In this part of 101 Security blog I will try share my experience around securing workloads and access for the growing remote user pool and contractors. Will try demonstrate how a solution around this can in fact be a bonus and a step forward for productivity.
The biggest threat are in fact not the people you collaborate with but the remote devices and networks they log in from. Their devices might carry malware, keyloggers and the network might be already compromised and copying all information passing through. Worse this can easily be introduced into the company if one of these devices are on VPN. The effort to secure these remote users and keep them compliant is tremendous and very costly. However, believe it or not there is a simple solution: Citrix.
What is Citrix?
Citrix comes with a wide range of products for various use cases. Here we will look at that is widely called „virtual desktops”.
What is a virtual desktop?
Let’s imagine a company with a physical office where everyone works from home. IT sets up a PC at each office desk just like everyone would be present, but users instead connect through the Internet to the interfaces of these PCs. The documents never leave the companies premises and the users personal computers cannot share or copy data from this remote interface. Of course this is an example and the office PC will be provisioned in a public or private cloud, ex: Microsoft Azure in our implementations.
To mention a few benefits:
- Data never leaves the companies premises
- The expense with company hardware like desktops, laptops, smartphones goes away and the BYOD (bring your own device) working model can be implemented
- The door to outsourcing is open now being possible to find a better accountant or developer from another city
- The entire interaction of the end user is tracked. One can review what files a user accessed even a couple of years ago. Great for compliance!
- There is no vendor lock in. Including MSP (managed service provider). Having everything in public cloud it is easy to swap providers and even the public cloud provider itself with a competitor like Amazon or Google Cloud
- Productivity usually increases due to the fact that if an employee forgets to send an important document now he can do it quickly even out of hours between changing nappies. We have seen that sick day leave has gone down for these firms as users with a slight cold will prefer to work from home rather than lose a day work
- Using the „cloud” the company never has to invest into physical servers or datacentres anymore. Saving cost not only on hardware but cooling, physical security and local IT.
- Very fast to onboard users, a click away to provision a new desktop, and decommission these. Giving the company flexibility to upscale and downscale with a click
Now you can see how easy it is to upgrade a company. We in fact here at ITVolks do not charge for consulting costs to move your business to the Cloud, only support fees which are usually lower than our competitors.
Will continue to talk about more benefits in the next blog around security.