As industries move to the remote workforce model, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, and virtual platforms are top priorities. According to a 2020 Gartner survey, 74% of CFOs plan to permanently move positions remote, indicating an enterprise-wide demand for mobility solutions.
Mobile work environments need information security and network protection to prevent malicious cyberattacks and unintended private data exposure. In the past, securing mobility demanded large capital outlays for virtual private networks (VPN).
VPN implementation requires a substantial hardware budget, complex IT roles, and constant updates. Even then, protection only extends to the network component of a computer system. Some enterprises resist moving to mobility due to the upfront and ongoing VPN costs and maintenance.
VPN isn’t the only mobility solution, though. As technologies improve and mobile productivity becomes more popular, innovative software has emerged to meet this growing trend. Virtual Mobility Solutions (VMS) promote broader security, more flexibility, and easy, enterprise-wide adoption.
VPN vs. Virtual Mobility Solutions
VPN technology is widespread and works by establishing an encrypted channel between a client device and the central server. VPN software performs client device local checks to ensure they meet security standards before allowing a connection. Any data that travels over the VPN connection originates from a client-device application.
Virtual Mobility Solutions (VMS) or Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) are modeled around modern mobility needs and only share one characteristic with VPNs: the encrypted tunnel. VMS secure data transference in a structurally different way from VPNs, providing many advantages over that technology. VMS act as a “viewing window” into a server-side environment, transferring image (pixel) information, not the data itself.
Virtual Mobility Solutions Solve Data Transfer Security Issues
A VPN only establishes the encrypted tunnel for communications. The tunnel scrambles the information traveling across public networks to prevent visibility. Client applications receive the data over the VPN connection and process it locally. However, employee devices remain at risk, so IT teams must consider each app’s security.
Apps use local storage, creating another attack surface. Even without local storage, local app usage requires that data temporarily reside in random-access memory (RAM). Because VPNs don’t protect data, only the network is susceptible to RAM dump attacks. These attacks force the device to transfer RAM data to local storage, which can then be compromised.
VMS solve storage risks by keeping data on the server. Image information travels over an encrypted tunnel to the user device. Data protection starts at the server, not just within the network, so remote devices are secure regardless of where they’re connected. This function simplifies administration roles since IT only needs to monitor local VMS app security, not the VPN or other corporate apps.
VMS also add a layer of protection against man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. An attacker poses as a legitimate intermediary device, receives data, reads it, and then forwards it to the intended recipient. Attackers can extract real data from a VPN, but they need to process image data with VMS. This barrier protects against automated stolen data processing.
VMS security benefits far exceed VPN protection capabilities, which only extend to the network.
Virtual Mobility Solutions Maintenance and Updates are Simple
VPN users must locally install every app, including every corporate app that connects to the company network. In BYOD scenarios, numerous operating environments complicate updates and implementation. Administrators must test updates for each environment and then roll out the correct patches for each domain.
VPN software does not facilitate this rollout process, leading to uneven implementation. Every device must independently update its local version. Additionally, VPN software may block old software, which only leads to lower productivity and employee frustration.
Alternatively, VMS use containers that live server-side, so there is only one environment to test. Once thoroughly patched and tested, administrators can roll out updates to every active container, and newly spun-up containers already incorporate the update.
VMS compress the maze of environments into one, and IT can push organization-wide updates with the click of a button.
Virtual Mobility Solutions Save Money
Custom corporate apps require testing in their operating environments. With locally-installed apps, the company needs quality assurance engineers, security experts, and mobile developers. VPN may also require a separate network administrator for troubleshooting and maintenance.
Network or system administrators earn an average annual salary of more than $60,000, QA engineers an average of $70,000, and infosec engineers an average of $100,000. Greater diversity of employee devices entails more expertise, which commands higher pay.
On the other hand, VMS only require development and security in a single environment, dramatically reducing the need for specialized and costly personnel.
Virtual Mobility Solutions Streamline BYOD
Users like BYOD because personal-device use for work is convenient. According to a Frost & Sullivan study, employers like that it saves money and increases productivity by up to 34%. With a VPN, multiple company apps may clutter the screen, leading to poor adoption.
More importantly, VPNs tend to direct all data to the corporate servers. By narrowly directing traffic, third-party websites, and personal apps may not work. If the company does not forward third-party traffic, employees cannot simultaneously use the VPN and their own apps. These restrictions effectively imprison the device and negate BYOD benefits.
With VMS, all apps stay on the server, and the employee accesses an entirely virtual environment in one app. Restrictions on personal apps and other connections disappear.
Virtual Mobility Solutions Facilitate Enterprise Mobility
When comparing VPN vs VMS or VMI, virtual mobility wins. VMS simplifies remote work transitions, cuts administrative costs, and paves the way for secure, significant BYOD adoption.
Hypori Virtual Mobility™ is a robust, modern enterprise-wide mobility solution. Its architecture boasts 100% data separation of personal and corporate data for increased productivity and higher-level security. Hypori® enables enterprise-wide security patches, and its centralized management hub means rollouts are seamless for both the IT team and the users
The clunky, high-cost VPN model is past its prime. It’s time for lightweight, cost-effective, user-friendly secure BYOD that grows with your enterprise mobility needs. It’s time for Hypori.