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Biggest IT Concerns

The three trends most affecting IT organizations are:

  1. Increasing Cyberattacks
  2. The Great Resignation
  3. Hybrid Work Environments

These trends are obvious to anyone running a business or an IT organization today. Quantifying the scope of the issues, (see, the reports below), at least demonstrate the specific nature of the threats that organizations are facing and yield insight as to how to proceed.

The best way to deal with these threats, in my opinion and the opinion of many others, is to use virtual desktops, also known as virtual workspaces or virtual desktop infrastructure, (“VDI”). Virtual desktops may be deployed onsite or in clouds but provide an alternative to thick client applications installed on PC’s and laptops. Thick client applications require organizations to manage a multitude of firewall access requests. Having a centralized solution managed by the IT organization, and taking the end user out of the security chain, provides a better security posture for any organization.

This is especially true for virtual desktops deployed onsite. Using a cloud means relinquishing cybersecurity and data to the cloud provider.

Threats

According to SonicWall’s 2022 Cyber Threat Report, cyberattacks increased in during 2021, (https://www.techrepublic.com/article/report-pretty-much-every-type-of-cyberattack-increased-in-2021/):

Encrypted threats

167% increase

10.4 million total attacks

Ransomware

105% increase

623.3 million total attacks

Crypto jacking

19% increase

97.1 million total attacks

Intrusion attempts

11% increase

5.3 trillion total attacks

IoT malware

6% increase

60.1 million total attacks

 

Only malware attacks dropped and that was by 4%. However, there were still 5.4 billion malware attacks in 2021. Obviously, and as they have been for many years, cyberattacks are an enormous threat to any IT organization and the threat environment is getting worse.

The other two trends, The Great Resignation and Hybrid Work Environments, work hand-in-hand and are exacerbating the cybersecurity issues. According to Code 42, a cybersecurity firm that specializes in insider risk management, (“IRM”), current levels of turnover have businesses concerned with cybersecurity and data protection issues from former employees, (see, Code 42’s Annual Data Exposure Report - https://www.techrepublic.com/article/hybrid-work-and-the-great-resignation-lead-to-cybersecurity-concerns/).

Employee turnover is exposing more data and intellectual property to outsiders according to Code 42. Outgoing employees may be acting maliciously or negligently when leaving an organization. Sometimes data and intellectual property is released just by accident. The issues, in addition to hackers, are:

  • Personal data saved in clouds, on personal devices and hard drives
  • Employees being lax with their cybersecurity practices in hybrid environments
  • Employees not understanding or being unaware of the risks they pose

The usual response by organizations to hacking threats and data protection issues is to provide more training in these areas to mitigate risk.

ComputerVault’s response to this notion is that training will always be inadequate to deal with all these threats. Employees have jobs to do that are not focused on these areas and have varying levels of IT sophistication. The efficacy of such training is suspect, and the simple fact is that even the most conscientious and well-trained employees may simply be unlucky. Employees need to be right every time and a hacker only once.

Increased turnover makes scheduling training more difficult, and outgoing employees will ignore it anyway. The nature of hacking and cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and no training protocols will be able to keep up with hackers who are singularly focused. A technology solution is necessary to fight a technology problem.

Virtual Desktops

Hybrid work environments, whereby many if not all employees are working remotely at least part of the time, have highlighted the need and advantages of virtual desktops.

The advantage of using virtual desktops is that virtual machines are deployed and accessed by a VPN. That virtual machine, in this case a virtual desktop, is hosted in a central location. It then accesses all the applications a user needs. Applications need not be installed on fat clients, such as PC’s and laptops, and given firewall access to the organizations network. The virtual desktops are secured centrally by the IT organization and not by end users. User access is tightly controlled by roles, groups or a list of specific users.

Data and intellectual property remain in the datacenter at all times. Downloads to virtual desktop client devices are not permitted, so corporate and organizational data never is stored on PC’s and laptops. Since virtual desktops may be accessed wherever there the internet is available, there is no need for employees to have any data or intellectual property in their possession. Having both centrally managed means that both are backed-up and secured properly.

Lastly, software is less expensive to manage than physical devices and even traditional VDI solutions have a break-even after they have been deployed.

Traditional VDI solutions have drawbacks, however. They are complex, hard to deploy and maintain and expensive to license. As they have been deployed onsite, they require organizations to hire skilled and expensive engineers to support the VDI deployment.

In practice, the poor performance of traditional VDI solutions have delivered a terrible user experience. They often also have application access issues because of virtualized client applications installed in the virtual desktops.  Both of these issue drive employees to abandon using the virtual desktops and employees go back to using PC’s and laptops. For these reasons, virtual desktops have not been widely adopted even though they have been available for about 20 years.

In response to the past experience with onsite VDI solutions, the virtual desktop vendors are moving customers and prospects to cloud-based solutions, known as desktop-as-a-service, (“DaaS”) in an attempt to gain market share. Moving to DaaS hides the complexity of the solution from the customer’s end users. Vendors usually mention the same benefits that they do with any cloud-based solution, i.e., highly scalable, lower in cost and easier to manage and deploy for remote workforces.

Organizations that have experience with clouds, however, often cite the following issues in response to the cloud vendor claims:

  • Billing on a consumption basis inevitably turns out in practice to be far more expensive than originally estimated
  • Consumption based bills can vary unpredictably
  • Data is in the hands of a third party
  • Using the shared resources of a cloud often leads to poor performance and outages

ComputerVault’s position is that if all the traditional virtual desktop vendors could not deliver acceptable performance in a local area network, with 100% control over dedicated resources, does anyone really expect them to deliver better virtual desktop performance using a cloud’s shared resources and the Internet as a network?

The results thus far using DaaS from the cloud have been as expected – not good.

But given the experience customers have had with poorly performing onsite VDI solutions, the virtual desktop vendors have had no choice but attempt to move all their customers and prospects to cloud solutions. They simply can no longer sell the onsite VDI solutions to organizations other than those organizations that have the most stringent cybersecurity and IP/data protection requirements. Such organizations are willing to tolerate the poor performance to obtain better cybersecurity and data protection.

VDI solutions always win the security battle over PC’s and laptops.

ComputerVault

ComputerVault Virtual Desktops provide all the advantages of virtual desktops, while eliminating the shortcomings that traditional virtual desktops have.

First, ComputerVault has made a technological break-through to deliver a PC-like experience with a virtual desktop. This PC-like experience occurs whether the user is in the office or working remotely. ComputerVault may be hosted onsite or in a colocation facility. Whether users are connecting to their virtual desktops that are hosted in the building where they working or if they are thousands of miles away from the servers, the results are the same. Users get a PC-like experience without long login waits and the poor performance that made them abandon traditional virtual desktops in the past.

Since ComputerVault uses the same operating system as physical PC’s and laptops, unlike traditional onsite and cloud-based virtual desktop products that use a stripped-down virtualized operating system, user access issues are eliminated. Traditional virtual desktop products require specific, virtualized versions of any client applications installed in them for accessing enterprise applications. Compatibility issues with the virtualized client applications can prevent users from accessing enterprise applications.

But because ComputerVault uses the same operating system as a PC or Laptop, the same application that is installed on physical devices is installed in a ComputerVault virtual desktop. This is how ComputerVault eliminates client application compatibility and application access issues.

Is it installs on a PC or laptop - it installs on ComputerVault.

Moreover, ComputerVault is delivered as a Managed Service. Support is included in the software license, so that customers need not hire their own software administrators. The cost savings are enormous. Deployment of ComputerVault is also included in the software license, as it deploys in a few hours. Customers don’t have long and expensive deployment projects that they experienced in the past to get traditional VDI solutions. Centrally managed virtual desktops provide all the cybersecurity benefits without the added labor cost as ComputerVault is a managed service

Deployed onsite or in a colocation facility, using ComputerVault results in data and IP being always under an organization’s control and not some third party. Even though ComputerVault is a managed service, it is not licensed on a consumption basis, as a cloud is, but rather as a flat fee. That fee is based on the number of virtual desktops and servers that are deployed. The cost of ComputerVault on Day 1 doesn’t vary over time.

By following ComputerVault’s deployment guidelines, customers will have virtual desktops that deliver a PC-like experience to an unlimited number of employees regardless of their location. Since ComputerVault eliminates hiring software administrators, doesn’t license any software from third parties and is optimized to be hosted on Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf servers and other hardware, a ComputerVault VDI solution yields an immediate ROI that is the highest among all VDI solutions.

ComputerVault delivers Virtual Desktops and Servers on Hyper-converged Infrastructure with built-in Cybersecurity. ComputerVault is deployed at the customer’s site or at colocation facilities. Delivered as a Managed Service, ComputerVault has the highest Return on Investment (ROI) of any Virtual Desktop and Server infrastructure in the marketplace.

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