- Managed DaaS
- Happy End Users
The demand for virtual desktops is becoming undeniable as organizations now need the ability to confidently support a modern workforce that expects the flexibility of BYOD (bring your own device) and work at home programs. Increasing security and compliance requirements are putting additional pressure on organizations to change the way they approach data security and end user computing.
Workforce expectations have changed drastically in recent years. The age of spending an entire career with a single company has been waning for a while, but that trend is taking a step further and affected how people want to work at the job they currently hold. The demand for telecommuting, work at home and device personalization is increasing, forcing companies to find ways to accommodate this new expectation for flexibility or risk losing the talent war.
Virtual desktops allow work at home programs and BYOD initiatives to strike a precise balance between usability and security. All employees everywhere have access to the business-critical applications and data needed to be productive and IT teams are able to ensure desktop and application patching and security, regardless of the physical device each employee is using. Ultimately, well-implemented virtual desktops give organizations the agility needed to meet today’s demand for workplace flexibility.
Security is also high on the priority list of the modern business, especially those that collect, store, transmit or process sensitive personal information.
As cyberattacks and data breaches increase across the board (a record setting 1,093 data breaches occurred in 2016 according to a report by the Identity Theft Resource Center), the need for sophisticated security strategies increase. The concern is compounded by the BYOD trend since employees have access to proprietary information and corporate resources from potentially vulnerable personal devices.
The consequences of neglecting security can be extremely costly. A 2016 study from Ponemon found the average consolidated total cost of a data breach is $4 million. Beyond just the fiscal ramifications, a breach has the ability to tarnish corporate reputation irreparably. A survey from security vendor Gemalto found the emotional impact of data breaches has created apprehensive feelings towards businesses with nearly 20% of respondents.
Virtual desktops offer a range of security benefits. Because desktops, data and applications are accessed virtually, no sensitive information is ever stored on the endpoint – protecting against data breaches from a lost, stolen or mishandled device. Additionally, virtual desktops can make it easier to administer and adjust user and computer controls, since all desktops are managed from a central location. This makes it easy for organizations to lock down high-risk functions such as copy/paste, USB access, printing, personal email, external saving and many other functions that could let an employee or contractor mishandle corporate data.
Compliance standards – such as PCI (for payment card data) and HIPAA HITECH (for personal health information) – add another layer of complexity to the current situation. These standards require covered organizations to meet a strict set of practices; and breaches can result in public notification accompanied by large fines and settlements. As these standards continue to evolve, the requirements will undoubtedly become stricter and force organizations to take additional actions.
Working with a desktop as a service (DaaS) vendor that offers compliant virtual desktop solutions makes it easier for organizations to achieve and maintain desktop-related compliance standards. By outsourcing a virtual desktop initiative in this way, organizations are also able to ease a portion of the burden of meeting – and keeping up with changing – compliance requirements.
This is particularly useful for companies in highly regulated industries – such as healthcare, financial services, insurance and business process outsourcers (BPOs) – that need to instill customers with confidence in their ability to protect sensitive data and for organizations that do not have the in-house expertise to handle compliance within the virtual desktop environment.
These major shifts in how, where and when people work are impossible to ignore and highly unlikely to revert to the time of one device, in one location, fully controlled by corporate IT. Companies must move fast to keep up with workforce demand, but also be acutely aware of how those changes effect the organization’s productivity, compliance and security posture.
It won’t be an easy transition to make and we’re sure to see many mistakes along the way, but the organizations that stay out of hot water and ultimately survive the shift will surely be open to adopting new technology that helps them acclimate while protecting everyone’s best interests.
Jan 07, 2021
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