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The Data Never Leaves the Data Center

3 Jun 2015 by Howard M Cohen

The security of your customer’s business data threatens their continued ability to operate if any of it is left out in the open where others can access it. Most customers believe their data is safe as long as it stays within their own four walls. Put the data outside in a cloud storage facility — and instinctively it’s believed to be “less safe.” Let the data travel out to an authorized user’s smartphone or tablet, or even a laptop at home, and that too is “less safe.”

Get Customers to Face the Realities of Data Security.

While everyone is assuring your customers they can secure their data “completely” with firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and others designed to prevent penetration, a look at Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report vividly shows that from 85 to 90% of all data threats are executed by an internal actor rather than from outside, and that trend has continued since 2010.

This means that all of the measures your competing service providers have been pushing on their customers only protect against 10 to 15% of all threats. We’ll keep coming back to this fact to talk about important strategies you can offer that will protect your customers against the real threats that are causing the majority of data breaches.

So Where Is Their Data Safe?

You perform a powerful service for your customer when you advise them that the one place data is safest is in their data center. But even there they must constantly take precautions to assure the reliability and trustworthiness of the personnel working there.

It’s certainly not safe when someone in your company accesses your servers with their smartphone. They transfer your high-value critical business data onto their own little device. Next they can email it, instant message it, Facebook it, Skype it, or otherwise transmit it to people you never intended to have access to it. So much for all of those investments in security.

And the Verizon data proves that it’s not even safe on desktop computers and other devices located on their company premises.  Nine times out of 10 it’s one of the users on one of those devices who is breaching security protocols.

So How Do You Keep the Data in the Data Center?

Let’s stop thinking for a moment about how the data moves around the network and think instead about how it gets from the network to your brain, and back again. Usually you either read it on the screen or listen to it come out of your computer in the form of audio, with or without video. To get data going back from you to the network you can tap keys on a keyboard, and speak into a microphone or camera.

What if the screen it was being displayed on was back inside your data center and you could just have the image of that screen transmitted to you on your device?  No data leaves the data center, just the appearance of it briefly on a duplicated screen image.  Your keyboard clicks, and mouse or screen movements could be similarly transmitted back to the data center without any actual data going back and forth.

Not only would it avoid allowing any data out of the data center, it would also be much faster because so little information was crossing the network.

If you’re thinking, “Hey, that’s not new, that’s VDI. That’s been around forever!” You’re right.

VDI has been re-imagined beyond Virtual Desktop Interface to become Virtual Device Infrastructure, allowing screen contents to be properly formatted for whatever device form factor and display your user may have. Now, data centers can transmit just the screen appearance, keyboard clicks and gestures or mouse movements back and forth between the user’s mobile device and the company’s private, public or hybrid data center infrastructure.

New developer tools have enabled highly adaptive applications that sense the user’s device form factor and provide a highly efficient user interface for that specific device. The user experience is enhanced in terms of usability, efficiency, functionality and speed. The data never transfers to the device, just screen information and sound.

The actual data stays in the data center, and the world is once again safe and sound.

Much More Than “Just” Safer Data

VDI offers far more than “just” a safer environment in which the data never leaves the data center and is far less likely to be compromised. It also keeps the application in the data center, meaning it can be quickly and easily upgraded, maintained, repaired and managed once on the server, and all users will receive all of the enhancements instantly. Support becomes easier and less expensive. Reliability increases. Manageability improves.

Talk to your expert partners at Insight for help comparing and contrasting alternative VDI strategies for your customers today. And recommend something radically different that truly addresses the real source of your customers’ challenges.