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Security vendor Catbird has claimed open systems and multiple hypervisors could create massive security problems for data centers.

It has launched a system (Catbird 6.0) that automates security policy for data centers built on OpenStack, which it said is liable to massive liability.

As it launched version 6.0 of its security policy automation system, Catbird warned that while OpenStack frees data center operators from proprietary systems, it leaves them open to exploitation.

Few users are aware that they are abandoning the security policies that come as default with branded packages, claimed Catbird.

With most data centers having a variety of different hypervisors, Catbird 6.0 will automate security policy across the major virtualization platforms including VMware, Hyper-V and OpenStack.

“Most data centers have a variety of platforms and now there’s massive enthusiasm for OpenStack,” said Randal Asay, Catbird’s CTO.

“The problem is there is a huge development effort required and tons of security decisions to make. And if you know anything about development communities, they are not known for their security policies.”

As security policy decisions become dependent on the context of the infrastructure, hypervisors and all virtual entities (switches, network configurations and machines) will be critical data points in the effort to protect the private cloud.

But Assay said in the race to create infrastructure and service clients they risk being neglected.

“It is going to be vital that managers impose consistent policy across data centers,” said Asay.

Catbird 6.0 automates the management of security and compliance for VMware ESX and will support Microsoft Hyper-V and software defined networking frameworks including VMware NSX and OpenStack advanced networks services through Neutron.

“The security around OpenStack must evolve to provide protection for each of the components within virtualized environments,” said analyst David Monahan, research director at Enterprise Management Associates.

“Decoupling and abstracting infrastructure elements changes routing and communication within the data center, which calls for new, adaptive security tools to streamline the process.”