Malware Blues – Is Desktop Virtualization the Answer?

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[this post is by Nerd Dennis Houseknecht]
Malware has become more than just the scourge of the internet – it has become one of the more unpleasant (and sometimes dangerous) aspects of modern life. It just seems to keep getting worse, with no end in sight.
– There are now 64-bit rootkits that steal banking credentials
– There are rogues that mimic Windows hard drive and memory errors
Poisoned image searches have become a major new way of spreading infections
– Malware writers are using encryption in new ways to avoid detection
– Old malware, such as Qakbot has been coming back in new, more powerful versions
– Even Apple users are starting to feel the pain
Hardly a week goes by without a major breach. I rarely bother reporting on them any more because the same story keeps repeating over and over again.
This is the part where I try to offer solutions for the problems I discuss. In this case, the solution has to be a new paradigm in computing, and I am not sure exactly what that is going to look like. Anti-virus, as we know it, has become less and less effective. As long as users can be tricked into downloading malware, nothing can prevent infections.
Desktop virtualization is no “silver bullet panacea”, but it will certainly change the rules of the game. Disambiguating the operating system from the hardware and the data and managing it centrally (on a server, rather than on the endpoint) will make it much easier to protect.
This is just one of the forces that will drive the coming movement toward the virtualization of desktops. It’s not just the servers moving to the cloud!! Stay tuned – it’s going to be quite a ride over the next couple years.

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