Securely Empowering SMB Virtual Workforces: Why Virtual Desktops Make Sense
By Joseph Landes, Nerdio
Many SMBs struggle not only when it comes to selecting the right security solutions but also in evaluating the benefits and detriments of other IT solutions in accordance with their overall security posture. MSPs can provide tremendous value in recommending the right approach and components for each customers’ unique IT and security needs and give insight on security benefits and drawbacks when evaluating adding new technologies like virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to support emerging business priorities such as supporting hybrid work.
Spiceworks and Ziff Davis’ 2022 State of IT report found 50% of all business workloads are expected to run in the cloud by 2023. Up from 40% in 2021, this significant projected growth reflects the rapidly growing interest and adoption of cloud and virtualization technologies and the pandemic-induced increase in remote, hybrid, and flexible working environments.
Running desktops in the cloud presents several security benefits when proper access management controls and policies are in place. By dictating which employees have access to various systems and information, virtual desktops can help reduce the overall threat attack surface while taking some of the security pressure off end users.
Below are three security value propositions MSPs can leverage to make the case for VDI and cloud-based virtual desktop solutions as SMBs seek advice and new solutions to securely support remote work in 2022.
- Stronger Ransomware Prevention: Ransomware will have a more difficult time infiltrating a well-maintained, frequently updated, and properly configured cloud environment. Local devices are difficult for IT teams to manage, maintain and update consistently so once any ransomware vector infiltrates the network there is a high chance that it will find a vulnerable device to encrypt or launch subsequent attacks from. This difficulty around management is compounded for many SMBs who have few or no dedicated IT staff let alone cybersecurity experts on staff.
- Eliminating Local + Physical Device Risk: Utilizing virtual desktops enables businesses to more easily separate user and application data from company data to better control and protect access to corporate networks and sensitive data. Additionally, common data loss scenarios caused by human error or accident, such as losing a laptop at the airport or spilling coffee on one, are rendered irrelevant because data is constantly accessible, and users can access their workspace from any device or location.
- Managing Security Across the Organization: Virtual desktops are easy to manage in groups and tedious and time-consuming tasks like patching can be easily, quickly, and centrally administered. Automated backups of virtual desktops ensure continuous data protection and in the event of any data loss situation, desktops can be easily recreated, and data restored.
Keeping the above points in mind can help MSPs incentivize clients to take a cloud-based VDI approach, but MSPs themselves also can greatly benefit from establishing offerings and a practice around desktop virtualization. In addition to the security advantages, they can increase operational efficiencies with technologies like Azure Virtual Desktop that allow for multi-tenant management across clients. Aside from the time savings provided, MSPs can leverage offering virtual desktops to boost revenue in the form of monthly recurring revenue and make cloud-based computing costs and revenue more predictable by utilizing an optimization platform with autoscaling capabilities.
About The Author
Joseph Landes is the Chief Revenue Officer at Nerdio, where he focuses on helping MSPs build successful cloud and virtual desktop practices in Microsoft Azure. Before joining Nerdio in 2018, Landes worked for Microsoft for 23 years where he held numerous senior leadership positions at the company’s corporate headquarters in Redmond as well as in Eastern Europe, India, and Brazil.