Share via

Chapter 5: Best Practices Checklist


Applies To: Hyper-V Server 2012, Windows Server 2012

Securing Hyper-V involves all the measures that are required to safeguard any Windows Server 2012 server role, plus a few extra to help secure the VMs, configuration files, and data. The following list of recommended best practices serves as a checklist to help you enhance the security of your Hyper-V environment.

Host Configuration

Microsoft recommends paying close attention to the following best practices for securing Hyper-V when configuring the management operating system:

  • Use a Server Core installation for the management operating system.

  • Keep the management operating system up to date with the latest security updates

  • Use a separate network with a dedicated network adapter for the management operating system of the physical Hyper-V computer.

  • Secure the storage devices where you keep virtual machine resource files.

  • Harden the management operating system using the baseline security setting recommendations described in the Windows Server 2012 Security Baseline.

  • Do not install or use of anti-malware in the management operating system. If anti-malware is used in the management operating system, proper exclusion settings need to be set.

  • Do not grant virtual machine administrators permissions on the management operating system.

  • Use BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect resources.

  • Use a private or secure network to access VM configurations and virtual hard disk files.

  • Use a private/dedicated network for your live migration traffic. Consider enabling IPSec on this network to use encryption and secure your VM’s data going over the network during migration

  • For environments running the RemoteFX Virtual GPU, it is recommended to download and install the latest drivers for all physical video cards that are present.

Virtual Machine Configuration

The following recommended best practices can help you enhance security when configuring virtual machines on servers running the Hyper-V role:

  • Store virtual hard disks and snapshot files in a secure location.

  • Ensure that virtual network adapters connect to the correct virtual switch and have the appropriate security setting and limits applied.

  • Configure only required storage devices for a virtual machine.

  • Harden the operating system running in each virtual machine according to the server role it performs using the baseline security setting recommendations described in the Windows Server 2012 Security Baseline.

  • Configure antivirus, firewall, and intrusion detection software within virtual machines as appropriate based on server role.

  • Ensure that virtual machines have all the latest security updates before they are turned on in a production environment.

  • Ensure that your virtual machines have integration services installed and up to date.

See also:

Chapter 1: Overview

Chapter 2: Hardening the Hyper-V host

Chapter 3: Roles & Delegation

Chapter 4: Protecting Virtual Machines