Remove VPN Dependency and Make Patching Blind Spots for Windows Devices a Thing of the Past

Do you have a VPN Dependancy for remote client management? Are Windows patching blindspots keeping you up at night?

The Virtual Private Network has dominated corporate IT architecture for years — giving remote users convenient and secure access to internal network services from anywhere in the world.

But is there a better way? Support for Windows 10 ends on October 14, 2025, so now is a good time to consider a new, more efficient way to access organisational IT resources remotely. Checkout our "Transition to Windows 11" blog.

If it’s not broken, why fix it, right? Well, many of us think the reign of the almighty VPN is about to end. Why? Because Virtual Private Networks are now being stretched to the limit as more of what we do is switched to remote working models.

Thankfully, there’s an easier, safer and more efficient alternative to VPNs, and it’s both easy to implement and cost-effective. But more about that later.

As this blog post is all about the perils of VPN dependency, let’s start by addressing the obvious disadvantages of this diminishing technology.

Why Depending on VPN Connections for Managing Windows Devices Is a Bad Idea

Just a few years ago, remote working was often considered a luxury. The chance to avoid the daily commute and work in pyjamas for a day or two was largely a rare treat for those in the corporate world.

While there was already a modest move to remote working models, everything changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Almost overnight, millions of us were working remotely — in our homes.

While there have always been concerns about the limitations of VPNs, those concerns became starker than ever during the midst of the global health crisis. And despite the pandemic now being a thing of the past, its legacy of remote and hybrid working is here to stay.

Put simply, VPNs can’t cope with the volume of remote users that rely on them these days. And the biggest issues are linked to three critical areas.

Scalability

VPNs were only ever designed to provide a small number of users with occasional remote access to internal IT infrastructure. So now that millions of people are relying on them, a lot of VPNs are buckling under the strain. A lot of firms are desperately trying to upscale their remote operations, but their legacy networks aren’t up to the job.

Security

VPNs communicate with internal IT networks via the public internet. While this might be a cost-effective method to gain remote access, it provides potential access points for fraudsters and scammers. The tiniest crack in your organisation’s VPN security shield might be all criminals need to inflict catastrophic damage to your systems and data.

Complexity

When VPNs were first developed, they didn’t have to cope with the plethora of devices, operating systems and applications they deal with today. Guaranteed, hassle-free compatibility across all these VPN clients and systems has become something of a battle for even the most talented IT superstars.

Connection-Reliant

If you rely on a VPN for remote network access, you can’t manage devices if they’re not connected to it. And that’s the reason why patching your Windows devices and applications has become a labour-intensive chore riddled with security implications.

More and more businesses are now looking for VPN alternatives to avoid these issues and create more efficient and flexible workforces.

How to Break Free from VPN Dependency

The good news is that there is another way, and it solves all the issues we’ve already discussed in this post. It’s called Microsoft Intune, and it’s something we at Workspace IT use every day.

Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way. Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based endpoint management platform that allows IT administrators to manage a wide range of devices, including desktops, laptops and mobile devices running operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.

That’s probably enough technical stuff for this post. In short, Intune is a device management tool that communicates over the internet instead of a VPN. It allows you to remotely manage all your essential patches, applications and policies with ease.

There’s now no need to connect devices to a VPN in order to manage them from remote locations — thanks to Intune!

In short, Microsoft Intune extends management capabilities to remote, internet-connected devices. By making the transition, your organisation can scale up your remote working practices and say goodbye to the costs, complexities and limitations of VPNs for good.

Are You Patching Your Windows Devices and Applications Fully?

OK, so we’ve already mentioned the issue of patching blind spots when it comes to Windows. It’s now time to put some meat on the bones!

Windows is constantly fighting newly emerging threats and vulnerabilities. That’s why Windows patches are crucial to the security of IT infrastructure around the world.

But how do you maintain a stringent patching schedule when you’re managing dozens — or even hundreds — of Windows devices and applications at the same time?

Are you confident that your devices are fully patched, safeguarding them against vulnerabilities and potential cyber threats? OK, you might be. But if your business is like countless others around the world, it might be vulnerable to patching blind spots no one knows about.

Why is this happening? Well, there are a few issues at play.

Not Prioritising the Most Important Patches

Put simply, some Windows patches are more important and urgent than others. Only experienced, highly capable IT professionals can sift through the endless stream of patches and prioritise them appropriately.

Unfortunately, too many organisations simply don’t have the time, talent or resources to do this.

Testing Issues

What happens if a Windows patch has a catastrophic impact on your IT infrastructure? After a few minutes of blind panic, you realise the patch should have been tested in isolation before being unleashed on your network. But this is another time-consuming and laborious process that makes patching even more difficult.

Coordination and Timing

How do you update multiple Windows devices and applications around the world in a timely and accurate manner? What do you do with Sophie’s laptop; the one she uses for catching up on work at home? And Jill’s personal phone? And Sanjay’s family tablet?

If all that’s not complicated enough, how do you implement complex patches across multiple remote devices and applications when timing is crucial to security?

Patching Status Uncertainty

Put yourself in the shoes of a stressed and overworked IT manager who is responsible for ensuring hundreds of devices around the world are updated fully and on time. Imagine trying to monitor the patching status of all those desktops, laptops, phones, tablets and apps simultaneously.

At best, it’s complicated. At worst, it’s a nightmare!

It’s Time to Implement a Windows and Application Patch Management Solution That Works

So, let’s do a little recap!

We’ve discussed the demise of the VPN due to an increasingly transient global workforce that increasingly prefers remote and hybrid working models, as well as the challenge of managing devices that aren’t always connected to a VPN.

We’ve touched on the powerful UEM/EMM Microsoft Intune and its role in giving you all the tools to simplify endpoint management, strengthen security and reduce costs.

And we’ve covered the issue of Windows patching blind spots

Let’s bring everything together with a tried-and-tested Windows patch management solution. To learn more about what Workspace IT do in this space, checkout our Application & Patch Managed Services.

Microsoft Intune is an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution. You probably don’t need to know that, but here at Workspace IT, we like everyone to know that we’re experts in this field!

The ultimate goal of this powerful platform is to empower workforces to work flexibly and productively while ensuring organisations keep their devices and users well-managed and secure.

Microsoft Intune Can Banish Those Patching Blind Spots for Good

At Workspace IT, we implement Microsoft Intune as a powerful endpoint management tool. We do this to give our clients scalable, flexible, cost-effective remote working solutions.

We’re able to manage multiple mobile devices and PCs centrally — hugely enhancing management capabilities by including internet-reliant devices seamlessly.

The work we do with Intune improves IT security, enhances user experience and reduces the complexity of managing multiple devices.

Crucially, however, Microsoft Intune — implemented and monitored by experienced managed IT professionals — makes remote working easier, faster, and more efficient.

But if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with Windows patches.

So here it goes…

Intune automates real-time patches and updates across multiple devices and applications. With VPN networks, it’s often necessary for users to log in to their devices and connect to the corporate network when patches are required. But that’s often a logistical nightmare.

We’re in the business of closing windows of opportunity for hackers, scammers and fraudsters.

The time between a new threat emerging and the installation of the relevant Windows patch is a window of opportunity for fraudsters and scammers. This is when your data and systems are at their most vulnerable. Thanks to Intune, however, these windows are smaller than ever!

Let’s Talk About Eliminating Windows Patching Blind Spots

If you’re worried about Windows patching blind spots, or you’re ready to embrace the brave new world of efficient remote working, we’re here to help.

We offer a range of managed IT services designed to make business IT infrastructure more efficient, more secure and more cost-effective. Contact us for a chat by calling 0118 432 0017, or head to the Contact page of our website and complete the contact form.

IGEL Secure

IGEL Secure - On the 12th of June some of the Workspace IT gang got to spend the day listening to "front-men" from some of the EUC industries best vendors at the IGEL hosted "IGEL Secure" event. After a day absorbing information and some interesting discussions I decided to write this blog to summarise what i heard.

So lets get into it, after an early start at 6am I headed into London to the venue - 30 Euston Square, London. A great location and a fantastic comfortable auditorium which you will see in the pictures coming up.

After a quick breakfast we headed in to the auditorium for the keynote sessions. First onstage was Darren Fields, IGEL VP Sales, who provided a warm welcome and set the scene for the day.

Next up was Klaus Oestermann, IGEL CEO. Klaus gave an overview of how IGEL have re-positioned themselves within the market and redefined what IGEL's strategy and direction is. Introducing....

IGEL Secure18
IGEL Secure17

What's the IGEL Preventative Security Model (PSM)?
In my own words, IGELs PSM is essentially removing attack surfaces from the endpoint, therefore lessening the risk of a cyber attack due to a by design "hardened" device. The next pictures show some of the differences between using IGEL and other traditional endpoints operating systems such as Windows 11 and the additional technologies and complexities involved to try and manage additional attack surfaces and product integrations.

For more details on the PSM, you can checkout the whitepaper here:
IGEL-Security-Whitepaper_Preventative-Security-Model.pdf

One of the major benefits of transitioning to IGEL and its Preventative Security Model is the impact on cost. Everyone knows cost more often than not provides major influence in any companies strategy and technology. Klaus went on to talk about a customer that has saved over £32M over a 3 year period in equated cost. This was achieved by using IGEL on the customer endpoints allowing the customer to:

Next Klaus moved on to show the current landscape of IGEL Ready partners. The partner ecosystem is changing rapidly with more and more partners on-boarding to the program, each time I see an updated chart there are more and more vendors.

"An exclusive partner program designed for hardware, software and peripheral companies that want to develop verified, integrated solutions with IGEL technologies."


Matthias Haas, IGEL CTO took the reigns from Klaus at this stage and went on to talk about the current state of IGEL OS12, the App Portal and how its showing 25% more velocity in how apps are appearing bringing updates and new features. Local Apps on OS12 were then highlighted allowing more flexibility in utilising the local devices hardware for potential performance improvements - a key feature for me was the introduction of the Microsoft Teams Progressive Web App (PWA), allowing a user to run Teams in a browser directly on the IGEL.

Matthias expanded on more functionality within OS12 such as:

For me personally, a couple of those announcements are a big deal!

First, SSO from the OS level right through to the desktop or application you want to use - No more entering your credentials multiple times.

Second, Microsoft Teams PWA, locally installed on the IGEL. Unified Comms straight from the endpoint.

Lastly, my favourite and what I have been talking with IGEL about for quite some time, Microsoft Intune Enrollment! This is huge! Enroll your devices then apply Compliance and/or Conditional Access Policies to your devices like you would with any other device currently within your tenant.


Next up, Justin Thorogood took centre stage as a referee to chat with Jim Moyle, Microsoft, Spencer Pitts, Omnissa and Gerry Lavin, Citrix. Justin had the red card ready if things were to get out of hand between these tech giants. The panel discussed their views on the current state of their respective companies and gave a bit of insight around the changes since acquisition for the likes of Citrix and Omnissa. Jim caught my attention with his insight on the highly debated "AppV is end of life 04/2026" topic.

I caught up with Jim in-between sessions to quiz him on this subject a little more. After some digging here's what I learnt:

Realistically, the AppV client is going to be around until at least 2030.... maybe more... shhh.


Back into the auditorium and Joe Cleary from Lenovo was on stage to talk about how IGEL and Lenovo are "Securing Devices at the Edge".

This session had some specific use cases in mind such as Point of Sale (POS) devices, Digital Signage and Patient Kiosks and how Lenovos ThinkShield offers a lower layer of protection against Cyber-Attacks - right down to protecting the Firmware and BIOS of the device. For more info, checkout the Lenovo site here.


Now, I need to highlight my favorite presentation of the day, this was delivered by Nathaniel Comer, CEO & Founder of Sun Screen IT Group. What do Sun Screen IT do? I am not a good enough writer to convey the message in the way i received it so I have instead here are some of the slides from the presentation.

Since the event I have spoken to Nathaniel to get permission to provide a snippet of video from what he presented for the first time. The actual video was just shy of 15 minutes, once publicly released, I urge you to watch it.

If you can help or want to get involved please reach out directly to Nathaniel (link above) and he will be more than happy to speak to you about Sun Screen IT and their mission.


Breakout Sessions were next on the Agenda where I headed over to get an update on the IGEL Channel changes. Some exciting changes, enhancements and some insightful Q&A with the presenters, Justin Thorogood (Looking shook!), Ken Millard, Brendan Williams, Eric Kline & Mads Skalbo. Thanks for the update guys! Unfortunately the detail shared here is still to be kept under wraps.


And finally it was time for the the social afterwards to dig into the detail with a beer and some banter. Obligatory selfies with the main man Rene Recker who heads up the IGEL Community. Joe Cleary from Lenovo. And a trip to re-enact the Spice Girls Wannabe music video on the stairs in St Pancreas International featuring, Jim Moyle, Colin Eales & myself (Dan Goss).

Hopefully you learnt something from this post, if not i'm sure you at least enjoyed the Spice Girls reenactment. If you would like anymore information on anything mentioned above to reach out to me, if I cant help I can put you in touch with someone that can. Thanks for reading.

Adobe Flash Player - End of Life

The long anticipated day came and went in a Flash. Adobe Flash Player is now end of life!

What do we know and expect from vendors now Flash is EOL?

Adobe:

Microsoft:

VMware:

Other vendors are advising similar steps to the above where products require action to move away from using Flash. Our advice is to get your systems upgraded quickly before all the restrictions come into force.

Relieve Your IT Struggles: Unleash the Power of Managed IT Services for Seamless Resource Availability and Project Success!

Managed Service Providers such as Workspace IT can help you manage applications, end-user devices, VDI, IT infrastructure and more.

Is your IT infrastructure the source of more headaches than solutions? Are you struggling to maintain a fully trained IT workforce? Looking for ways to make your IT infrastructure more efficient?

Perhaps you’re also grappling with the costs of constant upgrades, patches, IT security measures, and hardware issues.

Any of this ring true?

Fortunately, expert help is on hand if you need it—and it doesn’t require new hires and a burgeoning payroll.

We’ve seen these issues for ourselves—in businesses of all shapes and sizes. In recent years, we’ve discovered that too many businesses are struggling to keep up with technological advances. Whether that’s because of a lack of resources or a lack of skills, the results are always the same: needless costs, low morale, inefficiencies and, in some cases, customer satisfaction issues.

Far too many businesses are taking a reactive approach to IT issues. They only fully address longstanding problems when “the computer says no”. And that’s a recipe for inefficiencies and various operational problems.

Rather than splurge on an unprecedented, profit-busting hiring spree, why not consider outsourcing your IT requirements?

Managed service providers such as Workspace IT can help you manage end-user devices, applications, VDIs, IT infrastructure and more. And contrary to popular belief, enlisting the help of a third party isn’t just the privilege of multinational corporations.

If you’re ready to take a proactive approach to your organisation’s IT infrastructure, keep reading to find out more.

What Are the Most Common IT Issues Facing Businesses Today?

The average business in the UK isn’t really set up to embrace the benefits of new technologies as they’re made available. Whether that relates to in-house skills, new Windows releases, remote working or application management , the results include needless waste, inefficiencies and low morale.

Managed IT service providers such as Workspace IT are there to plug the skills gap within IT workforces. They’re there to become an extension of in-house teams. They’re there to help businesses reduce the cost of maintaining IT infrastructure. Most of all, however, managed service providers work tirelessly to solve the most pressing problems facing businesses right now, including:

IT Workforce Issues

There should be a national college for the refresher training of the UK’s IT workforce. That’s because things change quickly and regularly in this wonderful industry of ours.

IT workforce issues such as low staff retention rates, spiralling costs and IT recruitment problems are holding businesses back.

Managers and business owners are, quite rightly, focusing on their customers, their staff and their everyday operations. And that doesn’t leave much time to tackle these pressing issues.

Scalability

As businesses grow, their dependency on increasingly complex and disparate IT infrastructure grows. But all too often, the skills, knowledge or resources to invest in IT simply aren’t there.

Companies are also too slow to react to downturns when it comes to their IT infrastructures. How do you scale back your IT infrastructure when demand temporarily dries up or the wider economy begins to struggle?

High Labour Costs

The cost of hiring IT talent in the UK has never been higher — and that’s before you even think about training and development costs. Rather than beefing up their IT skill set, companies are making do with what they’ve got.

Managing Increasingly Complex and Diverse Applications

Businesses have never had it so good when it comes to applications that make doing business easier and more cost-effective. But as more and more applications are added to IT infrastructure, the process of managing them becomes increasingly complex — and expensive!

Digital Workspace Management

Digital workspaces are changing the way the world works. The ability to log into a corporate IT workspace from anywhere in the world and turn a hotel room or beach bed into an office is great for morale, flexible working practices, and streamlining operations. However, a digital workspace that is not properly understood and managed can soon lead to a less-than-ideal user experience.

Managing Multiple Devices Around the Country (or the world!)

Remote, flexible working patterns are good for both employees and businesses. The ability to log in to a company system from a personal phone, laptop or tablet is liberating and cost-effective, but how do you manage issues such as IT security, patching and updates when so many devices are being used for access?

The good news is that there’s an answer to all of these common IT issues. So, before you chuck that problematic laptop out of your bedroom window, think about managed IT services as a way forward.

Rather than take on permanent, and costly, IT staff, tap into a pool of expertise — as and when you need it.

How Managed IT Companies Are Saving the Day

Managed service providers are a flexible, cost-effective alternative to permanent hires. Whether you need temporary assistance with a specific issue or an ongoing IT partner who’ll become an extension of your permanent team, help is available for a range of common issues facing UK businesses right now.

Building Skilled and Experienced IT Workforces

The top IT talent in the UK is in high demand. Unless you know where to look and how to entice that talent to your business, you’re at a disadvantage.

Skilled IT workforces don’t grow on trees — they need to be built, developed and retained over time. And who better to provide expert IT recruitment advice than IT professionals themselves?

But there’s a third way, and it involves making managed service providers your de facto IT department. This flexible and scalable approach means you don’t have to spend time, resources and effort on issues such as recruiting staff, retention initiatives and training.

When you need help, simply tap into your service agreement — and it’s right there for you. No recruiting, no training, no problem. And you get the added bonus of IT professionals who can seamlessly integrate into your existing team.

Providing Custom Application Management Services

You’ve embraced the future by leveraging the power of the latest applications. That’s great news! But this brave new world isn’t without its drawbacks. For example, who manages all of these applications? Your IT department. Your computer whiz kid? Brenda from accounts who’s good with computers?

With managed IT support in your corner, application management becomes easier and more effective than ever.

Maximise ROI

The primary benefit of partnering with a managed service provider is the ability to maximise the return on your investments. Buying all the latest software is a great start — but are you using it effectively?

Cut Costs

Managed IT services can help your company cut the cost of doing business. An IT partner’s ready-made network of contacts and vendor relationships can help you deliver lower pricing for your clients. And when they’re leveraged fully, these partnerships can offer up a range of IT options you’d never thought of.

Enhance IT Security

Application management specialists focus on enhancing the security of your applications by reducing the risk of data breaches and cyber threats. They ensure updates and patches are implemented on time and in full. And they’re always hunting down patching blind spots  — something you can learn more about from one of our previous blog posts "Remove VPN Dependancy and Make Patching Blind Spots a thing of the past".

Increase Efficiency

By offloading application management tasks to experts, your internal IT team — or those responsible for dealing with IT issues — can focus on more strategic initiatives. This improves operational efficiency and makes your customers very happy indeed!

Enhance Scalability

The right application management services allow organisations to scale their IT support and infrastructure quickly and seamlessly as they grow.

VDI Implementation

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is changing the way businesses operate — and we’re all over it! The ability to host and manage virtual desktops on centralised servers facilitates remote working, long-distance collaborations, automated security management, enhanced disaster recovery and infrastructure scalability.

Here at Workspace IT, we leverage the full power of products such as Microsoft AVD, Citrix and VMware to boost the remote working capabilities of our clients.

Microsoft AVD

We use Microsoft’s cloud-based virtualisation service to give our clients the ability to create virtual Windows desktops that are accessible on a range of devices.

Citrix

The boffins at Workspace IT and there are a few of us, use Citrix to ensure our clients have secure access to their applications and content. We use it to facilitate access to applications such as web-based apps, virtual desktops and SaaS (software as a service) platforms.

VMware Horizon

VMware Horizon is a comprehensive digital workspace solution that allows you to manage applications on any device. VMware's digital workspaces allow centralised control over a range of IT assets, including applications and data.

End-User Device Management

We’re here to support IT users across your organisation. We understand that the typical business IT infrastructure these days involves a baffling combination of devices and applications.

Managing all these devices and their various needs is challenging for even the most hardened of managed IT service warriors, so leaving it to people with more important things on their plates isn’t always the best way forward.

Our end-user device managers can take care of everything from setting up devices to security monitoring and patching. We can secure access to various cloud-based services with the flick of a switch! OK, it’s a little more complicated than that, but our clients usually don’t want to know how the sausage is made.

By leveraging some powerful tools, we can offer your business a complete end-user device management solution.

Microsoft Intune

Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based endpoint management solution. In normal speak, this means it allows us to manage user access, simplify app and device management and enhance security for mobile and desktop devices — all from a central point.

Microsoft Configuration Manager

Microsoft Configuration Manager is an endpoint management tool that helps organisations manage devices, applications and servers. Here at Workspace IT, we use it to configure and maintain software, implement IT security measures and monitor management activities.

ManageEngine Endpoint Central

ManageEngine Endpoint Central is designed to help businesses manage and secure various endpoints in their network. The software provides tools for automating routine endpoint management tasks — enhancing system security and ensuring compliance with IT policies.

IGEL OS

IGEL OS is a purpose-built operating system designed for enterprise access to virtual environments. We use it to securely access SaaS-based services and digital workspaces because it’s simple, secure and efficient.

Discuss Your IT Struggles with an Experience Managed IT Services Provider

If you want to banish those dreaded IT struggles for good, we’d love the opportunity to talk you through our managed IT services. Give us a call on 0118 432 0017 for an initial chat. Alternatively, head to the Workspace IT contact page and complete the contact form.