Most business today is conducted at the edge, with employees working from home on vulnerable, often personal, endpoint devices. As the amount of sensitive corporate data accessed by devices out of an organisation’s control grows, so does the attack surface that the IT team must safeguard.

In response to this complex reality, Acronis announced the development of an integrated solution for managed service providers (MSPs) designed to enhance the protection of their clients’ Citrix Workspace assets, no matter where they sit. Citrix is driven to deliver a consistent work experience, free from complexity and distractions, that enables employees to perform at their best.

Intelligent digital workspace

And solutions like Citrix Workspace - the secure, intelligent, and high-performing digital workspace that enables greater employee productivity and engagement - have become critical, as two-thirds of all employees have reportedly switched to remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The challenge for organisations is countering the dramatic increase in sophisticated cyberattacks

The challenge for organisations is countering the dramatic increase in sophisticated cyberattacks targeting remote workers whose home systems and networks are rarely as resilient as office environments. Compounding that challenge: New research reveals 47% of remote workers worldwide report a lack of guidance from their IT teams on working remotely. That combination leaves them vulnerable to attacks that not only hurt their productivity, but also put valuable company data and systems at risk.

Cyber security capabilities

“Providing a consistent experience that is secure and reliable for employees, regardless of where they are working, is critical to keeping them engaged and productive,” said PJ Hough, EVP, Chief Product Officer, Citrix. “Through Acronis’ integration with Citrix, companies can provide comprehensive cyber protection that enriches the security of virtual apps and desktop users without getting in the way of their experience, and ensure their assets and data are protected now and into the future.”

The integration of Acronis Cyber Protect with Citrix Workspace, made possible through the APIs and SDKs of the Acronis Cyber Platform, adds advanced cyber security capabilities that enhance Citrix’s existing privacy and security measures.

Comprehensive cyber protection

As a result, the VB100 certified antimalware solution secures endpoints with real-time protection that uses AI-based static and behavioural heuristic, on-demand antivirus, antiransomware, and anticryptojacking technologies to prevent direct attacks against the Citrix Workspace app. Given the increased sophistication of modern cyberthreats, any access point can be vulnerable to malware attacks that can destroy or alter files and inject malicious code.

Without adequate cyber protection, a successful attack on a virtual desktop can put the entire environment at risk

Without adequate cyber protection, a successful attack on a virtual desktop can put the entire environment at risk. Once the first client machine is compromised, the infection can move laterally across the network, encrypting data on other machines and leaving the target company open to devastating downtime and lost revenue. Comprehensive cyber protection unites data protection and advanced cyber security in one solution, which delivers a proven defence against such modern threats.

Advanced antimalware technology

Developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) can enhance their solutions using the APIs and SDKs of the Acronis Cyber Platform. By integrating with Citrix, Acronis Cyber Protect delivers a cohesive and cost-effective solution that enables MSPs to protect virtual desktop environments from direct attacks. Its advanced antimalware technology uses kernel-level drivers to protect files and registry entries from modification, while preventing the injection of malicious code.

This integration is the first of several capabilities Acronis has planned to support Citrix solutions, with four additional enhancements being planned for early 2021. Among the features MSPs will soon see available are:

  • Agentless Antimalware Protection for Virtual Machines: Other agent-based antimalware protection tools on the market require their technology to run inside each virtual machine in the environment, resulting in both greater complexity and consumption of resources. Acronis plans to integrate Acronis Cyber Protect directly with Citrix’s virtual apps and desktops solutions, which will reduce complexity and cost while streamlining resource consumption.
  • Antimalware Protection for User Profiles: As the frequency and effectiveness of ransomware attacks increase, 50% of companies worldwide report experiencing cyberattacks at least once a week. Countering those attacks requires a proven solution, and testing by independent cyber security labs such as AV-Test and Virus Bulletin shows that Acronis Cyber Protect’s antimalware detects 100% of the latest malware attacks with zero false positives.
  • Agentless Backup for Citrix Hypervisor: Most backup tools run a full-size agent inside each virtual machine, increasing the complexity of the overall system, as well as the resource consumption on the virtualisation host. Acronis’ agentless backups for Citrix’s virtualised environments provides a more efficient way to capture backups by decreasing RAM/CPU consumption up to 10-times -significantly reducing the time it takes to manage multiple backup agents per virtual machine.
  • Continuous Data Protection for User Profiles: Throughout the workday, employees can make unintended changes to their data, such as accidentally deleting important files. This kind of data loss not only affects the individual user’s productivity, the entire business can suffer as a result. Using continuous data protection technology, the Acronis Cyber Protect agent tracks and backs up every change in user files. Its intuitive interface enables a user to revert files to the latest point in time in a transparent manner, ensuring employees and businesses stay productive.

Integrating cyber protection

“In this day and age, the need to bring user-friendly, comprehensive cyber protection to virtual desktop environments is more critical than ever,” said Serguei “SB” Beloussov, Founder and CEO of Acronis. “Working with partners like Citrix to develop and deploy integrated technologies is the key to ensuring businesses can survive and thrive in the COVID-19 era - and well beyond.” 

To learn more about the benefits of deploying Acronis Cyber Protect with Citrix Workspace, readers may visit the company’s official website. MSPs interested in strengthening the security of their Citrix Workspace client can try Acronis Cyber Protect for themselves with a 30-day trial. Any developer or ISV interested in integrating cyber protection into their solutions can learn more about the Acronis Cyber Platform on Acronis’s official website.

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In case you missed it

Moving to sophisticated electric locking
Moving to sophisticated electric locking

In part one of this feature, we introduced the shotbolt – a solenoid actuator – as the workhorse at the heart of most straightforward electric locking systems. Shotbolts remain at the core of most sophisticated electric locking solutions as well. But they are supplemented by materials and technologies that provide characteristics suited to specialist security applications. Here we look at some more demanding electric locking applications and contemporary solutions. Preventing forced entry Where the end of the shotbolt is accessible, the electric holding force can be overcome by physical force. That’s why anti-jacking technology is now a frequent feature of contemporary electric solenoid lock actuators. Anti-jacking, dead-locking or ‘bloc’ technology (the latter patented by MSL) is inherent to the way the locking assembly is designed to suit the requirements of the end application. The patented bloc anti-jacking system is highly effective and incorporated into many MSL shotbolts deployed in electric locking applications. The bloc technology uses a ring of steel balls in a shaped internal housing to physically jam the actuated bolt in place. A range of marine locks is widely used on Superyachts for rapid lockdown security from the helm Real life applications for MSL anti-jacking and bloc-equipped shotbolts include installation in the back of supermarket trucks to secure the roller shutter. Once locked from the cab, or remotely using radio technology, these shutters cannot be forced open by anyone with ‘undesirable intentions’ armed with a jemmy. A range of marine locks is widely used on Superyachts for rapid lockdown security from the helm. While anti-jacking features are an option on these shotbolts, consideration was given to the construction materials to provide durability in saltwater environments. Marine locks use corrosion-proof stainless steel, which is also highly polished to be aesthetically pleasing to suit the prestigious nature of the vessel while hiding the innovative technology that prevents the lock being forced open by intruders who may board the craft. Rotary and proportional solenoids sound unlikely but are now common A less obvious example of integrated technology to prevent forced override is a floor lock. This lock assembly is mounted beneath the floor with round-top stainless-steel bolts that project upwards when actuated. They are designed to lock all-glass doors and are arguably the only discreet and attractive way to lock glass doors securely. In a prestigious installation at a historic entranceway in Edinburgh University, the floor locks are remotely controlled from an emergency button behind the reception desk. They act on twin sets of glass doors to quickly allow the doors to close and then lock them closed with another set of subfloor locks. No amount of stamping on or hitting the 15mm protruding bolt pin will cause it to yield, thus preventing intruders from entering. Or leaving! Explosion proofing In many environments, electric locking technology must be ATEX certified to mitigate any risk of explosion. For example, remote electric locking is used widely on oil and gas rigs for stringent access control, general security and for emergency shutter release in the event of fire. It’s also used across many industrial sectors where explosion risks exist, including flour milling, In many environments, electric locking technology must be ATEX certified to mitigate any risk of explosionpowder producers, paint manufacture, etc. This adds a new dimension to the actuator design, demanding not only intrinsically safe electrical circuits and solenoid coils, but the careful selection of metals and materials to eliminate the chance of sparks arising from moving parts. Resilience under pressure The technology boundaries of solenoids are always being pushed. Rotary and proportional solenoids sound unlikely but are now common. More recently, while not directly related to security in the traditional sense, proportional solenoid valves for accurately controlling the flow of hydrogen and gases now exist. Magnet Schultz has an extensive and somewhat innovative new range of hydrogen valves proving popular in the energy and automotive sectors (Fig. 2-6). There’s a different kind of security risk at play here when dealing with hydrogen under pressures of up to 1050 bar. Bio security Less an issue for the complexity of locking technology but more an imperative for the effectiveness of an electric lock is the frequent use of shotbolts in the bio research sector. Remote electric locking is commonplace in many bioreactor applications. Cultures being grown inside bioreactors can be undesirable agents, making 100% dependable locking of bioreactor lids essential to prevent untimely access or the unwanted escape of organisms. Again, that has proven to be topical in the current climate of recurring coronavirus outbreaks around the world. More than meets the eye In part one, I started by headlining that there’s more to electric lock actuation in all manner of security applications than meets the eye and pointed out that while electric locking is among the most ubiquitous examples of everyday security, the complexity often involved and the advanced technologies deployed typically go unnoticed.Integrating the simplest linear actuator into a complex system is rarely simple For end users, that’s a very good thing. But for electro-mechanical engineers designing a system, it can present a challenge. Our goal at Magnet Schultz is to provide a clearer insight into today’s electric locking industry sector and the wide range of locking solutions available – from the straightforward to the specialised and sophisticated. Integrating the simplest linear actuator into a complex system is rarely simple. There’s no substitute for expertise and experience, and that’s what MSL offers as an outsource service to designers. One benefit afforded to those of us in the actuator industry with a very narrow but intense focus is not just understanding the advantages and limitations of solenoid technology, but the visibility of, and participation in, emerging developments in the science of electric locking. Knowing what’s achievable is invaluable in every project development phase.

Key considerations for robust residential security
Key considerations for robust residential security

In the UK, one burglary occurs every 106 seconds. This means by the time you've finished reading this article, at least three will have taken place. Selecting robust physical security options to protect property boundaries and homes is essential to limit crime rates and deter opportunistic intruders. With 58% of burglaries said to take place while the homeowner is in, it seems that even the second wave of lockdowns, and an increased number of people confined to their homes, won't do much to eliminate the risk of burglary. Prioritise security for peace of mind Security is paramount, and in the case of new build projects, should be considered from the very beginning of the design process, not as an afterthought. When it comes to securing pre-existing buildings, there are countless security options which will ensure the perimeter is robust enough to withstand opportunistic attacks. It's also worth noting that security features don't have to be complicated. There are plenty of high-tech digital systems flooding the market, which can go a long way to reduce the risk of burglary and will provide peace of mind to the end user. However, this article will demonstrate how traditional security measures, such as high-quality perimeter fencing, can ensure practical safeguarding of properties for years to come.  Selecting robust physical security options to protect property boundaries and homes is essential to limit crime rates Timber! There are a number of different materials which can be specified to create a strong boundary. From metal railings, to timber fence panels, they will each help deter criminals somewhat. Wooden fence panels are a popular choice for their appearance, and the right product and installation can help to increase security.Our timber acoustic fencing can also reduce noise by up to 32dB and has a solid face with no hand or footholds, while still retaining the attractive natural timber aesthetic of a typical garden fence. However, maintenance is key, and one of the first thing burglars will notice is the condition a fence is in, rather than a particular style. Therefore, old, broken or rotten fence panels are a green light for opportunistic thieves. These can be easily broken or bypassed with minimal effort. When specifying fences as part of a new build housing development, we would suggest opting for high-quality timber, as this will ensure that it is protected against rot. Look for products with an extended guarantee or those that don't need additional treatment over the years. The condition of the fence should still be regularly inspected, and simple methods such as clearing piles of leaves away from the base of the boundary can help to prevent rot which weakens the timber.  Securing fence panels The recent rising cost of timber has led to a dramatic increase in fence panel theft, and panels that can be lifted from the posts are an easy target. Mitigate this risk by screwing the fence panels into the posts. This makes it much harder for the panels to be removed from the posts and creates a more secure barrier.  Concrete posts do offer benefits, but we always advise on timber posts for any fencing. They're strong, just like concrete, but they continue the same natural theme as the rest of the fence. Moreover, if you screwed the panels to concrete posts, they would most likely crack and become damaged, and then be at risk to the elements.  Astute design Design is also important. Installing fence rails on the inside of properties to prevent them from being used as climbing aids is highly recommended. Even better, using panels without rails on high-end developments is a clever tip if you want a secure fence with a high-spec look. Security features don't have to be complicated High fences with solid panels and no gaps in between make it considerably harder for potential burglars to climb over. They also offer better privacy to conceal rear garden areas from intruders, and are much sturdier than other alternative panels.  One common mistake is designing in features such as trees or children's climbing frames too close to the boundary. These can be used by burglars as climbing aids when attempting to scale the fence, making access easy. Investigate the surrounding area, which flanks the outside of the property boundary, as an unfortunately placed bin or bench can also help criminals gain entry. If the removal of these items is not possible, designing in a spiky bush can help deter intruders. It's also worth noting that gardens with numerous large features such as bushes or sheds can also negatively impact the level of security. A clear line of sight across the entire garden is highly recommended where possible. If this view is blocked, it's considerably easy for intruders to hide undetected. Front gardens  While tall, solid fence panels are recommended for rear gardens to prevent intruders from being able to see in and climb over, the opposite is true for front gardens. For street-facing gardens, a low fence or hedge is recommended to provide a clear view from the house. It also makes it much harder for intruders to hide from passers-by or neighbours, who can raise the alarm during a burglary. Another useful security technique to consider is a gravel drive. These create noise, which means the homeowner will know when it is in use. Pair this with a strong boundary fence, the likelihood of burglary dramatically decreases. This article only scratches the surface in unveiling the sheer volume of effective home security options on offer to protect homes and gardens. These investments can help minimise the risk of traumatic break-ins, while also simultaneously boosting the aesthetic of the property and its surroundings. 

How is AI changing the security market?
How is AI changing the security market?

Artificial intelligence is more than just the latest buzzword in the security marketplace. In some cases, smarter computer technologies like AI and machine learning (ML) are helping to transform how security operates. AI is also expanding the industry’s use cases, sometimes even beyond the historic province of the security realm. It turns out that AI is also a timely tool in the middle of a global pandemic. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing the security market?