Work virtualisation and IT security. VDI solutions are becoming increasingly popular: what are the advantages for companies? And the threats?
October 21 , 2022
October 21 , 2022
The pandemic years have significantly accelerated the work digitisation process and the use of remote working both in Italy and abroad. If most cutting-edge companies were already starting to move in this direction in 2019, today remote working is an everyday occurrence even in smaller, less structured companies.
To ensure security, efficiency and robustness even while working remotely, more and more companies are using VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) solutions. This is a decidedly more advanced alternative to VPN, a real virtual workstation that brings numerous advantages but also some risks in terms of cyber security. To best manage working remotely, it is important to be familiar with the positive and more critical aspects.
What does VDI mean?
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI, allows to create virtual workstations. Each employee can access a virtual desktop hosted on a centralised server, and work as if in the office, from anywhere in the world and from any device.
With a simple login via username and password, the employee can access the company’s infrastructure, which is centrally managed and therefore, fully compliant with all the best practices established in the company. There are many advantages to VDI solutions; let’s take a look at some of them.
- Hardware cost savings: users can access their virtual desktops even from low performance, cheaper devices. Employees no longer need to be given company PCs, and certainly not high-end tools. Since the processing is carried out on the server, the client-side HW devices only need to have limited computational resources. Users can thus access fast, secure, high-performance virtual desktops without the company having to provide each employee with a high-performance physical device. Significant savings for companies!
- IT management cost savings: VDI solutions allow simultaneous updates on all virtual desktops. The installation of applications and remote assistance is also much easier.
- Facilitated remote working: users can easily, quickly and intuitively access their work from any location and device (including tablets and mobile phones).
But the primary advantage of virtual infrastructure concerns IT security, our main focus in this article.
VDI and IT security: all the advantages of a virtual infrastructure
As cyber security experts, we cannot help but dwell on the advantages of adopting VDI solutions for this specific area.
Firstly, data are stored on the centralised server infrastructure in a virtualised environment, and not on the devices of employees/end users. In the event of theft, failure or other problems related to PCs or other types of devices, there is no risk of data breaches or leaks. This is a huge advantage for companies, especially nowadays in a world that is becoming increasingly restrictive in terms of data protection and security.
Secondly, the transmission protocol between client and server in a virtual infrastructure cannot be decoded, thereby ensuring maximum security. In this sense, it is a more advanced solution than even the most popular VPNs. Using a domestic connection or one that is not controlled by the company, VDI is more secure because it does not send data to and from devices outside the network. The virtual desktop is a truly protected corporate environment, the equivalent of a workstation in the physical office.
Another very important aspect concerns the standardisation of applications. Every virtual desktop is set up by the company according to its own guidelines and security standards. Indeed, it is essential to equip each virtual workstation with applications and tools that allow maximum security while employees carry out their work remotely. At Boolebox, we have designed and developed several solutions for corporate data protection, for example our encryption applications for Windows and Outlook. Our suite allows data to be protected on-premises or in the cloud and also includes hybrid solutions. The use of Boolebox features combined with those of VDI solutions could truly make a difference to a company’s online security. For example, one of our customers – a well-known banking institution – used our Secure File Manager to allow external consultants to access company content that was intellectual property. If you’d like to learn more, download the free case study with lots of valuable data and information.
The risks related to VDI solutions and how to reduce them
The advantages of VDI in terms of IT security are quite significant. However, there is an important vulnerability that it is good to be aware of to reduce its impact as much as possible.
As explained above, access to the virtual infrastructure – and thus to company data – is via a simple login with a username and password. Anyone possessing these two things can access the virtual desktop and potentially access critical and confidential data.. That is why proper password management is essential. Boolebox again comes to the rescue with Secure Password, our password manager that not only allows to securely store access keys, but also helps users to generate passwords that are difficult to decode. Secure password can also be used on IOS and Android, so that it can be installed on any device used for VDI access.
Moreover, to further reduce the risks associated with incorrect password management, companies must educate their employees so that they are aware of the risks run by adopting certain unsuitable behaviours and are willing to change them to best support the entire company’s IT security.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on VDI and how to best set up your virtual infrastructure and ensure maximum IT security. Our experts will be able to show you the best solutions for your company.
Protection of intellectual property
Learn how one of our clients used Boolebox solutions to protect corporate intellectual property content by granting secure access to outside consultants.