Find the definition of the most commonly used cyber security terms in our glossary below.

What is Virtual Machine (VM) in cyber security?

A Virtual Machine (VM) is a software program that emulates a physical computer system by abstracting the process of computation such that operating systems and software applications interact with the VM as if it were a physical system. VM technologies can create multiple VMs on a single host, each of which can run a different operating system and execute different applications. These virtual instantiations of physical computers enable effective usage of system resources, like processor cycles, memory, and I/O operations, by optimizing allocation among the various VMs running on a host. VMs also offer increased computational security by isolating tasks from each other, such that software errors or malware infections in one VM do not propagate to others. VMs are pivotal in the modern world, being the basis for cloud computing, enabling efficient computational resource sharing, facilitating the development and testing of applications across different operating systems and configurations, and acting as a means for legacy software and systems to continue running on modern hardware.