McAfee moves to protect virtual Citrix desktops

security attacks

Citrix and McAfee have collaborated on an anti-virus product designed to simplify the protection of virtualised desktops running under Citrix's XenDesktop.

McAfee Management for Optimised Virtualised Environments AntiVirus (MOVE AV) was released at the Citrix Synergy conference in Berlin. The software has been demonstrated there securing XenDesktop deployments on Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX hypervisors.

Citrix and McAfee said their joint aim was to create virtual desktops that are "secure by design". This has been achieved, they claimed, by offloading security management from individual virtual machines to a dedicated security server running McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator, where resources have been optimised and system intelligence can be shared.

For example, if MOVE AV encounters malware, it can perform the appropriate behaviour based on predetermined security policies. This would not only protect the guest under threat but would also update all of the other guests supported by MOVE. Citrix and McAfee are now investigating the opportunities that centralised intelligence can bring to protect and provide flexible IT delivery methods for business users.

Offloading has removed performance hits on individual virtual machines and permits "on access" scanning as well as "on demand" scanning, which has further improved the performance of the virtual environment.

McAfee has claimed that user density can be increased by 60 per cent through the centralisation of the virtualisation-aware service.

"With the availability of MOVE for hosted virtual desktops - and the upcoming extension of its capabilities to client-side virtual desktops - our customers are realising the benefits of the best-in-class security capabilities from McAfee designed for the industry-leading desktop virtualisation solution, XenDesktop," claimed Raj Dhingra, group vice president and general manager, XenDesktop product group at Citrix.