Global Survey Shows Growing Demand for Virtualized Desktop Environments

Imprivata Sponsored Survey Shows Organizations Increasingly Understand the Economic and Productivity Benefits of Virtualized Desktops; Companies Still Face Significant Challenges Securing New VDI Environments

LEXINGTON, MA August 18, 2009 Imprivata®, Inc., the employee access management company, today announced the results of its “2009 Desktop Virtualization Survey.” The survey targeted executives across a wide array of industries, including healthcare, financial services, state and local government agencies, and others to better understand the rate of adoption of desktop virtualization (VDI) and how organizations plan on securing these new environments. The 132 survey respondents make up the trends below.

Survey Findings

Desktop Virtualization Adoption Rate Grows; Driven by Economic and Desktop Management Benefits

The survey results demonstrate that organizations are increasingly aware of the productivity and economic benefits of implementing desktop virtualization. In fact, nearly 73 percent of respondents indicated that they are investigating or have plans to implement VDI solutions in 2009.

The survey further asked the companies that have implemented or are investigating the use of VDI solutions in their organization to select all relevant reasons for their implementation. Using VDI to simplify the management of desktops scored the highest at 78 percent, while the infrastructure cost savings in equipment, electricity and maintenance was cited 72 percent of the time. The benefits of virtualization are well known, but also lead to new security risks and challenges, especially around managing user identities and the enforcement of access policies.

Security Likely an Issue to Deploying VDI Environments

As companies continue to test VDI solutions for their organizations, responding to the security risks raised by the new environment will be a critical barrier to overcome for implementation. While 70 percent of respondents indicated that they will be required to track and report user access events in their VDA environment, nearly 73 percent indicated they are still looking for security solutions that will help them meet these requirements.

With user identities being relevant in multiple points within the virtual desktop, coordinating and enforcing access policies becomes far more difficult and error prone as all the systems have to be in-sync. Since one of the advantages of having VDA is the ability to dynamically create desktops specific to the user's role within the organization, having a centralized way to manage user identities, roles and access policies is critical. To address these security concerns, more than 36 percent of respondents indicated that they are looking for ways to provide additional strong authentication to their VDA environment.

For Companies Looking for Strong Authentication, Preferences Vary Among Several Options

Strong authentication will play an important role in making it easier to set and enforce authentication and policy in these new virtualized environments. Of the companies considering strong authentication devices to secure their virtualized environments, recipients were asked to select all applicable strong authentication technologies they were considering:

  • 37 percent indicated they are considering fingerprint biometrics;
  • 28 percent indicated they are considering proximity or building access cards;
  • 22 percent indicated they are considering One-Time Password tokens;
  • 16 percent indicated they are considering smartcards with digital certificates.

Additional Content

Quote attributed to Omar Hussain, President and CEO, Imprivata, Inc.
“As desktop virtualization gains momentum, one of the biggest issues that companies will face is in managing user identities, roles and access policies in this environment. Organizations understand the unique security challenges desktop virtualization raises, and we expect to see more emphasis around the need to manage multiple forms of strong authentication and coordinate access policies in this environment – critical next-steps in the adoption of this technology.”

About Imprivata
Imprivata secures employee access to desktops, networks, applications and transactions. Its appliance-based, employee access management platform, OneSign, enables organizations to protect enterprise information assets while improving user productivity. By strengthening user authentication, streamlining application access and simplifying compliance reporting across multiple computing environments, customers realize substantial IT Help Desk and administration cost savings, while achieving the security standards they demand.

Imprivata is a recognized leader in Authentication and Access Management, receiving numerous product awards and top review ratings from leading industry publications and analysts. Headquartered in Lexington, Mass., Imprivata partners with over 200 resellers, and serves the access security needs of more than 800 customers around the world. For more information, please visit
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