Your work PC is so poorly secured that Microsoft prefers to put Windows in the cloud

Microsoft-style cloud computing is here. With Windows 365, the company hopes to convince businesses that virtual machines in the cloud are the solution to all of modern business problems. Especially in terms of data security.

Microsoft is going to put Windows in the cloud. During a conference held on July 14, 2021, Microsoft lifted the veil on its new business offering: Windows 365. Inspired by Office 365, Microsoft created a cloud computing offering, similar to Shadow, where each one can have a complete PC, dematerialized and accessible from any device.

The virtual PC for teleworking

Available from August 2, Windows 365 promises to provide access to ” a secure Windows experience with its content, applications and personalized settings “. Concretely, this means that SMEs as well as multinationals will be able to offer their employees a complete virtual working environment, accessible via a simple browser. Whether you log in from your smartphone, tablet or personal computer, all your data and tools will be available. These virtual machines will of course be hosted on the Microsoft cloud.

Windows 365’s mission is to meet the needs of teleworking but also the challenges in terms of IT security. ” Easily configure and scale your virtual PCs to meet your needs, while providing the security needed for hybrid work modes »Indicates the company on its site.

One Windows to unify them all // Source: Microsoft

Windows virtualization has two advantages. It allows the IT departments of the various firms to manage more finely the updates and the security measures to be deployed on their IT equipment. No need to go manually check that all the company’s machines are updated, everything is done from the cloud, almost invisible to employees. By offering a single gateway to company data, there is also no need to transfer files to USB keys or hard disks to work remotely. Everything is always accessible everywhere.

Overly talkative USB keys

According to Digital Guardians, a company specializing in data protection, forced teleworking due to the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a 123% increase in the volume of sensitive data transferred to USB drives. These copies then arrive on machines not necessarily approved by the company’s IT managers, nor always properly updated and protected from viruses and other malware.

Each of these machines represents a potential gateway that can be used by malicious hackers to steal company data. Passing data outside of your work computer is always a risk. In 2017, for example, a USB key containing sensitive data concerning the security of Heathrow airport in London was found on the ground in the street. And this story is far from an isolated case, stolen or lost devices are often the cause of data leaks, evidenced by the Wikipedia file which lists dozens of similar incidents.

Microsoft believes that cloud computing is the answer to this kind of problem. The idea is probably not bad, but centralization on Microsoft’s servers also raises the question of data sovereignty. It also makes the corporate cloud a prime target for malicious hackers.

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