4 Ways virtual desktops improve cybersecurity

4 Ways virtual desktops improve cybersecurity

Virtualization and cloud technologies go hand in hand to provide businesses a more efficient way to deploy and manage computing resources at scale. Although the virtualization of server systems has long been standard in large organizations, many small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are now turning to virtualization, as well.

Virtual desktops offer many benefits to IT administrators and end users alike. They simplify security and management for administrators while allowing end users to enjoy faster delivery of resources to almost any internet-connected device. And since computing workloads and storage take place in a remote data center, there are minimal hardware requirements for the devices used to access the virtual desktops.

Here’s how virtual desktops improve a business’s cybersecurity:

1. Ensure consistent and compliant copies of computing resources

With a physical machine, you need to install the operating system, drivers, applications, and user profiles individually. While this process can be automated to a certain degree, it still demands a fair amount of work, especially when you’re regularly provisioning desktops to new or existing employees. There’s also a much higher chance of misconfiguration or inconsistent security controls when things aren’t managed centrally.

Virtual desktops allow administrators to provision computing resources almost instantly. They simply need to create a new user account or a new virtual machine from an existing baseline copy, which already has all company security controls and policies in place.

2. Store sensitive data in a secure data center

In the past, company data was typically processed and stored only on individual machines operated by employees. Today, with a greater variety of devices being used for work, it’s much harder to keep tabs on which data lives where. This makes it much harder to enforce company policies and maintain user activity audits, especially when you factor in bring your own device initiatives.

Virtual desktops are stored in the cloud, which means all sensitive data remains in a remote data center instead of on an end user’s device. If a physical device is reported lost or stolen, administrators can simply revoke access rights from that device and prevent prying eyes from viewing confidential information.

3. Centralize remote user access and security controls

When relying on operating systems and software installed on the machine itself, it’s far harder to enforce user access policies and security controls. Administrators must constantly monitor their resources to ensure operating systems are kept up to date and security controls are kept in line with company policies. When relying on physical computing resources, there’s also scope for workarounds to company policies, thus increasing the risk of insider threat.

Virtual desktops are deployed and managed centrally. For example, if employees are using their home computers for work, administrators can establish certain criteria that devices need to meet before employees can access their remote desktops. This can include using sandboxing techniques to guard against keyloggers, accessing virtual desktops only through whitelisted browsers, and connecting using the company-vetted virtual private network.

4. Reduce the costs of business continuity

A virtual desktop exists as an image that contains the operating system, installed applications, and documents, but it behaves like any computer file. It can be duplicated and easily stored in other servers, making it easy to back up your systems. In most cloud deployments, these images are stored in at least two different locations at once for the sake of redundancy. If one physical server hosting a virtual desktop image fails, an automatic rollover will ensure end users can continue using it with minimal disruption.

Virtual desktops simplify business continuity by automating backup and disaster recovery. The images can be incrementally updated to reflect new changes and synchronized with local and off-site servers to guard against threats like ransomware and technical failures. That’s far more cost-efficient than manually backing up multiple devices individually.

Kortek Solutions helps you simplify your IT environment and boost performance and security with managed virtualization services. Contact us today to schedule your first strategy session.