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How Azure Desktop Virtualisation Benefits Cyber Security

Since the pandemic turned the world upside down, many businesses had to quickly adopt remote-working technology, like Azure Virtual Desktop: Microsoft’s desktop virtualisation tool. Along with convenience,  businesses that adopted this technology achieved significant security gains. Hardly surprising when you consider that Microsoft spends over $1 billion on security improvements every year. We’ll outline these security advantages below, but first, let’s have a quick recap.

Azure desktop virtualisation in a nutshell

Desktop virtualisation involves running a complete desktop computer network in a host cloud-hosted environment. This allows any user to securely access their data and applications from any location and on any device, providing they have a reliable internet connection. As the term might suggest, all Azure desktop virtualisation runs on Microsoft's Azure enterprise cloud platform. 

The security benefits of Azure desktop virtualisation

It’s hosted on Microsoft Azure

As previously stated, Microsoft is extremely security conscious. Microsoft hires 3500 cyber security experts to work on the Azure platform alone. If your data is hosted within this environment, then it automatically benefits from a level of protection that is difficult and incredibly expensive to achieve on a private network . Whilst this is by no means a one-and-done security solution – its a solid foundation and you'll need to augment with things like awareness training – it's a strong foundation that would cost a little more if you were to implement something similar on your own.

Easy control, updates and patch management

With your user desktop environment safely corralled in a single, hosted environment, it is much simpler to deploy apps, control through policy enforcement and apply all-important updates and patches, to ensure that users are working with tools with glaring software vulnerabilities. Desktop virtualisation provides unparalleled level of visibility and control yet affords all the benefits and flexibility of cloud-computing.

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Conditional Access Policies

CAPs are a powerful way to control who can access your environment and how, all controlled in Azure Active Directory. It allows administrators to define strict policies on who may sign in, from where and even how; enforcing pre-requisites such as Multi-factor Authentication and Operating System version and configuration (e.g. updated or running latest endpoint security) or limiting access from specific locations.

Golden images & App Publishing

One major security challenge is preventing the installation of unauthorised applications. Azure Virtual Desktop allows granular control of which users can access what applications in the desktop environment. Windows desktops can be published from 'Golden Master' images where apps are pre-installed and a where a 'clean desktop' can be deployed in moments. There is also app virtualisation where applications can be published to the desktop (instead of installed in Windows) and assigned for use by users by simply changing group membership.

Your business’s cyber security might not necessarily be top of your list. You may be going through a hefty restructure or just looking to save on expenses. Azure Virtual Desktop can help your business achieve a variety of goals, and with over 20 years in the game, ITbuilder can be the ideal partner for your Azure Virtual Desktop journey. If Azure Virtual Desktop sounds like it might be the solution for you, click here to download our latest eBook on it and learn more about this fantastic technology. 

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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