It appears that virtualization security is at the top of the list for the reasons people implement hosted virtual desktops (HVDs), according to a recent report by Gartner. The company said a properly designed virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can boost security and help businesses better meet compliance requests. Even so, Gartner vice president Neil MacDonald, stressed that there must be considerations of other security methods as well.
"Having the organization's data spread across hundreds or thousands of devices, many of which leave the physical security of office locations, presents a significant risk of data loss," said MacDonald. "HVDs can help improve the security standing of the client computing environment by centralizing sensitive information and applications in the data center, giving IT system and security stakeholders the opportunity not only to improve support efficiency, but also security."
With HVDs in place, employees no longer have to be tied one designated device, as they would be able to diversify where to look at their applications and data. Location flexibility is a great benefit, as it will likely make companies much more productive in what they do. While Gartner said having a VDI strategy in place gives the promise of more security, there is only so much that can be done if there is not careful planning and configuration. Businesses must also be cautiously managing the solution on an ongoing basis to make sure it is compatible with user needs and budgetary demands.
Nathan Hill, research director at Gartner, said the strategy is complex and there must be multiple factors considered when taking data security issues into account before adoption.
"Chief among the concerns of organizations is how they capitalize on the opportunity to use HVDs and ensure that the environment is secure, and which areas of the architecture represent a change in risk profile from traditional client computing architectures," Hill said.
As far as how to best implement a virtual desktop environment, TechTarget said the features of the program should first be reviewed to see what can be most helpful for the business. After this, the company should ensure they are properly setting up the environment and have a good management system, including usable tools, with backup from the provider if need be.
"A major component of VDI success is end-user buy-in," the website said. "What IT presents to end users must be simple and professional and should always be working. No user should ever encounter a bad security certificate warning when accessing a virtual desktop. Calls to the help desk are guaranteed. You might also want outside users to encounter higher security when they access the infrastructure."
Virtualization Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro