VPN vs VDI vs RDS: What’s Best For Secure Remote Access

Saturday, September 26, 2020

How secure is your business?

Most people will answer this question by simply dismissing it. But if they actually put their mind into it they might quickly realise that they aren’t protecting their online presence much at all.

Privacy and online security has always been a hot topic that in recent years has become even more important and debated fiercely. The seriousness of the subject has become even more of a talking point since the start of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

With Covid-19 forcing large proportions of the population around the world into isolation and having to work from home, more and more businesses are paying attention to the security of the networks they communicate and do business over. For many organisations, the data and information they transfer over their digital pathways is extremely sensitive and valuable. If hackers and other malicious parties were able to access this data, it could be disastrous for the business and the people who have had their data stolen.

This article will cover three of the most popular choices for keeping networks secure for both businesses and individuals. We’ll cover VPNs, VDIs, and RDS. To find out which one suits your business needs better, read on below.

Why A New Business Model Needs a New Security Plan

For a business operating on private data, once they could have had employees working from within one secure location and network. However the current global situation has created a wider distributed workforce, and a lot of central offices unable to be accessed. This security measure is now redundant.

Just because a level of security is unavailable, it should not mean that employees are unable to complete their day to day tasks. This is why businesses are looking to create secure remote networks that can provide the level of security they need.

VPN vs VDI vs RDS: What’s Best For Secure Remote Access

Below we’ll explain three of the most common forms of defense that can be used to create a secure remote network. Read on to find out what is the right choice for you.

VPN - Virtual Private Network

A VPN is the most popular choice out of these three and has been for a number of years. A VPN does a number of tasks beyond secure working, it will also protect a user from cyber attacks and identity thefts. Most VPNs work as an application that is added to your browser, you log on through it, and are able to work immediately. 

VPNs work by creating virtual networks that are completely private from other internet users. A person using a VPN will connect to the internet via the VPN. They will first be channelled to the VPN servers, which will then anonymise their searches and connections. 

VDI - Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

VDIs are often considered the better option if a business has a large workforce that has to be managed. It differs from a VPN in multiple ways, which will be covered below. The first big difference is that a VDI is not a secured network, it’s a virtual office space. This gives employers control over the usage of the devices with access to the network that needs protecting.

Resources are already allocated to each machine and each user can tailor their device to their own preferences - within the predefined parameters. Getting setup with a VDI requires investment in infrastructure which can be more expensive, but is a great choice for larger organisations.

RDS - Remote Desktop Services

For small to medium sized enterprises, an RDS is a solid choice because it is quick to setup and a lower comparative cost. In many ways, an RDS could be termed a Desktop-as-a-Service, SaaS.

All employees operate through the same server, sharing resources and using similar interfaces. If a business’s workforce all do similar tasks, or don’t require a large amount of resources, then RDS should be considered. 

Depending on what your business requirements are, one of these options will better suit your needs than the others. Price wise, using a VPN is often the cheapest option. A VPN is also great for security but lacks the capabilities to manage a workforce - this is vital in risk management of large organisations  This is extremely important to prevent leaks and data leaving organisations.

To understand what option is the best for your business, you need to look at what your workforce is doing on the day to day and what needs to be protected. Understanding this will give you a good basis to work out the best solution for securing your remote networks. Now more than ever, organisations have options to protect themselves. With this choice comes a better chance to find a solution that fits perfectly.