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How Secure is Your Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

laptops connected to network

Learn what the four key VDI security challenges are and how to better protect your endpoints

Whether your organization raced to remote work recently, or if you previously deployed a remote desktop solution for employees, for many, VDI remains one of the new workplace norms. Let’s take a closer look at the security of your VDI/DaaS deployment.

The Innate Security of VDI

Security is one of the key concerns facing VDI deployments, yet it could be argued that security is the main reason for virtual desktop infrastructure. It acts as a safety precaution against exploits that target endpoint devices, against natural disasters, theft, and beyond. Additionally, VDI allows IT to manage thousands of devices from one central location. With VDI, no data is stored on the endpoint itself, and yet, end users get the advantage of a full computing environment.

The Security Obstacles IT Admins Face Implementing VDI

IT system admins face several obstacles as they struggle to find a balanced approach to endpoint management, while also growing the number of seats in their network. 

Challenge #1: Local Windows OS

Their first obstacle to overcome is the Windows issue. To allow for VDI, IT must run Windows installations on each of their endpoint devices. The IT team must invest additional hours to maintain these devices and apply patches when security vulnerabilities are found. Not to mention, IT must also provide antivirus and malware protection for each and every endpoint device. To make things worse, different devices house different versions of Windows, which creates even more complexity. 

Challenge #2: Security vs. Work Efficiency

Along with the Windows problem is the matter of security. As previously mentioned, security is a key concern for VDI deployments – system admins must not only increase and maintain a high security standard while also decreasing login times, they must enable hardened security standards for the safety of confidential data and information. 

At the same time, they must allow staff to access all of the apps and data they need from any device, wherever they are. This causes great concern for IT managers who now have an equally high demand put not only on budget and security but also on ensuring convenience and flexibility for employees at the same time.

Reliability is crucial for employee work efficiency. Without an endpoint solution in place that is hassle free and one that offers a seamless user experience, employees cannot function at peak performance. If there is any hassle at all on the end user, you can quickly lose the benefit of VDI as IT resources are redirected towards aiding and assisting employees. 

Challenge #3: Sometimes “The Worst” Happens

If an endpoint device is lost or stolen, how can IT leaders be assured that no confidential information is then accessible from the endpoint device? What about potential “evil maid” attacks? In reality, too many attack vectors exist that target the endpoint devices themselves.

Challenge #4: BYOD and Flexible Work Policies

Many enterprises and organizations of all sizes and across multiple industries are facing a growing problem: the trend of faculty and staff bringing personal devices into the office, or using their personal devices to work from home. 

Employees want and expect to perform integral tasks on personal devices, either at home, in the office, or on the go. But how can this be done without opening up your network to the possibility of threats? Organizations have virtually zero control over endpoint devices themselves. If they are compromised, lost or stolen, these devices can pose a significant threat to your corporate network if the proper solutions are not put in place. 

Better Protection for your Virtual Workstations

With these security considerations in mind, there are certainly other factors that will play into your organization’s VDI strategy. However, one way to address all four challenges in one solution is to virtually implement a secure operating system on the endpoint that equips employees with their virtual desktop and apps. 

Since 95% of malware attacks target Windows OS, you can significantly reduce the attack surface for each endpoint that you install the Linux-based OS on. In addition to improving security, you can also cut costs and time spent managing local Windows updates/patches, local device antivirus and malware detection tools, and one-on-one device troubleshooting. And your employees can still use all the Microsoft apps and tools they like without all the endpoint security risks. 

Linux-based OS alternatives can also offer simple management and deployment tools for any virtual desktop or app, so you can swiftly provide customized experiences for a specific department, team, or individual.

Finally, some innovative thin client OS endpoint solutions (i.e. Stratodesk) can be deployed without ever physically touching a device, so your employees get up and running quickly regardless of location, timezone, or their personal IT skills. 

To learn more about the most innovative and secure OS, you can learn more here.

author avatar
Danielle Arlington

How Secure is Your Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

laptops connected to network

Learn what the four key VDI security challenges are and how to better protect your endpoints

Whether your organization raced to remote work recently, or if you previously deployed a remote desktop solution for employees, for many, VDI remains one of the new workplace norms. Let’s take a closer look at the security of your VDI/DaaS deployment.

The Innate Security of VDI

Security is one of the key concerns facing VDI deployments, yet it could be argued that security is the main reason for virtual desktop infrastructure. It acts as a safety precaution against exploits that target endpoint devices, against natural disasters, theft, and beyond. Additionally, VDI allows IT to manage thousands of devices from one central location. With VDI, no data is stored on the endpoint itself, and yet, end users get the advantage of a full computing environment.

The Security Obstacles IT Admins Face Implementing VDI

IT system admins face several obstacles as they struggle to find a balanced approach to endpoint management, while also growing the number of seats in their network. 

Challenge #1: Local Windows OS

Their first obstacle to overcome is the Windows issue. To allow for VDI, IT must run Windows installations on each of their endpoint devices. The IT team must invest additional hours to maintain these devices and apply patches when security vulnerabilities are found. Not to mention, IT must also provide antivirus and malware protection for each and every endpoint device. To make things worse, different devices house different versions of Windows, which creates even more complexity. 

Challenge #2: Security vs. Work Efficiency

Along with the Windows problem is the matter of security. As previously mentioned, security is a key concern for VDI deployments – system admins must not only increase and maintain a high security standard while also decreasing login times, they must enable hardened security standards for the safety of confidential data and information. 

At the same time, they must allow staff to access all of the apps and data they need from any device, wherever they are. This causes great concern for IT managers who now have an equally high demand put not only on budget and security but also on ensuring convenience and flexibility for employees at the same time.

Reliability is crucial for employee work efficiency. Without an endpoint solution in place that is hassle free and one that offers a seamless user experience, employees cannot function at peak performance. If there is any hassle at all on the end user, you can quickly lose the benefit of VDI as IT resources are redirected towards aiding and assisting employees. 

Challenge #3: Sometimes “The Worst” Happens

If an endpoint device is lost or stolen, how can IT leaders be assured that no confidential information is then accessible from the endpoint device? What about potential “evil maid” attacks? In reality, too many attack vectors exist that target the endpoint devices themselves.

Challenge #4: BYOD and Flexible Work Policies

Many enterprises and organizations of all sizes and across multiple industries are facing a growing problem: the trend of faculty and staff bringing personal devices into the office, or using their personal devices to work from home. 

Employees want and expect to perform integral tasks on personal devices, either at home, in the office, or on the go. But how can this be done without opening up your network to the possibility of threats? Organizations have virtually zero control over endpoint devices themselves. If they are compromised, lost or stolen, these devices can pose a significant threat to your corporate network if the proper solutions are not put in place. 

Better Protection for your Virtual Workstations

With these security considerations in mind, there are certainly other factors that will play into your organization’s VDI strategy. However, one way to address all four challenges in one solution is to virtually implement a secure operating system on the endpoint that equips employees with their virtual desktop and apps. 

Since 95% of malware attacks target Windows OS, you can significantly reduce the attack surface for each endpoint that you install the Linux-based OS on. In addition to improving security, you can also cut costs and time spent managing local Windows updates/patches, local device antivirus and malware detection tools, and one-on-one device troubleshooting. And your employees can still use all the Microsoft apps and tools they like without all the endpoint security risks. 

Linux-based OS alternatives can also offer simple management and deployment tools for any virtual desktop or app, so you can swiftly provide customized experiences for a specific department, team, or individual.

Finally, some innovative thin client OS endpoint solutions (i.e. Stratodesk) can be deployed without ever physically touching a device, so your employees get up and running quickly regardless of location, timezone, or their personal IT skills. 

To learn more about the most innovative and secure OS, you can learn more here.

author avatar
Danielle Arlington
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