Securing Azure Virtual Desktop – For Compliance

Remote working has encouraged businesses worldwide to embrace a more flexible working model. This has meant a shift in how IT workers structure their infrastructure and move to a more cloud-based solution for staff systems access.

Those already using a Microsoft system such as Office 365 or even on-prem solutions had an easier time moving to their Microsoft Azure system in the cloud. Creating virtual desktops for their users and emulating their office desktops was one of the most effortless transitions, especially during the pandemic when the time was of the essence.

Now that we’re poking our heads out of the other side of the Covid pandemic, the IT department priorities have shifted from emergency implementation to security and compliance confirmation.

These are some of the most important things you can do to secure your Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktops for security and compliance reasons.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and Conditional Access

Make MFA mandatory when logging into their Microsoft accounts.

MFA requires users to have another password or code on top of their standard login. This additional security measure reduces the chances of a successful unauthorized access attempt.

By implementing a role-based access control policy, conditional access can also reduce the chances of unauthorized access. Simply put, decide which users can access each resource and restrict their login rights to only those. When employing this strategy, it is wise to consider who the user is, how they sign in and which device they will use.

Businesses should use MFA as standard across company devices, but explicitly employing this in Azure Virtual Desktop and Microsoft accounts is essential for security compliance.

Avoid Direct RDP To Hosts – Use RemoteApps Where Possible

Direct access to remote virtual desktops can allow a user to access all aspects of the remote machine, meaning they’re able to run applications outside of the remit of the virtual machine—for example, internet access or games such as solitaire.

Enabling remote apps can restrict access to other programs on the remote machine and reduce the load on the virtual machine. The user assigned to that machine is then only able to run a small subset of applications that connect to company resources, reducing the virtual machine’s exposure to potential risks.

Microsoft Azure Security Best Practices

Ensure you’ve looked at the Microsoft Azure Security best practices and employ as many of them as possible in your environment.

The standard level of security with any Microsoft product is high. Still, if you implement the recommended minimum levels of security, you could avoid exposing your network to nefarious threat actors.

Hire External Support

The best way to secure your Microsoft cloud solutions and ensure your devices are compliant would be to employ a company specializing in implementing and securing Azure virtual desktops.

A short google search for managed services for Azure virtual desktop will bring up some appropriate candidates. Businesses specializing in this work will have information on current common practices and may be able to help you secure further than the standardized best practices.


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