Ransomware Attacks – Help Stop Them with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

The moment that you’re hit with a ransomware attack is a moment that you’ll never forget. Whether your data becomes encrypted and inaccessible or even worse, you have to shut down operations altogether like in the recent Colonial Pipeline attack, recovering from a hack is expensive, reputationally damaging, and downright stressful.

As ransomware attacks become even more viral with the creation of easily accessible tools like Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) and criminals break into networks ranging from major meatpacking companies like JBS to supply chain attacks on software vendors that can affect up to 1500 businesses at once, companies cannot afford to ignore this threat. Even more alarming, we’re seeing this trend grow across every industry, including healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. On top of an already risky state-of-the-world, the rapid rise of remote workforces during the pandemic exacerbated vulnerabilities, because more workers are accessing company data and services via unsecured home networks and unhardened personal devices. These situations widened common attack vectors like unpatched software, social engineering, and poor password management.

Protecting yourself against ransomware attacks and similar criminality requires a multi-pronged approach that some security experts call Defense in Depth (DiD). DiD has been defined as “an information security approach in which a series of security mechanisms and controls are thoughtfully layered throughout a computer network to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the network and the data within.” So, working in conjunction – the moat, the walls, and the guards – protect the castle more effectively than any of them could alone. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with Thin Clients & Zero Clients is a key line of that defense.

A Ransomware First Line of Defense – Thin & Zero Clients for VDI & Cloud


VDI technology, right off the bat, assists with helping to prevent ransomware attacks and security breaches as by its very nature it switches from a legacy PC computing environment using local computing resources (CPU, RAM, disk) to using shared resources from a high-powered, centralized, virtual system. Strategically, Thin & Zero Clients are endpoints that have enough power to connect to a company’s servers, which in turn provide a desktop environment by splitting their resources with virtualization. These endpoints are more secure than traditional desktops for many key reasons. For one thing, they give the IT department much greater control over them by allowing them to automatically push out patches, manage multifactor authorization and authentication, and limit their users’ ability to install untrusted software. In addition to switching the priority from securing workstations to protecting centrally located servers, IT can also further harden the endpoints by, for example, disabling forwarding the exploited USB drives into remote sessions (in Thin Clients).

What this and more amounts to is a minimized attack surface. Simply put, the more code that runs on a computer, the more vulnerable it is because there’s more avenues to potentially exploit. Thin & Zero Clients strip away everything that isn’t absolutely necessary, making them harder to penetrate. Especially with Zero Clients, even if they are compromised, then an attacker wouldn’t be able to accomplish much because these devices don’t even have an operating system or a shell to input commands. Without a command line, an attacker will have a hard time escalating privileges, establishing persistence, or covering their tracks. On top of that, data is never stored locally on Thin & Zero Clients. That means that unless the more heavily guarded servers become compromised, malicious ransomware attackers won’t be able to steal or encrypt company data.


Ransomware Attack Protection and 10ZiG Thin & Zero Clients

While Thin & Zero Clients within an office environment do play a role in protecting the company’s security, this solution is especially important for those who work remotely. 10ZiG VDI solutions provide IT and Network Administrators with a comprehensive way to protect your enterprise assets by reducing your ransomware attack surface, verifying user identities before establishing a connection, and more. That’s why security experts trust 10ZiG. Alongside our secure hardware devices, our endpoint management software, The 10ZiG Manager™, simplifies configuration, versioning, and more at scale, all helping to providing something that’s truly priceless – more peace of mind. Want to learn more about how VDI can fit into your company’s security strategy? Get in touch with 10ZiG today!