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Virtualization: Article

Can Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Improve BYOD Security Issues?

VDIs Can Solve Several Common BYOD Concerns

Bring Your Own Device policies have fascinated both the corporate world and the tech world for some time now. Part of the allure is the added productivity and the added ease of use for workers. But, that doesn't explain why there are thousands of tech pieces on BYOD policies, failings and warnings. The truth is, we're all fascinated by how it flawlessly bridges the gap between home and work life.

BYOD first sprung up as Millennials demanded more flexibility, more control. They wanted less of a barrier between work and home life, and working from their iPads while watching Netflix at home struck the perfect balance.

Then, there were the problems that inevitably followed. Companies realized that employees' devices are almost never as secure as corporate machines. When devices got stolen, there weren't many options to deal with the situation, and sensitive company information fell into strangers' hands.

Businesses tightened security on the devices that participated in the program, and employees began to realize what that means. Some BYOD policies began to include total remote wipe abilities and geo-locating capabilities. Employees pushed back, some sued and policies changed. Now, most offices have given up remote wipes and using the phone's GPS for any in-house apps.

The top thinkers in the tech space haven't quite found the magic bullet to alleviate all security and consistency concerns for the consumerization of IT yet, but there are signs they're getting closer. Stemming from these conflicting needs of security and privacy, more solutions were searched out. The best and the brightest came up with using Virtual Desktop Infrastructures. VDIs run virtual desktops right from the company servers, which the company is free to lock-down as much as they feel like they need to.

Traditional BYOD policies had two main concerns: Companies worried about security; employees worried about privacy. VDIs are almost perfectly suited to solve these BYOD issues.

Security Issues
Company data doesn't live on the employee device so remote wipes aren't necessary. If an employee loses their device, their account can simply be denied access. Firewalls are put in place on the company server side; not on the employee device. There are still some limited security concerns, but the practice has been deemed good enough to house medical records.

Privacy Issues
Employees are working on a virtual machine that doesn't require the permissions that an app might. There's no geo-locating need, since the company data is secure on the company servers. The company has no need to look at phone data, because nothing on the virtual server will be affected by it. In terms of employee privacy, it's as near a perfect solution as can be found with our current technology.

Incompatibility Issues
Kindle Fires, Nooks, Nexuses and iPads don't all run the same software. Sometimes programs aren't available for each device at all, other times employees just haven't invested in them. Instead of forcing the entire office to purchase mobile versions of Microsoft Office, access virtual machines on them so they can all have access to the same software they use at their desks. Of course, this means that they can still use the same firewall and security programs as well.

In a world where the only thing valued more than company security is individual privacy, tech experts are trying to find the perfect solution to the BYOD dilemma. Virtual Desktop Infrastructures have burst back onto the scene just in time to offer some glimmer of hope that everyone's priorities can be met.

More Stories By Amy Bishop

Amy Bishop works in marketing and digital strategy for a technology startup. Her previous experience has included five years in enterprise and agency environments. She specializes in helping businesses learn about ways rapidly changing enterprise solutions, business strategies and technologies can refine organizational communication, improve customer experience and maximize co-created value with converged marketing strategies.

Connect with Amy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or Pinterest.

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