A virtual airgap is a security measure that is used to isolate a computer or network from external access. This is usually done by disconnecting the computer or network from the internet or other external networks. Enterprises today are increasingly using virtual airgap technology to safeguard sensitive data.
A virtual airgap machine is connected to the internet and can be accessed over the network by authorized personnel using access credentials. The credentials define the level of access privileges. In case of a cyberattack or a malware attack, such a security measure isolates the virtual machine and blocks all access to critical corporate assets.
The virtual airgap solution confines the malware and does not let it infect other virtual machines in the network, preventing it from attacking the command-and-control server and exfiltrating sensitive information. In general, a virtual airgap solution delivers enhanced protection by sandboxing the attack akin to a nuclear explosion in a small, quarantined box.
Challenges in adopting a virtual airgap solution
While airgaps are known to serve as a valuable component of an effective data security strategy, virtual separation of a machine with internet access privileges brings along several challenges:
- Complexity in setting up and maintaining an airgap machine
- End-user experience can be another big challenge
Virtual airgap solutions have emerged as a better alternative to physical airgap solutions. However, they must be tested and updated periodically to ensure complete security from cyberattacks. In addition, virtual airgap backups must be encrypted to avoid misuse by unauthorized personnel. All these can mean significant planning and upfront costs for the enterprise.
Virtualizing airgaps have two aspects to them, one with the internet in the picture and the other without the internet. In the first, network resources are virtualized for sandboxing them, while in the second, internet access is virtualized in a sandbox, and solutions like Accops Virtual Browser enables secure remote browser access to users.
Additionally, there are other challenges too. Researchers have shown that hacking into virtual airgapped systems by using radio frequencies to transcribe keystroke data from an isolated computer or using keystrokes that capture side-channel signals from isolated computers is a possibility.
Strengthening virtual airgap systems with Accops Virtual Browser
Cyberattacks have increased in complexity over the years and physical airgaps can be compromised by unauthorized personnel who impersonate employees. One of the most prominent examples was the malware attack on the Iranian nuclear site. While the site was located underground and was heavily guarded, the attacker managed to gain entry by posing as an insider and planting a virus into the command-and-control system update, destroying the centrifuges that refined uranium. A virtual airgap solution is a better alternative in such situations.
Hackers and cyberattackers are using increasingly sophisticated malware or virus types that can penetrate enterprise networks through the smallest security bug or lapse. This coupled with the massive proliferation of devices used by employees working remotely has increased the attack surface today.
To help overcome such challenges, Accops Virtual Browser is a one-stop solution that helps to isolate your computer and network from external access. It creates a highly secure and agile digital work infrastructure for the users efficiently and cost-effectively.
In addition to this solution, Accops provides integrated Digital Workspace management solutions that include remote access, desktop virtualization, MFA, SSO, DLP, and contextual access that significantly enhances the effectiveness of a virtual airgap solution.
The Accops integrated ecosystem encompasses a zero-trust-based end-user computing solution, enabling secure access to business applications from anywhere, any device, or any network. Using this solution, a virtual remote browser can be created that allows access to corporate virtual desktops and applications, from anywhere and using any device through a compatible web browser.
This solution is further backed with features like integrated multi-factor authentication (MFA), device entry control, and data leak prevention features to ensure enhanced data security and compliance.
Thus, Accops solutions offer a modern-day professional, the flexibility and agility to work from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. It simplifies the way the IT team manages and secures apps, devices, and networks, to provide safe and seamless access to all the tools that employees need. The centralized endpoint management makes it easy to control and manage all devices, virtual desktops, and applications.
This creates a secure work environment, reduces complexities, and allows employees to focus on core business activities, increasing productivity and reducing costs.
The future belongs to digital workspaces, and enterprises need to evolve their cyber defense mechanisms to thwart sophisticated cyberattacks and malware on one hand and keep pace with ever-changing user and device preferences on the other. In such scenarios, virtual airgap solutions such as Accops Virtual Browser can be their best bet to rely upon.