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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