Cloud desktops are virtual desktop machines created via resources on a cloud server. Unlike Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which is hosted on a central server. Cloud desktops are server-hosted components from a third-party cloud provider. Depending on the configuration you need, various virtual machines can be created and accessed over the Internet.
Cloud desktops or DaaS offer multiple benefits such as real-time scalability, uptime, low-cost ownership, security, and Disaster Recovery as a Service. However, if you are accessing your desktop on the cloud, how do you ensure infrastructure security?
When compared with in-house infrastructure, security and disaster recovery of cloud desktops are feasible, flexible, and hassle-free. Let’s analyze how this infrastructure ensures enterprise-grade security and DRaaS in your organization.
How Cloud Desktops Ensure Enterprise-Grade Security and DRaaS
The security architecture of DaaS is two-fold: customer’s responsibility and CSP’s responsibility.
As a business owner, user management and access control are your responsibility. With cloud desktops, you may get access control or identity management capabilities; managing these features is your task.
The Cloud Service Provider is responsible for safeguarding the cloud infrastructure. This includes configuration of the physical server, patching, storage, disaster recovery, protection from data threats, and resource management.
Based on this, let’s evaluate how cloud desktops offer an advanced security infrastructure to businesses:
Cloud desktops are powered by a data center that has a redundant network and reliable power supply to support 99.99% uptime. These physical data centers are gated premises with restricted access and surveillance. CSPs regularly audit these data centers to ensure PCI, HIPAA, and SOC compliance standards.
With physical data center security, your applications and data remain secure.
Various physical components ensure the security and efficiency of your cloud desktops—servers being a crucial part of this. Security of these servers is maintained using the latest hypervisor and advanced internal and external firewalls.
Every user needs to pass multi-factor authentication (Read: External Firewalls) to access the desktop.
For instance, to access your cloud desktop, you need to enter the login credentials and clear various stages of authentication. Only if the system can identify you, only then you can access your cloud desktop. If identification fails after a designated number of failed attempts, the account or cloud desktop of this user is locked or blocked for a while.
Similarly, every user also needs to pass internal firewalls that decide the internal access hierarchy. Not every user should be allowed to access every file on the desktop. To maintain data privacy and discrepancy, internal firewalls help in setting up access control between employees.
Server redundancy is another important factor in server security. The CSP utilizes multiple servers in different locations. Every server has the same copy of your data and applications. This means that your desktops are virtually hosted on multiple isolated servers. If one server fails to offer you access or you cannot connect to one, another responds, and your business gets unhindered access.
In every cloud desktop used by your organization, an isolated private network is set up with zero open incoming ports. The private network and firewall setup between different virtual machines use a management console for configuration. Every IP utilized in this setup has DDoS protection and connections having IPsec site-to-site VPNs.
This protects your network desktop from cyberattacks and threats like DDoS.
Cloud hosted desktop data transmissions are 256-bit encryption protected. Everything transmitted to and from the cloud server is encrypted and protected for safe access. To access this data, the receiver needs to have access to a private key.
Hence, if in between this transmission, attackers catch the message, they will not be able to extract and understand data because of the encryption. Reputed CSPs also encrypt resting data on the server.
DaaS is a managed service offered by a Cloud Service Provider. Under this managed service, the server stores the backup for a designated time period. To ensure no cyberattacks are attempted on these snapshots or backup files, CSPs usually keep backups in a secondary location or offline server.
If you lose your business data or virtual machines are damaged in times of disaster, backup copies of your cloud desktops can be restored from any secondary server.
Here, disaster refers to any situation that demands backup. For example, if an employee accidentally deletes a file. It is possible to retrieve this data from the backup snapshot in minutes.
6. Threat intelligence
CSPs use diverse monitoring systems to find and address any anomaly. There are AI-based algorithms to find out unknown cyber threats, evaluate risk profiles related to the threat, and eliminate the issue. Due to consistent monitoring capacity, the incident response timing of the CSP is quicker than in-house systems.
Overall, CSPs employ a threat intelligence system to catch, identify, and respond to threats. CSPs also employ other security features such as antivirus, antimalware, etc., that address many threats automatically.
7. Endpoint security
Cloud desktops are endpoints and do not store data or apps. This means that an employee using a virtual desktop only accesses and processes a virtual image of the data via the Internet. Unless any data is saved on the device manually, endpoints don’t store data.
If an endpoint is broken or shuts down, business data is not lost. Your employees can easily utilize another endpoint to log in to the system and access the cloud desktop via the Internet. In case the endpoint is stolen, it is possible to revoke access and change credentials. This will assure data privacy and security under any circumstances.
Every organization must run risk assessments regularly to check the security architecture of the business. If you find yourself dealing with shadow IT, compliance penalties, and firewall issues too frequently, consider cloud desktops. The DRaaS solutions and enterprise-grade security offered by cloud desktops decrease security risks and cyberthreats on your business.
Use the above information, understand cloud security, and find the right CSP for optimum DRaaS and organizational security support.