Hello everyone! And happy October (spooky).
So the Virtual Desktop Agent is essentially a communication channel between the endpoint and the VDI/RDSH servers, increasing security by enforcing security policies when accessing the desktop and enhancing end user experience by providing a transparent view of endpoint resources to the virtual/remote desktop.
The Virtual Desktop Agent is a supplementary product for ThinKiosk and Secure Remote Worker which installs on Remote Desktop Session Hosts and Virtual Desktops and talks with the ThinKiosk/Secure Remote Worker client installed on the endpoint of the connected device.
Want more info on what a thin client is and how it interacts with a virtual desktop? Have a look at our Thin Client FAQ!
So, lets break up what was just said there and go into some greater detail:
Increased Security for VDI/RDSH Access
The Virtual Desktop Agent facilitates two-way communication between the endpoint and VDI, allowing you to specify rules to occur at the virtual desktop level depending on information it reads from the endpoint.
The Virtual Desktop Agent can tell when a user is trying to connect to a VM from a non/inactive ThinKiosk/Secure Remote Worker device and can allow or deny connections based on this.
It can also specifically apply this policy to certain groups.
Before, there was no way to prevent end users from simply leaving their secure environment and logging into their virtual desktop through a browser, through the Virtual Desktop Agent, this is now impossible.
A good example of this in action would be where a company has a number of both on-prem and home workers, the Virtual Desktop Agent can make it so the home workers on personal devices cannot access their virtual environment unless connecting from Secure Remote Worker, allowing complete security for your end users when working.
Taking it a step further, admins can even set this up to only allow connection to this VM from specific ThinKiosk/Secure Remote Worker profile names, ensuring no unauthorised access from external endpoints.
End users will no longer be able to get around their secure environments by simply jumping into their VDI through a browser or unsecured machine. Virtual Desktop Agent allows you to keep your end user experience secure, regardless of the device.
Visit our main Security and Compliance page and get key information on endpoint security and how our solutions enhance security & compliance on the endpoint.
Contextual information from Endpoint to Virtual Desktop
Part of the information the Virtual Desktop Agent passes to the virtual/remote environment is contextual information from the endpoint. Status indicators that were previously hidden behind maximized VDI’s are now able to be displayed within the virtual environment. Battery and Wi-Fi status are now fully supported. No more needing to minimize the VDI to constantly check for battery or connectivity status!
ThinScale’s Virtual Desktop Agent takes it a step further and will provide push notifications to alert on low and critical battery, as well as low signal Wi-Fi.
ThinKiosk and Secure Remote Worker with the Virtual Desktop Agent installed, really provides the ultimate mobile endpoint experience, end users can work on their devices without worry!
By providing important contextual information from the endpoint to the VDI/RDSH, ThinScale’s Virtual Desktop Agent allows mobile users, WFH agents and BYOD users the ultimate mobile thin client experience. Giving no reason to try and get around their virtual environment.
Further, the Virtual Desktop Agent can be configured to store device inventory in the registry of the remote session. This will allow you to provide specific 3rd party applications information to provide a more secure and a better experience within the session.
The Virtual Desktop Agent is a module that can function independently but is designed to complement a ThinKiosk or Secure Remote Worker environment. The Virtual Desktop Agent is a separate MSI that is installed in the virtual machine and will interact with the endpoint device, the profile file is stored on the endpoint and is modified through the ThinScale Virtual Desktop Agent profile editor (local), it can also be modified centrally through the ThinScale Management Platform.
As with ThinKiosk and Secure Remote Worker profiles, using the Management Platform will also store a local copy of the Virtual Desktop Agent profile, meaning should connectivity go down between the Management Platform and the client, the Virtual Desktop Agent will still be able to function offline, meaning your users will still be able to work uninterrupted.
The Virtual Desktop Agent can be silently installed both locally and using the Management Platform, requiring no interaction.
Using the management console, you can even implement the Virtual Desktop Agent using the consoles “sites” which are pre-set groups that you can configure for deployment.
This allows for seamless integration across your environment, allowing you to deploy the agent as easily as a ThinKiosk or Secure Remote Worker update.
First step, big plans for our Virtual Desktop Agent!
This brings a much called for line of communication between the endpoint and virtual desktop, the passing of information between both components that leads to a better user experience and a more secure environment.
This is just the start of a much larger plan we have in place for the Virtual Desktop Agent. This module is a jumping off point for a multitude of implementations and features we will be working into the Virtual Desktop Agent functionality.
When it comes to things like security and user experience, both of our tools ThinKiosk and Secure Remote Worker are built to provide the best of just that.
Access to a VDI or RDSH should be as secure as the endpoints we are launching them from. ThinScales Virtual Desktop Agent allows you to set the rules for how your users access virtual workspaces, regardless of device or location.
Coupled with the contextual information collected by the Virtual Desktop Agent from the endpoint, your users not only are ensured secure access to their virtual environments, but an uninterrupted and higher quality experience when working.
To echo what was mentioned earlier, this is something we are very happy to have finally released, and equally excited of the planned implementations we have for this technology in the near future.
Virtual Desktop Agent is packaged with any download of ThinKiosk 5.5 or Secure Remote Worker 1.2, try it out for yourself below!
Read up about the Virtual Desktop Agent in our dedicated Knowledge Base section here!