform, helping to protect your virtualized infrastructure from the most advanced network-based threats and even zero-day vulnerabilities.
    • Automated deployment for VMware NSX

      Tight VMware NSX integration enables the fully automated deployment of security appliances (main Secure Virtual Machines (SVMs) or Network Threat Detection SVMs). These pop up on the hypervisor automatically, based on the security polices applied to each VM.

    • Security policy integration

      Tight integration with VMware NSX means that each VM receives precise security capabilities as defined by your corporate policies.

      In a dynamically changing IT landscape, it’s important to ensure that your security policy is attached to a particular VM function - not to a precise location - so that individual security capabilities travel with each VM from host to host. The VMware NSX platform and its security policies enable this functionality, consolidating all security settings (network, AV, etc.) into one policy. We further boost the VMware NSX platform’s security management efficiency by incorporating the anti-malware and network attack blocking security policies available in our Agentless solution.

      This feature fully supports the building and scaling of perfectly balanced software-defined data centers.

    • Security tags integration

      Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless and the VMware NSX platform now exchange security tags, which can change based on specific rules (e.g. malware detected inside a VM). This constant interaction between the infrastructure and its security means the software-defined data center can react in real time to any security incident, automatically triggering the reconfiguration of the entire virtual infrastructure if necessary.

    Automated Security and Monitoring

    • Full infrastructure scan – for security even when offline

      No ‘traditional’ security solution can perform an agentless anti-malware scan of a VM that’s offline. Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless introduces advanced functionality that scans all VMs running Windows or Linux OS with the following file systems: NTFS, FAT32, EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, XFS and BTRFS - whether they’re online or offline. This includes VM templates used for on-demand VM spawning. The result is more effective on-demand scanning and better security coverage across your entire infrastructure.

    • Advanced SNMP-based monitoring

      Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless can be installed with an SNMP-agent. This monitors and sends extensive information about the SVM's health status to third-party SNMP monitoring tools like Zabbix and Nagios. SNMP counters include general SVM metrics (CPU, RAM, etc.), as well as specific metrics.

    • Security task orchestration according to your needs

      Routine scanning can be performed on all VMs according to your own pre-set schedule. Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless automatically avoids the simultaneous scanning of large numbers of machines, to help ease the load on your systems.

    • Fully supports VMware vMotion

      With full support for VMware vMotion, Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless ensures that security is not interrupted when a workload is moved from one ESXi host to another. If the new host has the necessary licenses, the security will automatically transfer along with the workload – and all security settings and policies will remain exactly as you configured them.

    • Seamlessly integrates with VMware vCenter Server

      Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless receives information about VMs from the VMware vCenter Server, including a list of all VMs and all relevant parameters. As well as giving IT administrators a higher level of visibility, this close integration with vCenter Server ensures that protection is automatically provided whenever your IT team configures a new VM.

    • Cloud-assisted protection against the latest threats – including zero-days

      The cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) identifies new threats and delivers the most recent threat intelligence in real time. With an identification time as quick as 0.02 seconds, KSN helps protect you against zero-day threats.

    The Right Balance of Protection and Performance

    • Reduces the load on your systems for better consolidation and performance

      Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless has been designed to protect virtual servers with optimum efficiency and minimal impact on hypervisor performance. So your servers are protected while retaining all the benefits of virtualization.

      Offloading resource-heavy tasks such as anti-malware scans and storing security intelligence databases substantially reduces the strain of doubling-up functionality on every virtual host, including Hypervisor I/O, CPU, Memory and Storage.

    • [NEW] Detects attacks on the network level, now with Network Threat Detection

      Kaspersky’s Network Threat Detection System monitors network traffic for signs of activity typical of network attacks. On detecting an attack, it blocks the attacking computer. It also detects suspicious network activities that may be a side effect of a network intrusion into the protected infrastructure. Exclusion rules can be configured to scan or block specific IP addresses. A traffic processing mode can be selected for Network Threat Detection, to block the detected threats. Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless provides this network-level functionality together with support for VMware vCloud Networking and Security or VMware NSX.

    • Supports highly complex infrastructures

      Comprehensive policies can be created for all KSC clusters. These can define settings to protect all VMs within the protected infrastructure of every KSC cluster, i.e. all VMs managed by all VMware vCenter servers.

    • Eliminates ‘update storms’ and ‘scanning storms’

      With just one instance of the security appliance protecting all the VMs running on a single host, Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless helps to eliminate anti-malware 'update storms' and 'scanning storms'.

    • Automatically tracks scanned files for greater efficiency

      When a file is accessed on a VM, Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless automatically scans the file to ensure that it’s safe, then stores the verdict in a shared cache. When that same file is accessed on another VM on the same virtual host, the security solution knows that another scan is unnecessary. The file will only be re-scanned if it’s been changed, or if the user runs a manual scan. This saves resources – especially in virtual desktop (VDI) environments, where many VMs use identical sets of OS and application files.

      Kaspersky’s shared cache technology helps enhance IT performance and reduce the load on your computing infrastructure, so you can reallocate resources to other tasks without compromising security levels.

    Superior Reliability and Manageability

    • A single management console for virtual, physical and mobile devices

      Kaspersky Security Center, included in Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless, provides a single unified management console for controlling a wide range of Kaspersky security technologies. You can manage the protection of virtual, physical and mobile devices, and enforce consistent security policies across your entire IT estate – all from the one console.

    • Solution deployment with no downtime

      During deployment, there’s no need to reboot any machines or put the host server into maintenance mode. This helps maintain productivity for your users – vitally important for data centers committed to achieving ‘five nines’ (99.999%) uptime or better.

    • Greater visibility and easy management and reporting with KSC

      Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless is managed from the same Kaspersky Security Center that manages regular endpoints. KSC makes it easy to generate detailed reports, giving administrators greater visibility of events and completed tasks. Because Kaspersky Security Center lets you manage a wide range of security applications, you can produce reports covering all the virtual, physical and mobile devices being protected by Kaspersky security technologies.

    • A choice of licensing options – simplifies licenses and reduces cost

      Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Agentless offers a choice of ‘per virtual machine’ or ‘per CPU’ licensing – letting you choose the option that’s most cost-effective for your business. For large data centers and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) providers, the number of virtual machines regularly fluctuates, so ‘per CPU’ licensing offers big benefits.

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VMware Security Recommendations and Best Practices

On this page:


We strongly recommend treating each virtual machine as if it was a physical machine for most activities. Virtual machines are vulnerable to most of the same things as physical machines including data loss/corruption, hardware failures, viruses, and hackers. Install and use virus scanning software. Take regular updates to your operating system, preferably via an automatic update system. Make regular backups of important data. Follow the recommended best practices for your guest operating system. In most cases, simply treat your virtual workstation as you would any other machine.

Security Recommendations

We strongly recommend you treat each virtual machine as though it is a real machine for the purposes of security.

  1. Install Anti-Virus Software
    While MIT does its best to prevent virus attacks, no computer is immune to them. Anti-virus software needs to be installed separately on the Virtual Machine, even if virus protection is already installed on the Macintosh operating system itself. For more information about virus protection, distributed by MIT at no cost. Sophos, the software distributed and supported by IS&T, includes protection against viruses, Trojans, worms and spyware, as well as adware.
  2. While virus protection software offers some protection from spyware, we recommend using Windows Defender on your Windows virtual machines for additional protection. Defender is included with Windows. To find it, click on the Start button and type "Defender" in the search box.
  3. Choose Strong Passwords
    Weak passwords can be guessed, thus giving someone else access to your files and your system. Create passwords that are at least eight characters long, containing numbers, upper and lower case letters, and symbols. More information on creating strong passwords can be found at Strong Passwords
  4. Keep your Operating Systems Updated
    It is equally important to keep your host and virtual operating systems updated as compromises can occur in either kind of system. Install operating system security updates to keep your system current and protected from known vulnerabilities. We strongly recommend utilizing automatic updates, but note that virtual systems can only take updates when they are running. If your virtual system has not been started in some time (or is rarely left running long enough to take an update), we recommend you run a manual update as soon as you start your virtual system. For more information, see: MIT Windows Automatic Update Service, Red Hat Network.
  5. Maintain Like Risk Postures for All Machines (Virtual and Host)
    Your system is only as secure as the least secure virtual or host machine. All guests on a host machine should have like risk posture - same level of accessibility, data sensitivity and level of protection. If any guest is more vulnerable than other guests or your host, it could be an entry to compromise the rest of your system.
  6. Limit Host Access
    Access to the host should be limited (firewalled off).
  7. Snapshots of Virtual Machines
    When taking a snapshot of a virtual machine and then branching off, make sure to save the image at the instance before the branch (the trunk) rather than at the branch level to ensure security patches are most up to date.

Best Practices

  • Don't register a virtual machine for DHCP on wireless.
  • When copying or backing up a VM image:
    1. Make sure the virtual machine is powered off.
    2. Do not copy the lockfile directory (the only subdirectory that ends in ".lck").</li>
  • When restoring from backup use move, not copy. This prevents issues with duplicate Mac Addresses on the same network.
  • Treat each VM as a standalone computer for security purposes. Install virus scanning software. Take regular OS updates.
  • Enable "Time synchronization between the virtual machine and the host operating system" via the VMware Tools installed on the virtual machine.
  • Networking: use NAT Networking. This should be the default setting for your virtual machines.
    Advanced users, particularly running Linux guests, may discover they want or need to deal with the additional complexity of setting up a Bridged network interface.
  • Carefully plan your disk allocations. Do not over-allocate your disk. It is dangerous to tell VMware to make images that, if they all grew to their full size, would take up more disk space than you have free. If this happens, VMware may pop up an alert warning you when you're about to use up more space than you have. That would give you a chance to free up disk space or exit cleanly. We don't recommend relying on the warning. There's no guarantee it will appear before bad things (data loss or corruption) happen.


The importance of backing up your data cannot be stressed enough. Virtual machines are at just as much risk, if not more, for data loss due to hardware failure, file corruption, system compromise, and other events. If data loss happens, a backup can make a world of difference in recovering from such an event. How you use your virtual machine (VM) will determine the best way to do backups for your VMs.

  1. You have important software/data in the VM (research, data, etc):
    Install Code42 within your virtual machine and have it run regular backups of the data within your virtual machine. This method does not preserve your virtual machine, just the data within it. For more information on using Code42 for virtual machines, see: Code42 (Formerly Crashplan) Backup Accounts
  2. Your VM is an appliance:
    We recommend that the system administrator manually makes backups. This preserves both the virtual machine and your data within it. Simply, drag and copy the VM somewhere (e.g., an external drive). Exclude your VM files from regular backups via Code42. See items 2 and 3 below for reasons. For more information, see: Q. I want to make a backup/copy of my virtual machine. What is the best way to do so?

Things to note regarding virtual machine backups:

  • A virtual machine image is actually comprised of several files. All of those have to be in sync or behavior is erratic.
  • From outside the virtual machine (host machine), if a backup is made when the virtual machine is running, the results are inconsistent. Backup your virtual machine files on the host machine when the virtual machine is not running.
  • To backup virtual machines using Mac OS X 10.5's Time Machine, users will need to be running Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later. When backed up using Time Machine, virtual machines are duplicated and may take up considerable space on your backup drive.

Security Risks Specific to Virtual Machines

While virtual machines are at risk of all the same things as any other machine, you should be aware of a few additional issues.

  1. If a host is compromised, scripts can be run on the host that can interact with the guest at whatever privilege level the guest is logged in as. This can result in malicious trojans being installed on the host and guest machines.
  2. A virtual machine that is not virus protected, compromised, and in a shared networking configuration can be used by an attacker to scan both the private and public address spaces. The other virtual machines on the host (if not patched) can also be exploited via the network, so a software firewall on each of the guests is recommended.
  3. (Enterprise version) When turning on shared folders, they can be accessed through a compromised guest. Files can then be placed on the host and attackers can access other guests' file systems.
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For vmware antivirus

Question:Q:Do i need anti virus software with vmware

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could anyone tell me if when running windows 7 with VMWare 7 on my macbook pro if i need to purchase anti virus software? mcafee keep sending me messages saying I have virus but my macbook pro is running fine

Thanks in advance for your help


Posted on Sep 16, 2015 11:54 AM

Sep 16, 2015 12:06 PM in response to X1505 In response to X1505

Your Windows 7 session will not be "virus proof" if you are relying on the mac for the root of it's security.

If you expose your Windows 7 session to a virus or malware and are not running AV you will likely be infected on the Windows "side" but it will not affect your Mac

Windows 7 will remind you if you don't have AV but you can shut that warning off if you feel obliged.

On your mac it's the consensus around here to avoid Mac AV solutions, they tend to cause more problems then they fix and they are not as flexible as they are on their windows counterparts.

Sep 16, 2015 12:06 PM

View answer in context

Sep 16, 2015 12:06 PM in response to X1505 In response to X1505

Whatever runs on VMWare is separate to your OSx. If you are getting Mcafee ads on OSx, then you likely have some type of Mcafee extension installed on your Mac producing them and would have nothing to do with Windows or VMware. If you are getting them only inside the Windows Virtual Machine, then you have adware on your windows virtual pc.

Windows on VMWare is susceptible to the same viruses that a windows computer would be as well. so an antivirus for windows would be required.

However, windows viruses would not be able to affect your Mac, and would not be able to get out of the Virtual machine that is running windows anyway.

Sep 16, 2015 12:06 PM

View answer in context

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Sep 16, 2015 12:06 PM in response to X1505 In response to X1505

Your Windows 7 session will not be "virus proof" if you are relying on the mac for the root of it's security.

If you expose your Windows 7 session to a virus or malware and are not running AV you will likely be infected on the Windows "side" but it will not affect your Mac

Windows 7 will remind you if you don't have AV but you can shut that warning off if you feel obliged.

On your mac it's the consensus around here to avoid Mac AV solutions, they tend to cause more problems then they fix and they are not as flexible as they are on their windows counterparts.

Sep 16, 2015 12:06 PM

Sep 16, 2015 12:06 PM in response to X1505 In response to X1505

Whatever runs on VMWare is separate to your OSx. If you are getting Mcafee ads on OSx, then you likely have some type of Mcafee extension installed on your Mac producing them and would have nothing to do with Windows or VMware. If you are getting them only inside the Windows Virtual Machine, then you have adware on your windows virtual pc.

Windows on VMWare is susceptible to the same viruses that a windows computer would be as well. so an antivirus for windows would be required.

However, windows viruses would not be able to affect your Mac, and would not be able to get out of the Virtual machine that is running windows anyway.

Sep 16, 2015 12:06 PM

Sep 16, 2015 12:03 PM in response to X1505 In response to X1505

The only place that you install anti-virus software is into Windows 7 running inside of that VMWare guest container. People that install anti-virus into OS X wind up posting here wondering why their Mac is running slow, hangs, and reports false viruses and malware. OS X already has a robust security environment that the addition of anti-virus software will very definitely cause interference.

Sep 16, 2015 12:03 PM

Sep 16, 2015 12:05 PM in response to X1505 In response to X1505

if your not running AV in windows and if the Macafee is warning you in Windows I don't think it's Macafee - do you have a scam pop-up somewhere on your screen?

Sep 16, 2015 12:05 PM

User profile for user: X1505 X1505

Question:Q:Do i need anti virus software with vmware

How to Install Antivirus in Linux (100% Working, Simple \u0026 Easy Steps)

Avoid Virtual Machine Performance Problems from Antivirus Tools

antivirus for virtual machines can cause performance problems

You’re probably familiar with the kind of performance issues inherent in antivirus/antimalware tools. Anyone who has used a PC when the antivirus scan boots up can attest to sluggish performance. The same issues rear their head when using antivirus in a virtual environment – but virtual machines come with their own set of wrinkles.

Antivirus software can be installed either on the VM itself or on the host. Depending on your approach, you’ll want to consider these key factors to maximize performance.

Agent or agentless?

For VMware cloud environments, an agentless antivirus is often the best option for maximum performance. Agentless AV software installs on its own VM that then scans the other VMs. This VM is called a Security Virtual Appliance or SVA. Agentless AVs can typically take advantage of applied policies, scheduling, and optimization. VMware’s own vShield is one example of an SVA, but other vendors like Trend Micro integrate their VSAs with vShield APIs.

Agentless solutions may be more basic in their scanning as they don’t always have quarantine. They generally provide file scanning but not active processes in CPU or memory.

Installing an agent-based antivirus program is much more similar to the antivirus tools you may already have on your PC. In this case, the software is installed on each VM itself and operates in a similar manner to desktop scans.

Agent-based security solutions might have more granular scanning abilities (which is not even always true), but they come with a high performance price tag. Each VM takes a memory and CPU hit, which adds up significantly over an entire virtual data center. Another problem is antivirus storms, which occur when multiple machines run their scans or updates at the same time, dramatically increasing resource demand.

Agent-based AVs also require more involved administration, as each VM must have software deployed and updated individually. When VMs are migrated or change state, the AV must often be reconfigured.

Configuring for performance

While it may slightly increase risk, for best performance you will likely want to exclude some VMware files from the AV scan, namely the:

  • .vmdk, or virtual disk file
  • .lck, or disk consistency lock file
  • .vmsn, or snapshot files
  • .vmem, or memory snapshot files
  • VMware tools installation folder

Many AV tools can not read these types of files in any case, and they are unlikely to be used as an attack vector. If they do attempt to scan them, scanning the disk files while accessing them can negatively affect administration of the VM.

Some allocation rules of thumb can help improve performance when using AV, too. Dynamic memory allocation can assign additional memory when needed, but you’ll want to set limits or risk running up a high bill for your cloud. Same with CPU — your AV should have configuration options for maximum CPU consumption. Disk I/O increases during a scan, as well. Because of the performance toll, you will want to randomize your scans or set up a staggered schedule to avoid AV storms.

Ultimately, running an AV for your virtual environment is not much more difficult than administrating AVs for desktops or physical servers. If you need help setting up an AV or want to purchase a license as part of your cloud deployment, Green House Data can help maximize your performance and manage your licensing, updates, scheduling, and more.



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