Working from home with Amazon WorkSpaces during the COVID-19 lockdown

Wednesday, 8 Apr, 2020   /   Lucas de Moura

Work from home

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, companies around the globe face several challenges in enabling their employees to work from home securely.

While we must isolate to decrease the spread of the virus, it’s also important to manage how employees will securely access and manage your company’s data assets.

One way to safeguard your operations and ensure data security is to use a ‘Desktop-as-a-Service' solution. This means providing everyone in your company with a desktop computer hosted in the Cloud and employees can access this desktop using any device supported by the service.

 

What is Amazon WorkSpaces?

Amazon WorkSpaces from Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a Desktop-as-a-Service offering, that allows you to deploy desktops with the configuration you need in minutes. The desktop can be either a Windows or a Linux operating system.

The good news is, between April 1st and June 30th 2020, AWS is offering Amazon WorkSpaces free* so you can use it during the isolation period without needing to jump through any hoops to get a big investment approved.

 

Reference:

* New offer enables work from home from with Amazon WorkSpaces and WorkDocs

 

How does it support businesses working from home?

Amazon WorkSpaces removes the full burden of patching an operating system and its versions and provides a quick way to create and manage Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

Furthermore, Workspaces’ Desktop-as-a-Service model removes any need for upfront infrastructure expenditure and won’t lock you into expensive, long term contracts – which is great for times of economic uncertainty.

 

By using Amazon WorkSpaces, you can ensure that no company or customer data will be residing on a personal computer and that no data will be downloaded to a physical machine.

The device that the employee uses works as a gateway to Amazon WorkSpaces, with no significant risk of exposure. For security teams, this also means a reduced risk of Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), following the guidelines of NIST Special Publication 800-160 for Developing Cyber Resilient Systems.

 

To manage credentials, Amazon WorkSpaces is delivered via a secure channel, and the credentials used can be integrated with your Active Directory, or via a standalone authentication service. Once the credentials are sorted, employees can access Amazon WorkSpaces via gateway Windows and Mac computers, Chromebooks, iPads, Fire tablets, Android tablets, or using Chrome or Firefox web browsers.

For the full list of Amazon WorkSpaces supported devices see here.

 

Can I test Amazon WorkSpaces?

If you’re wondering how responsive this service is, you can test the latency up-front at this URL. The URL reports user experience feedback; a round trip time of up to 200ms is what’s typically acceptable.

 

Do you think Amazon WorkSpaces can help your business during the lockdown? It’s easy to set up yourself, but if you get stuck or want it done asap we can assist - just contact us.

 

From everyone here at Zag, stay home, stay safe and enjoy time with your families.

 

About Zag

Zag is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and audited AWS Managed Services Provider. Our Cloud experts can help you deploy, manage and support Amazon WorkSpaces for your end-users.

 

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