Secure execution of virtual applications
Issue In a cloud-based environment, IT must ensure that virtualized applications running on the client execute in a secure and protected environment. Intelligent clients establish a “root of trust” that validates the behavior of key components within the client device start-up. This hardware-based protection safeguards the client against software-based attacks at the infrastructure level (i.e., the BIOS and hypervisor). An intelligent client is able to perform integrity checking, which enables the client to “boot” software into a trusted state; it also protects secrets during both orderly and disorderly shutdowns. Intel provides this capability through what is known as Intel Trusted Execution Technology, or Intel TXT, which is a component of the Intel Core™ processor family with vPro™ technology.2 Intel TXT validates the behavior of key components within the client at start-up. Known as the “root of trust,” the system checks the consistency in behaviors and launch-time configurations against a “known good” sequence. Using this verified benchmark, the client can quickly assess whether any attempts to alter or tamper with the launch-time environment have been made. Intel TXT does this by creating a cryptographically unique identifier for each approved launchenabled component—including the hypervisor used for virtualized applications—and then provides hardware-based enforcement mechanisms to block the launch of any code that does not match the approved code. In a cloud-based environment, this integrity checking enables the client to determine whether the client’s virtual infrastructure meets IT security and compliance requirements.3 How intelligent clients can help Details 2 For more information about Intel TXT, see Technology Overview: Intel® Trusted Execution Technology. intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/trusted-execution-technology/trusted-execution-technology-overview.html 3 Learn more about a high-performance virtualization solution developed jointly by Citrix and Intel for federal agencies. http://premierit.intel.com/docs/DOC-6363 6 Intel IT Center Planning Guide | Client Computing in the Cloud
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