A Hybrid Way of Working: How RDS Can Improve Long-Term Business Security

22 July 2021

This time last year, the world was busy adjusting to their newfound work from home (WFH) practices as industries worldwide were forced to adapt rapidly. However, with speed came an inevitable insufficiency in the security protocols in place at home, an issue reflected by the 5-fold increase in cyber attacks (most noticeably, phishing attempts on employees) experienced since the start of the pandemic. This created a sense of urgency for many companies to adopt security policies, procedures, and technologies specific to home working.

Now that the world is gradually returning to normality with the impressive vaccination roll-out, these newfound secure working habits must be transferred back to life at the office. In addition, with 25-30% of workforces estimated to adopt a flexible home/office dynamic, security measures should be designed to reflect this flexibility.

A hybrid way of working can be supported by Remote Desktop Services (RDS). By storing all information centrally, a user will be able to access their company desktop interface on any device at any time. Imagine, an employee has a meeting with a client on the other side of town and needs to bring confidential documentation with them. Traditionally for offices that work on their local machines, this frequent move between locations would require an employee to either upload sensitive data to personal cloud spaces, store it on a laptop, or worse, carry it between sites on a memory stick or a printed hard-copy. These methods of data storage are not only insecure but also leave the user extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks as a plethora of individual workstreams will be created, which can become extremely difficult for an IT team to effectively monitor.

Instead, the flexibility of RDS will enable the employee to move seamlessly between the office and the meeting. All that will be required for a secure office desktop connection is a device with an internet connection. This flexibility extends beyond out-of-office meetings, with the benefits of RDS being reaped under any circumstance which requires flexibility (for example, WFH, or in better times, travelling the world on business trips).

A move to RDS works by divorcing business processing from local machines, placing it in a well resourced environment that is protected by ‘multi-layered and multi-vendor’ security. This provides businesses with five key benefits:

1) The local machines do not need to be high specification as all the processing happens on the RDS servers, extending the life and reducing the cost of local workstations.

2) If all business processing has been migrated to a hosted RDS environment this may remove the cost of purchasing and maintaining on-premise servers.

3) Hosted RDS environments benefit from the economies of scales built into the wider hosting environment in terms of high performance, maintenance, and security.

4) Centrally storing and securing data enables multi-layers of protection and strong access management such as multi-factor authentication.

5) As all sensitive information is now stored within the RDS environment, data will no longer be lost alongside stolen and damaged devices, granting employees peace of mind when travelling between locations.

The cost of a cyber security breach (global estimate of $3.68M in 2020) far outweighs the cost of implementing secure protocols through RDS. All operations at Riela Tech are completed with the close support of our sister company, Riela Cyber, a cyber security centre on the Isle of Man. This working relationship between both our Security and Network Operations Centres (SOC & NOC) means that our team have an extensive range of expertise to understand and discuss precisely how RDS work within your company.

For many industries, a hybrid way of working is the future… Unfortunately, cybercriminals are well aware of this. By implementing RDS now, the risk of a data breach will dramatically decrease as secure work practices become simple, easy and intuitive for all employees.