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6 Azure Virtual Desktop Security Best Practices

Whilst implementing Azure Virtual Desktop can provide your business with all sorts of cyber security gains, there are several areas you’ll need to pay close attention to if you want AVD to be a security win. If you’re not careful, implementing desktop virtualisation with Azure Virtual Desktop can introduce more problems than solutions

So, read on to learn what some of the most effective virtual desktop, or VDI, security best practices are and how to implement them within your AVD environment.  

1. Careful identity and device management  

All Azure user Active Directory credentials need to be carefully protected. This can be done using multi-factor authentication (MFA). On top of that, Conditional Access can ensure that specific users are granted the access they need depending on various factors. These include their device type, location and sign-on method. 

2. Manage Office Pro Plus security

Your applications within your session hosts need securing, and Security Policy Advisor can help you achieve this. It will do two things; #1 it will identify policies that can be applied for more security, and #2 it can recommend suitable policies for improving your security and productivity.

3. Monitoring usage

Azure Monitor lets you easily keep abreast of all the usage and availability present in your Azure Virtual Desktop. You can set up notifications using service health alerts to learn when Azure Virtual Desktop suffers an issue that impacts its service. Azure Security Center can also help by offering a unified platform for managing and securing your virtual desktop and any Azure resources. With Azure Security centre, you can handle any vulnerabilities and assess your overall Azure Virtual Desktop configuration.

4. Patch any vulnerabilities

Any vulnerabilities you uncover should be patched immediately. And your base images should be patched every month at a minimum to keep machines secure. All this applies to virtual environments just as much as it does physical. You should be patching running operating systems and any applications within them.

5. The use of RemoteApps

Make sure you always use RemoteApps. This deployment mode lets users access only certain applications. It will keep the number of applications that an end-user is working with to a set selection within a virtual desktop.

6. Control how users copy and transfer data 

When you control access and set the right RDP properties in the Azure Virtual Desktop host pool, you can easily protect your business’s data from being copied or transferred to other devices too easily – easy transfer can compromise data security.  

7. Deploy high-quality security agents 

The Microsoft 365 subscription that includes the Windows Enterprise desktop license for AVD also includes Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Defender for Endpoint is a highy-rated XDR, or eXtended Detection & Response, is a unified security incident platform that uses AI and automation to protect desktop environments. It provides organisations with a comprehensive, efficient way to protect against and respond to advanced cyberattacks.

Adopting best security practices across your entire Azure Virtual Desktop environment is a time-consuming process – certainly hard to address in a single blog post. If you’re serious about keeping your Azure Virtual Desktop and your IT safe and functional, then our team of experts can help. We’ve been helping IT teams follow virtual desktop security best practices and address all the areas they want additional support in for over twenty years, so there are very few issues we haven’t solved before. 

Click here to book a discovery call with an Azure Virtual Desktop expert today. 

James Naylor

James Naylor is ITbuilder's Managing Director and Founder. He has worked in technology since the early nineties and, after a decade in the corporate world, went into business himself.

James has lead ITbuilder for over two decades, building the business into the force that it is today, but is still a technician at heart and still very hands on with tech.

Despite growing up in Hertfordshire, James lives in the Netherlands for five years as well as London, before returning and setting up the base in Hertford, where he lives today.

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