Hosted Desktop Security and Compliance Issues
Hosted Desktop security, according to leading research analysts for the technology industry at Gartner, concerns surrounding the security of virtual hosted desktops has come completely full circle in the past year or so.
Now, it’s more likely that enterprises looking to use hosted desktop services are most likely to do so because of end-user security concerns. This is because, now that virtual desktops have become a more popular cloud model, if properly implemented they can improve both security and compliance concerns.
In the past, hosted desktop security and compliance have been one of the major blocks to take-up when it comes to SaaS solutions. However, now hosted desktop has seen a huge increase in use, leading analysts to believe that the use of virtualised environments can increase security.
“Having the organisation’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 Neil MacDonald, vice president and Gartner Fellow.
“HVDs can help improve the security standing of the client computing environment by centralising sensitive information and applications in the data centre (sic), giving IT system and security stakeholders the opportunity not only to improve support efficiency, but also security.”
Consider vendors and alternatives
However, Gartner recommend that those companies interested in deploying hosted virtual desktops should ensure that when choosing a vendor, they and the solution itself benefits the company.
This will depend on many factors, such as the size of the enterprise and how and where employees are connecting to the hosted desktop. For the most part, as pointed out in our last blog, virtual desktops are beneficial to most businesses.
This is due to savings with regard to capital expenditure, environmental savings, disaster recovery plans, remote workers and more.
Gartner point out that benefits surrounding security are only really viable if hosted desktop architecture is in itself secure. This means that data centres must have security on site, using physical security as well as software.
Not only this, but a good hosted desktop supplier should back up data to more than one location if it is to sell the service with a good disaster recovery plan in place, which is vital to many companies.
However, it’s worth noting at this point that virtual desktop suppliers tend to offer a much more secure solution that would generally be found at business premises. Remote access to applications, from any location, is secured by vendors and malware and firewall protection is put into place.
Add this to a good end-user experience which uses software environments that employees are familiar with, such as Windows and Office applications, and there doesn’t seem to be many reasons not to choose one.
Many businesses who are considering deployment to hosted desktop services are concerned about compliance regulations, especially those who accept credit card payments and retain customer data.
However, a lot of the time these concerns are due to data centres which are not situated in the same country as the business, meaning that they are possibly subject to foreign regulations or they aren’t protected by the same laws that govern such matters in their own country.
This is easy to overcome though, simply by choosing a supplier that is based in the UK. We not only use dedicated UK Data centres but also offer excellent local support, compliance audits and disaster recovery, plus deliver a private cloud solution.
This means that data is stored in a space of its own, rather than being shared with other customers.
The future looks bright for virtual hosted desktops and for security regarding it. Whilst Gartner’s report may be a little on the pessimistic side, it pays to remember that hosted desktops have come a long way recently.
Not only are they now the most popular of all SaaS solutions, hosted desktops and their suppliers have overthrown early concerns to ensure there is a proven model when it comes to security and compliance.
This means that modern businesses, both large and small, can take advantage of a technology that offers substantial benefits all round.
Should you wish to discuss Hosted Desktop security in further details please contact one of our account managers.