Preventing System Configuration Drift: The Best Alternative to Re-Imaging Loaned Laptops

Preventing System Configuration Drift: The Best Alternative to Re-Imaging Loaned Laptops

As organizations’ device networks become increasingly complex to adapt to a remote world, so too does the increase in risk in the form of configuration drifts. TechTarget describes  configuration drift as the result of inconsistent configuration items across networks, oftentimes occurring when user changes to software are not recorded. Identifying the source of configuration drifts is not only costly and time-consuming, but the drift itself exposes an organization to a higher risk of data loss and extended workstation outages.

Configuration drifts account for a significant proportion of system failures, leading to major malfunctions in devices such as loaned laptops, oftentimes resulting in the need for re-imaging. In this recovery process, a device is completely reset to its default state, only maintaining factory settings and any pre-installed software. Traditionally utilized as the primary method for troubleshooting configuration drifts, re-imaging can cost organizations and individuals a significant amount of time and resources. Any documents and data stored on the device as well as post-purchase applications that were installed are entirely lost unless they were backed up on an external harddrive or within the cloud.

To avoid the need for re-imaging and to mitigate the risk of data loss and security breaches, organizations should employ deep freeze solutions to make their workstation configurations secure. Not only does this technology actively prevent and protect devices from internal risks in the form of unauthorized system changes, but it also guards against external threats, preventing configuration drift from ever occurring.

An Overview of Deep Freeze

Faronics’ image protection solution, Deep Freeze, prevents configuration drifts with a simple reboot process, while still allowing users to save their work and retain their preferred system configuration. By immediately reversing any unintentional or malicious alterations to devices, our software can protect your network from unplanned threats and also allows for a flexible maintenance schedule. Users can set a date, time or repeated frequency for software updates to ensure their devices are secure and up-to-date, and that these updates will replace the now outdated configuration for their systems. 

By preserving users’ desired configuration and settings on loaned devices, clients can expect a 63% reduction in IT tickets, mitigating the cost of resources spent troubleshooting and time loss when workstations are inaccessible. Loaned devices present organizations with an array of risks if users intentionally or unintentionally disable system settings, however Deep Freeze allows for organizations to set up-to 15 different passwords on the local device in order to prevent users from altering the preferred settings.

Adopting deep freeze technology allows IT support teams to focus their attention to critical support issues, as re-imaging is a time-consuming and hands-on process. InfoWorld warns that IT teams that are overwhelmed are at risk of experiencing “alert fatigue,” which can lead to a decreased quality of work and, oftentimes, leaves teams incapable of identifying security threats or other high risk issues. By removing the possibility of configuration drift and the need for re-imaging, organizations’ IT teams are able to instead prioritize their core business function.

Security and Defense

Networks that utilize Deep Freeze technology not only protect themselves from internal risks, but also the threat of external attacks. Faronics’ patented reboot technology eliminates the need for lockdown defense mechanisms traditionally used by devices in the past, allowing users to immediately be able to access their device after reboots. This setting is especially beneficial in the event of unexpected changes including phishing or other malware attacks. 

Data Igloo

Unlike traditional re-imaging, Faronics’ Data Igloo can protect your files, folders, user profiles, or even registry keys by redirecting them all to a Thawed partition, also known as a ThawSpace. This easy-to-use feature reduces downtime and increases productivity as specified data is retained on a secure drive and unaffected by reboots, creating a secure and flexible workstation.

Promoting Data Security

Re-imaging was originally considered to be the only defense against system configuration drifts, however the process can result in major downtimes and decrease overall productivity. By utilizing Deep Freeze technology, organizations can provide their users with unrestricted access to operating systems and installed programs while still actively preventing permanent configuration changes. This proactive approach eliminates the need for re-imaging, as the defensive software actively prevents configuration drifts. 

With 30,000 Deep Freeze customers across 150 countries, Faronics’ has the experience and scope to provide your network of loaned devices with the ultimate security and data protection solution. If you are interested in how Deep Freeze can benefit your organization or would like to learn more, please feel free to contact us today.

About The Author

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, expert on Reboot Restore Technology when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.

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