Security Market Segment LS
Tuesday, 27 October 2020 23:38

Acronis Cyber Protect integration: enhancing security for Citrix Workspace


Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud now offers integration with Citrix Workspace via Citrix Ready, which enables Citrix MSPs to "better address today’s sophisticated and relentless cyberthreat landscape, while reducing the complexity for clients and their own operations"

Acronis. It started life as a backup company, but has evolved into a true powerhouse of protection on a vast array of levels that has seen it become a true leader, challenging established companies with innovative solutions that are truly impressive, catering to the most entry-level of consumers up to the biggest enterprises, with products and services for everyone and everywhere in between.

The company had its major global conference last week, entitled the "Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2020", with a must-see opening keynote that truly showcased the sophistication and maturity of the entire suite of Acronis solutions.

Although entirely virtual, the event welcomed over 8500 guests, featured 130 speakers with dozens of sessions of a total of four days, and garnered the support of 20 sponsors, with the Summit providing a wealth of information and networking to grow businesses, which can of course can now be watched any time.

One of the many interesting announcements to come from the event was the new Acronis Cyber Cloud integration with Citrix Workspace via Citrix Ready.

You see, most business today is conducted at the edge, with employees working from home on vulnerable, often personal, endpoint devices.

As Acronis explains, 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".

Now, it should come as no surprise to see Citrix state that it is "driven to deliver a consistent work experience, free from complexity and distractions, that enables employees to perform at their best. 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, Acronis tells us, 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".

PJ Hough, EVP, Chief Product Officer, Citrix explained: "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.

“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.”

We're told that "the integration of Acronis Cyber Protect with Citrix Workspace, made possible through the APIs and SDKs of the Acronis Cyber Platform, adds advanced cybersecurity capabilities that enhance Citrix’s existing privacy and security measures.

"As a result, the VB100 certified anti-malware solution secures endpoints with real-time protection that uses AI-based static and behavioural heuristic, on-demand antivirus, anti-ransomware, and anti-cryptojacking technologies to prevent direct attacks against the Citrix Workspace app".

Cyber protection for virtual desktops

Given the increased sophistication of modern cyberthreats, Acronis says "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. 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 cybersecurity in one solution, which delivers a proven defence against such modern threats. 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 anti-malware technology uses kernel-level drivers to protect files and registry entries from modification, while preventing the injection of malicious code".

What is the Acronis roadmap for additional Citrix integrations?

Here, Acronis tells us 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 Anti-malware 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.

  • Anti-malware 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 cybersecurity labs such as AV-Test and Virus Bulletin shows that Acronis Cyber Protect’s anti-malware 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.

Serguei “SB” Beloussov, founder and CEO of Acronis said: "In this day and age, the need to bring user-friendly, comprehensive cyber protection to virtual desktop environments is more critical than ever.

“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.”

More information about the benefits of deploying Acronis Cyber Protect with Citrix Workspace is here

Acronis says that "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 also learn more about the Acronis Cyber Platform, here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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