Infrastructure for virtualized desktops (VDI): Risks and Solutions

A local data center hosts desktop operating systems, often Windows or Linux, using virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Users may engage with the file system and its programs as if they were operating locally, thanks to VDI, which distributes virtual desktop images across the internet to user endpoint devices.

The endpoint may be a conventional PC, a smartphone, a thin client, or a zero client. Almost every firm that uses VDI places a high focus on security.

  • Risks of VDI Security

By definition, virtual desktop infrastructure is a mission-critical technology that saves sensitive data and programs. There are four main attack surfaces that a VDI deployment creates:


A technique known as hypervisors allows attackers to manipulate a hypervisor by infiltrating the operating system with malware. Patching, maintaining, and protecting virtual computers need time. Each virtual machine does have a unique setup and operating system.

Virtual network settings are particularly vulnerable to attacks since they share the same physical resources as physical networks, making them more susceptible.

Insider threats from employees are a rising reason for data breaches. Since employees have access to virtual desktops operating as a component of the VDI system, this is particularly true in VDI installations.

  • Security Architecture for VDI

Integrated management: Virtual storage, virtual compute, and virtual networks are all dynamic VDI resources.

A centralized administration platform is necessary to keep track of changes to these resources. The installation of virtual desktops may be sped up and made simpler when running VDI with just a single, enterprise-grade virtual machine. This can also improve data center workload and infrastructure security.

Real-time monitoring

critical it’s to spot unusual and unexpected events in the virtual infrastructure in real-time and provide actionable warnings. To protect the confidentiality of virtual desktop data and resources, security employees should regard alarms from VDI platforms as a top priority and act quickly.

Remote response

Security personnel requires a mechanism to react remotely to events occurring in the virtual machine since they lack accessibility to virtual desktop infrastructure resources.

Technologies like endpoint detection as well as response (EDR) can assist contain attacks by isolating virtual machines or obstructing network traffic. EDR deploys agents on virtual machines.

Vulnerability scanning

At any stage of the VDI, deployment may experience vulnerability at any moment. Automatic vulnerability scanning finds well-known flaws (CVEs) and security lapses like weak or preset passwords.

It is insufficient to safeguard the infrastructure layer using cryptography and data loss prevention (DLP). For attackers, data is sometimes their most important asset. Decrypt virtual machine files, virtual disk documents, and core dump files to safeguard VDI data.

DLP solutions are able to keep an eye on suspicious data transfers and thwart efforts to smuggle information out from the VDI system. Take the additional safety measures listed below when using BYOD devices to access VDI to lower the risk:

  • Enforce multi-factor authentication and strong passwords.
  • Utilize single sign-on (SSO) tools.
  • Install software that can detect wireless networks and alert users before connections.
  • Establish command over the local device’s installed programs.
  • Make that the operating system and software on the personal device are current.

Make Multi-Factor Authentication Mandatory

By forcing end users to authenticate their identity in a number of methods, such as inputting a password, using a mobile device, or detecting a fingerprint, multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of protection.

The link server, which takes user requests and redirects individuals to a virtual desktop, supports MFA in most VDI implementations. Regularly enable MFA to lessen the possibility of attackers using stolen credentials to access VDI systems.

The fundamentals of VDI security have been discussed in this post and presented five recommended practices that can assist you in securing your VDI deployment.

Services in desktops and master images should be restricted or disabled if they aren’t strictly essential. You can install cutting-edge security tools, such as IDS/IPS and endpoint protection for VMs, at your VDI site.

Endpoint protection can be used to safeguard user devices in addition to the VDI data center. Impose additional security requirements, such as strong passwords, device scanning, and application restriction, for BYOD devices. At the virtual desktop infrastructure system production, impose multi-factor authentication.

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