September 9, 2021 By James Jushchuk
Anand Singh
2 min read

Explore the security features built into IBM Cloud for Education Application Lab.

Information technology (IT) infrastructure security is one of the most challenging tasks for any operations, administration and management (OAM) team in an enterprise. When the infrastructure that needs to be secured includes a virtual lab with multiple OS images, software and underlying infrastructure, the task is only further complicated.

IBM Cloud for Application Lab, leveraging Apache VCL, is a virtual lab solution built from the ground up with infrastructure security in mind. The following are a selection of the security features built into IBM Cloud for Education Application Lab to ease the burden of the OAM team looking to support a virtual lab.

Security features

Configuration security

Configuration management process is key to maintain consistency of systems and software for a wide variety of applications in virtual labs. A multi-tenant public cloud system has an inherent configuration management system. IBM Cloud for Education uses the cloud configuration management infrastructure to maintain and secure configuration, perform health checks and log any config changes. 

Vulnerability management

Vulnerable systems and software are one of the biggest threats to the IT admins. The need for virtual labs to support a wide variety of applications and multiple operating systems (OS) for different courses, means the possibility of vulnerabilities increases exponentially. It can take just one vulnerability in one OS or application to lead to a cyber-attack via malicious software. 

IBM Cloud for Education leverages the IBM Cloud vulnerability management framework to scan all the infrastructure devices in the network. Processes are defined to identify, log and remediate the vulnerability. All systems are also patched with latest updated as per the patch policy.

Access control

Educational institutions face a unique challenge every semester to update the access for admins and instructors for their courses. On top of the built-in VCL capabilities, the IBM Cloud for Education solution leverages IBM Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) to add new users with valid permissions and maintain appropriate and approved access to the environment.

Logging and alerting

The IT admin needs to maintain system, activity, compliance, anomaly and remediation logs for various reasons. IBM Cloud for Education Application Lab keeps logs for infrastructure devices, maintains compliance reports, identifies anomalies or unusual activity in audit logs and alerts admins as per the policy. The incidence reporting framework of IBM Cloud ensures all security incidents are identified and tracked.

IBM Cloud for Education Application Lab combines the strong foundation of Apache VCL with hosting on the IBM Cloud platform to provide a secure and robust infrastructure for a managed virtual lab. This enables the IT admin to focus on customization and enhancements on top of an already secured infrastructure.

Try out the free trial

Take the scientific approach. When you get started with IBM Cloud for Education, there’s a free trial plan so you can experiment with the IBM Cloud for Education Applications Lab. Try it now.

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