The Cloud Experience Everywhere
Peter_Mansell

Re: Virtual desktop infrastructure: The security advantages

Companies are looking for digital workspace solutions that enable them to respond faster and with a higher degree of confidence to cybersecurity threats. VDI, combined with services from HPE Pointnext Services, fits the bill.

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When the COVID-19 crisis hit, a chorus of industry voices (including some at HPE1) warned of new threat surfaces exposed by the sudden expansion of remote work. The risks were, and still are, very real. But many companies that had invested in digital workplace solutions may have anticipated, if not the epidemic itself, then at least some of the security challenges that might arise in those environments.

The majority of organizations consider security as critical to digital workspaces, according to research from Enterprise Strategy Group: Key Considerations for Enabling Remote Work and Recovery Plans with VDI (download free with a simple registration). Fifty-three percent of the 350-plus IT decision-makers polled by ESG said that security is a critical factor and the top purchase decision criterion for their desktop operating system strategies, followed by 45% who said that security was an important factor. In addition, three of the top five priorities for workspace initiatives involved security (see the graph below).

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The report adds that “detecting and responding to security incidents is top of mind for IT professionals who want to stay out in front of the multiple attack vectors that could impact their users or have a major impact to their overall business. Digital workspace strategies that help protect users and empower IT to tune security policies for the end-user environment enable these organizations to respond faster and with a higher degree of confidence.”

How VDI gives you peace of mind

I couldn’t agree more, and I’d add that virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) offers some significant advantages on the security front. As I wrote in my previous post, VDI lets you serve applications on just about any device, but with the knowledge that your data is stored securely in your data center or in the cloud.

After all, security is not just about stopping people from getting access to your network traffic – it’s about how you govern and manage information internally as well. If you're sharing a screen on a unified comms platform, how secure is that room that you've set up? When you share a document, where does that document get stored, and who has access to it? If your governance structure or file sharing is not set up properly, you could be courting risks.

With VDI, you're controlling the data and the storage in a centralized way; the end user device becomes a way of accessing the information rather than storing it. To use a term that was common a few years back, it’s essentially a ‘dumb terminal.’ You can install images and remove them easily and redefine them as needed.

One of the great strengths of VDI is you can use it to categorize access by specific personas. Whether it’s task workers, research users, knowledge workers, power users – in most businesses, you probably have five or six categories in terms of the work type that you need to set up. You don’t have lots of variations, like you otherwise might – if you went to 20 people and asked them all for their input on what they wanted for their workplace environment design, you’d probably come up with 20 different scenarios. Whereas if you tell them they can have one of, say, five choices, you're creating a much more efficient, easy-to-manage system.

A secure VDI solution to fit your workloads

At HPE, security is baked into everything we do. We were the first vendor to embed silicon-based security into industry-standard servers, with our silicon root of trust technology. We offer a wide array of server security and infrastructure security solutions, as well as network security solutions.

For VDI, we offer a full range of highly secure solutions to fit your workloads, including industry-leading infrastructure solutions that can be designed to meet specific customer needs. Our ability to combine infrastructure with services means we can support customers no matter what the approach is. Some clients may need some help designing and deploying a solution, in which case they can utilize our client virtualization services in HPE Pointnext Services. Others may want HPE to take full ownership of the platform, in which case we can support them with HPE GreenLake for virtual desktop infrastructure, which delivers pay-per-use, cloud-like economics.

See the full portfolio of HPE desktop virtualization solutions.

Learn more about HPE Pointnext Services.

Related posts:

VDI: Your go-to technology for remote work and the new digital workplace

1. See, for example, Timothy Ferrell’s post Security for the Rapidly Expanding Workforce


Peter Mansell
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

Peter_Mansell

Peter is a business leader and executive with over 20 years’ experience in technology and services. His current role is to run a global services business focused on modernizing the workplace, utilizing technologies such as Microsoft 365 and Citrix. Throughout his career, Peter has managed sales, pre-sales and delivery teams, encompassing advisory and professional services, cloud offerings and infrastructure solutions.

Comments

Virtual desktop infrastructure facilitates remote work and sews up recovery plans. The article provides VDI's security advantages that prove elemental in meeting specific customer needs.