Why Virtual Desktops are the BEST Thing in the World

I have been dying to write this blog for months because every conversation that I have with customers includes asking them if they are planning on implementing virtual desktops. The discussion does not need to be focused on security for me to ask this question either. The customer may want to talk about virtualization and I bring up virtual desktops because I feel that it will benefit their organization. I can not tell you how many times I see new employees join a company and they do not have a laptop available for them the first day. It ends up being days until they can get their hands on a system. If the time gets too long, they have to find a loaner system that is incredibly out of date and slow. This puts such a bad taste in the new employee’s mouth. I am sure they are real happy about taking that job. Now imagine the employee gets to bring in whatever system THEY want, including their own personal computer or tablet and they can connect into a corporate virtual desktop that is up to date with all the appropriate enterprise and security software. The system is available immediately and there is no time wasted and the employee gets to use what they want. Now the employee is excited they took this role. They don’t have to worry if they have some clunky and heavy system that they need to be dragging around. Now you can eventually give them a corporate laptop if you wish, based on what the new employee wants but no worries because their virtual desktop is still available and immediately accessible from the new system. No downtime for anyone.
Now lets add some security into the discussion… an employee acquires a virus on their corporate laptop because they are using it for personal access. This virus requires a complete rebuild of the system. This employee is a remote employee and needs to send the system in to the corporate IT organization, wait for the IT department to fix the system and then ship it back to your location. This could take days… possibly more then a week. That is a long time to not have an employee working. Imagine a world where the employee could access their virtual desktop from a secondary item like their personal system or tablet. Lets take the security discussion further and identify the general advantages it provides such as all the data stays in the data center, the ability to implement additional authentication capabilities like RSA SecurID, the data loss prevention capabilities. I personally love this one the best. As an employee, I personally can launch my virtual desktop from my personal system and the information stays within the virtual desktop because I can not copy to my personal system. Even better, say that the RSA Data Loss Prevention system is implemented and I am working a couple of programs for separate customers. They do not want the information co-mingled or to even move to the underlying system, RSA DLP can stop this. When the program is over my access is removed and the customers’ data stays with them (they keep the IP). No worries by the customer what I am doing with the information because I no longer have access to the desktop and the information is not on any other system.
There are so many advantages for companies, organizations, or programs when implementing virtual desktops. I understand that there are challenges to starting this process. It may not be something that you implement immediately. Maybe you need to wait until the users systems need to be refreshed. There are many reasons why you need to hold off but that does not mean you should not be having the discussion. For instance, say you want to implement a data loss prevention system within your company. You know you will eventually go to virtual desktops, does the vendors solution work with virtual desktops and which virtual desktop. Does your two factor authentication solution work with your virtual desktop solution?  This is a process and I highly recommend you start off small. Get the users used to the new system and find the right users for the beta program. Not everyone needs a virtual desktop, some will need many… either way, it is a discussion you should… no I take that back… MUST be having for the sake of security as well as the sake of your business

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  1. #1 by Chris on September 16, 2011 - 02:00

    I barely know what all that meant but it sounds great! Kidding, this stuff would be great for my job. Encryption is mandatory and our system is getting slowed by viruses. Who knows, maybe I should pass this to the IT folks.

    • #2 by erinkbanks on September 21, 2011 - 15:51

      I suspect that it would be perfect in your situation. I think you should pass it on, you have nothing to lose! The virtual desktop will always be more secure but not sure it is beneficial if you ride a bike…

  2. #3 by website on June 3, 2012 - 02:20

    I was basically curious about if you ever thought of adjusting the design of your blog? Its well written; I love what you have got to state. But maybe you can create a little more in the way of written content so people can connect to it better. Youve got a great deal of text for only having one or two graphics. Maybe you could space it out better?

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