The Essential Guide to Virtual Machine Security and Setup

Keeping your device safe is one of the biggest concerns for every PC or laptop user in today’s world. There are tons of threats out there just waiting to get into your local disk and wreak havoc. And they very well might if you do not understand where your operating system security is weak.  

The Essential Guide to Virtual Machine Security and Setup

The Essential Guide to Virtual Machine Security and Setup

If you own any of the three major OS for computers in the world – Windows, Mac, and Linux, then you probably know about regular updates. If you miss any of these or any others on important software you use, then you are leaving the gate for hackers wide open.

Now, if a hacker takes advantage of this window left open, then your device is already compromised. Once they are in, they can log your keystrokes, run programs remotely, record webcam images, and do many other scary things. So, any sane person would want to keep their device protected from these malicious agents.

One of the best ways to protect your device from such security breaches is to simply use a virtual machine. This technology is used to run a significant portion of cloud computing services. It is possible to cover your computer security while you access anything which doesn’t have full-scale security.

Virtual machines can be used to protect online businesses as well. They can be combined with Tor and can route traffic through anonymized servers. This prevents any single compromised software from infecting the rest of the device. So, even if a hacker gets through to software, they will not be able to access the whole device.  

How Does Virtualization Enhance Security?

Virtualization has a number of benefits to offer to all kinds of businesses. IT is a big part of almost all industries and it makes sense to enhance its security as much as possible. Virtualization can be integrated into any IT infrastructure. It can also be used to optimize the work process and performance from the digital front.

Separating from the Central OS

It is a well-known fact that human error is one of the biggest cause of all kinds of security breaches. This problem can be minimized simply by having a virtual machine. When you click on a malicious link, the virtual machine will be impacted and your device will be safe. Your underlying operating system will not be compromised.

Snapshot Based Quick Recovery

Snapshots are like restore points for your operating systems and can be used very effectively to tackle threats. A good example when you can use these is when you need to open a shady link or file which might infect your device. So, you can use the VM or virtual machine to take a snapshot of your system and if it is infected, you can revert to the previous state. This will completely overwrite any new elements introduced to your system by the malicious file, link or program.

Prevent OS Fingerprinting

Browser and OS fingerprinting is a common feature for any computer which is connected to the internet. But this can be avoided by using a virtual machine.   

An Elementary Guide for Installing a Linux Virtual Machine On Windows

1. Install VirtualBox

VirtualBox is an Oracle program you can download for free. This is the core software we will use for the whole virtualization process.

2. Download Linux

Once you have VirtualBox, you will need the version of Linux you want to run. Choose the Linux type you want wisely as it will ultimately determine what you can do with it. Once you have downloaded that version, you can move to the next

Once you find the version you want to try, download the installation file. You should end up with an ISO file in your Downloads folder.

3. Establish the Virtual Machine

Bring up VirtualBox and click on New. Follow the steps below:

Name and OS

Name the VM setting you are going to use, then go to the Type option. From the dropdown menu, select the specific Linux version you will be using. If you can’t find the specific one you are using, just use the Other Linux option.  

Memory Size

Now you need to choose the memory size you want to dedicate to the Virtual Machine. This memory will be derived from your overall physical RAM so be careful how much you allocate.

Hard Drive

Leave it to VirtualBox to create a drive for you using the “create a virtual hard drive” option.

Hard Drive File Type

There are many options here you can explore later. For the moment, you can choose VDI.

Physical Storage Space

This decision is based on any previous decisions you made for disk allocation. So, accordingly, select “Dynamically allocated” if you have an expandable drive file or a fixed size drive file. So, accordingly, the space allocated to the VM is going to expand or shrink as per the available space.  

File Location and Size

This is where you can name your virtual hard drive and select its storage location. You should also mention how much of your hard drive you are going to need for your virtual memory.  

Once you have done all the above, you will see that your name is mentioned in Step 1. There will be a powered off button next to it. Let us start by turning it on.

4. Install the Linux OS

We have finally concluded the setup process for our virtual OS. However, we still need to execute or install it. So, select your VM and press the start button.

Once you do that, the following window will ask you to choose a startup disk. Select your Linux OS ISO from the dropdown menu. Click start after selecting it. You should see a boot-up options window open up in front of you. Follow through with the setup process which is simple enough.  Be sure to choose the right option you want between the free software trial and the complete install. Once you have done that, you are ready to go with your Linux VM.

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