Virtual Workstations Improve Data Security
Deep Core Data serves a number of organizations with strict data management policies – with files and data that can’t be accessed or removed from the sites they live on. So how do you do remote work at a site like that? Virtual workstations.
Legal firms, accounting firms, doctor’s offices, and the like who have an obligation to protect personal data of clients but still need to use the data remotely. There’s also the added security vulnerability of laptops, many of the most significant data leaks in history have been from lost or stolen laptops. I know a number of companies that use Bitlocker or similar on-disk encryptions, only to have their users literally Scotch tape the Bitlocker password on the computer! A leaked spreadsheet can surrender Personal Identifying Information for tens of thousands of clients and open the organization to an enterprise-ending nightmare.
Why Virtual Desktops Are Secure
The upsides of using Virtual Workstations are myriad, though. The easiest way I’ve found to explain them is this…imagine that everybody’s laptops are locked in a secure room at the office. People only connect to them remotely using Windows Terminal Services, LogMeIn, TeamViewer, or some other technology they’re familiar with. They can use Office, check their email, etc. The computer acts as if they were sitting at it. Modern Remote Desktop Protocol even supports multiple monitors. They aren’t allowed to copy and paste data or files to their home computers, or to print to their home printer, unless with proper authority. The data never leaves the office. Even if the person’s home machine were hacked or stolen, there are no files to be stolen.
As an additional plus, they also tend to provide a much more consistent experience for users. When your employees are using a combination of old, new, Windows, Mac, fast desktops and slow iPads, using a remote desktop provides an easy way to make sure everyone is seeing the same thing, and getting roughly the same performance.
Risks of Virtual Desktops
Virtual Desktops good a great job of protecting employees who use it properly of accidentally leaking private data through their own computers. But what about an employee trying to leak data? Those employees would have a complicated time getting data out of your office. It is true that anything they can view they can screenshot, but that’s a risk that’s almost impossible to overcome — even if we disabled screenshotting on their home computer, what’s to stop they from simply pulling out their cell phone and photographing the screen?
As with all security measures, it raises the barrier to mischief, it doesn’t stop it entirely. What Virtual Desktops do for your company are protect good-faith users and impede bad actors.
Virtual Desktops are also one of the cheapest technologies to deploy. In many cases, small business with only a few on-premises servers have enough reserve computational power to deploy the technology immediately, and if not, it can often be deployed for less than the cost of a half-dozen laptops.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Virtual Desktops can help improve your organization’s data security, call Deep Core Data today!