Citirix Virtually Secures Remote Users

Updated: June 03, 2010

Securing remote endpoints is one of the most challenging responsibilities of corporate security teams. Without the assistance of network security, endpoints are vulnerable to malicious code that initiates unauthorized software configuration changes, discovers and steals regulated data residing in files and temporary storage, and eavesdrops to acquire usernames and passwords. Traditional endpoint security best practices have proven to be ineffective in preventing malware, especially for endpoints serving both personal and professional uses. A new approach to endpoint protection and management for enterprise users is desperately needed. The Ogren Group feels that using virtualization to isolate the business environment places control in the hands of IT professionals to maintain compliant endpoint configurations and protect regulated data in a manner that scales easily to enterprise levels.

Citrix is one of the industry leaders in virtualization solutions, with advanced capabilities to centrally host desktops and applications in the secure data center with VDI and high performance remote display protocols. Between the enhancements for XenClient, Receiver for XenClient, Synchronizer for XenClient, and Citrix FlexCast Delivery protocols, the pieces are falling into place for Citrix to offer enterprise IT a common user friendly application self-service environment that increases the availability of compliant applications and protects sensitive data.

What is significant about this announcement

The Ogren Group believes that extending virtualization to embrace locally hosted solutions for remote and mobile users is a key innovation for Citrix. While a virtual desktop infrastructure solves compliance and security problems for office workers, VDI's expectations for network availability or bandwidth utilization for remote display protocols has necessitated locally hosted application architectures for remote and mobile users. The Citrix innovations allow IT to converge support for office and remote users with centralized administration, while offering more flexibility to the business for secure application access. The main elements that the Ogren Group found exciting are:

  • Assures compliant endpoint configurations: The Citrix XenClient bare metal hypervisor allows users to launch an IT-configured virtual desktop to securely access corporate applications. Since Citrix XenClient isolates the desktop VM from personal use programs, IT is not placed in a position of having to manage the security of other people's desktops. IT and security assure the business that all access to sensitive applications is achieved by a virtual workspace of compliant software executables, such as an operating system, security software, IT-configured browser, and VPN client.
  • Isolates and protects sensitive data: Losing regulated data from a laptop or home computer is a significant risk to the business. Citrix SafeZone and Synchronizer enhancements transparently encrypt and erase regulated data helping IT contain the sprawl of regulated data and reduce the risk of data loss and disclosure incidents.
  • Simplifies administration of application updates: Citrix automates the distribution of application and desktop updates to dramatically reduce the operating expenses of maintaining compliant endpoints. Citrix automatically checks for updates when the endpoint connects to the network, and then only delivers the least amount of software, security policy and user profile information required to update the local virtual desktop. The Ogren Group finds this approach keeps endpoints compliant without placing unusual burdens on the user.

Why this step is important

With the economic recovery upon us, many organizations are planning on long-delayed infrastructure upgrades, a migration of endpoints to Windows 7, and an expansion of web-based access to employees, business partners, and customers. Citrix is using its virtualization strengths to lead IT on a path where the application infrastructure can dynamically choose the optimal application access method to meet security, performance, and usability requirements for office, remote, and mobile users:

  • Virtual desktop infrastructure capabilities deliver centrally-hosted compliant desktops to office workers while keeping sensitive data in the secure data center.
  • Application virtualization utilizes remote display protocols to give easy access to centrally hosted applications.
  • New XenClient features provides locally hosted versions of compliant desktops with transparent data protection for remote and mobile users.

The flexibility in application delivery provided by the Citrix approach, with centralized control by IT and security teams, sets the stage for significant endpoint operating expense savings, security enhancements of software and data, and less-invasive user experiences.

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