There have been disaster situations before, but none on the scale of COVID-19. Companies had to pivot to work-from-home models immediately: get everyone working from home, NOW.
Unsecured Stop-Gap Measures
Companies had an IT and cybersecurity strategy, but none of those had the ramifications of COVID-19 in mind. In a matter of days, employees were out of the office and at home, and it’s likely the BCP didn’t cover end-user workstations that could be used for “business as usual” for weeks and months. So, how did companies handle an intense shift to working from home? Many companies had to open security holes and put stop-gap measures in place to get people connected and operating from home.
Users begged for access to the applications and documents they needed from their normal work environment, so employees were allowed to login from home with their own equipment.
The same security controls used in the office weren’t being enforced on home equipment. Since companies couldn’t send people to homes to get them set up, employees were given local admin access to their personal machines. Some companies resorted to buying devices from big box stores that didn’t come close to meeting tight internal security standards. They had to let slide the virus software and surveillance tools that were part of regular office life because people just needed to work.
In short: companies had to do some less-than-best-practice shortcuts to get up and running, and now it’s time to clean up. Because let’s face it, management may appreciate how quickly you got it done, but the first time there’s a security breach, money is lost, or intellectual property is lost, those kudos turn into curses. You’re only as good as the last thing you did, and when a loss is involved, the last thing you did is a really dangerous thing.
Windows Virtual Desktop: Enterprise-Level Security Solution
Then there are the CTOs using Windows Virtual Desktop. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Agio has helped companies deploy WVD to stay safely ahead of the curve. These firms wanted seamless, location-agnostic work environments where users could access applications and documents at home the same way they did at the office. Bonus points if that solution didn’t rely on Citrix (expensive) or VPN (not as secure) with RDP to local desktops in the office.
Businesses that are going to survive need to have everyone working—and working as if it’s business as usual. Users need access to the applications and documents they usually have access to, preferably without a security breach.
While other companies were stitching solutions together—trading security for a quick fix on consistency, reliability, or usability for optimal productivity—CTOs who took advantage of the WVD service had fewer issues because they had a reliable enterprise-class solution designed from the ground up with security in mind.
WVD scales quickly, deploys applications and functionality fast for remote solutions, and it’s a cost-effective way to give data to employees without VPN. Companies can count on being extremely responsive to user demand across the board with minimal effort and staff.
Because WVD can be customized to meet each firm’s specific demands and size, the CTOs implementing it were able to provision secure, fully functional workspaces for remote users quickly. By leveraging the public cloud, companies could spin up virtual desktops so users could access all the internal apps without exposing data outside of their internal networks.
COVID-19 put a worst-case scenario in play. It showed all of us that every firm needs a reliable work-from-anywhere solution. Most companies are going to look at either testing or implementing this solution in the next 12-18 months. Those using Citrix or VPN will be looking to replace or augment these with SaaS-based solutions that are easier to scale with low capital costs.
The current trigger points for changing to Windows Virtual Desktop are the
- Current provider’s inability to meet the demand for work from anywhere solution
- Challenges getting everyone to work from home during COVID-19 response
- Incident breaches triggered from user’s personal devices connecting into the core network
- User complaints about remote access solutions
- Increasing threats and cybersecurity risks raised by CISO/Cybersecurity providers
Don’t wait for next time. This pandemic is going to be here for a while; fix your problems now. Windows Virtual Desktop service provides a secure and reliable way for your end-users to conduct their work from anywhere in the world.
Contact us if you’d like to discuss how we can transition you to WVD. We’re here to help.