One of the main concerns of technology experts today is to protect users and data from various cyber threats. And just as there are many things to worry about, there are just as many tools to minimize risk.
Two such methods are the use of virtual private networks (VPN) and remote desktops (RDP), which are primarily used to centralize and protect data systems, albeit in different ways.
So it’s not always immediately clear which is the best solution for a business. In this post, we’ll cover the basic features and applications of these two services and provide some insight into when an organization might use such a service.
What is the difference between RDP and VPN??
VPN is the way a user can securely connect to a network by encrypting their traffic to keep it separate and inaccessible from the public Internet. In this sense, VPN can be thought of as extending an office network to the device it is connected to.
A remote desktop is the way in which content can be accessed. It can almost be considered an extra-long set of cables that connect your keyboard, mouse and monitor to a computer or server in a faraway place. This keeps all workstations within an organization’s network environment.
When to use VPN?
Virtual private networks can be used in a variety of ways, but the primary function is generally the same: security! Because the service is used to extend networks elsewhere, VPN is an important consideration if you have multiple users who need to work remotely and access data, or if you have multiple locations. Essentially, VPN is a means to increase security in a decentralized work environment. If these requirements apply to you, then VPN may be a good choice.
And what about RDP?
While the reasons for using a VPN are relatively simple, RDP is somewhat broader in its use and can be used to solve a variety of different business problems. The RDP solution is used for an enterprise organization to achieve more comprehensive ownership and data control, as all work is performed on a server instead of a local computer.
One of the key benefits of RDP is data loss prevention. By connecting to a desktop hosted on an enterprise server, the organization can limit a user’s ability to download data, and therefore cyber risks, locally.
For an organization considering compliance related to a data control regulation, administrators can use RDP to enforce data policies, such as. B. the avoidance of screenshots on virtual workstations.
Another benefit of RDP is that virtual desktop instances do not need to be tied to a user. For organizations that have set complex configurations for their devices, RDP provides the ability to store preset configurations of desktops that can be deployed at will. Here’s how administrators can quickly set up workstations that can be accessed from any device to flexibly meet staffing needs.
Because the primary data processing functions of a virtual desktop occur in the host server, an organization can opt for lower-cost devices because displaying data on the screen and connecting to the Internet are the primary uses of the hardware.
And because the data is stored and managed on the host server, administrators can be more comfortable with a BYOD approach to employee workstations.
While RDP is very useful, it has the disadvantage of requiring a constant Internet connection to access data. In a company where users often work on the road, z.B. in a sprawling factory environment or on a train with poor Internet connectivity, this can cause problems if they only offer RDP as a requirement for access.
Of course, there are always cases where both RDP and VPN should be used. If an organization’s concerns relate to security and compliance, such as z.B. in a doctor’s office or an asset manager, an approach that uses both services is the best choice. The infrastructure that includes both services allows users to securely connect to corporate data through an encrypted tunnel and keep all activity in an environment that the administrator can control. This is also an often used path.
So most of the time you want to use both, VPN to securely connect to the network and RDP to access a single server.