Securing vSphere  Datastores/Vmdks from Remote access

mamelas used Ask the Experts™
Hi there Experts,

I have recently joined vmware’s platform but my main concern now is the security of the VMs from a Remote Users Group.

From permissions perspective I have blocked the browse datastore, Low level file operations and I have also confirmed that take snapshot option and export to ovf file are disabled for the group of remote users.

Q1) Do I miss any other permission that I should block?

Q2) If a remote user uses his credentials to access the datastores via 3rd party software such
as WinSCP, will be able to eventually browse and copy the datastores??

Q3) Is there any auditing/logging while performing operations to the datastores/vmdks?
(such as for example download operations or export operations)

Q4) Assuming that someone has eventually downloaded the vmdks and
since a windows admin password does not actually protect the access to the files,
is there any native/built-in encryption to the vmdk files?

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Senior Security and Infrastructure Engineer
1) The principle of "least privilege" dictates that you only grant what these people need. Not just block stuff that you think they don't need.

2) SCP uses SSH, so you need to have permission to log on via SSH and that user needs to have access to the datastores. You also need to have SSH enabled on the host(s), which is not recommended for extended periods.

3) ESXi logs various thing to several files. You'll need to check different logs depending on what type of activity you're looking for. vCenter has its own logs. ESXi logs:
vCenter logs can be exported via "Administration" - "Export System Logs" and ensureing the box "Include information from vCenter Server and vSphere Client" is ticked.

4) No, use bitlocker or something within the guest OS.


Thank you so much for your accurate and in detail answers!

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