Help Desk Services Running Afoul of Compliance

Michael Vizard

One of the more popular things that IT organizations have been doing to save money is relying more on a variety online services for help desk support. The most popular of these services come from companies such as Citrix and LogMeIn.


But Joel Bomgar, CEO of Bomgar, which provides on-premise help desk software, says a backlash against help desk software delivered as a service is building because of compliance issues. After all, he says, the people manning the help desks of the service offerings can see a lot of sensitive data on the screens of the people they are trying to help. Many IT organizations have found the process of having to certify third-party data centers used by service providers to be more trouble than it's worth.


Furthermore, with the advent of new technologies such as Intel's V-Pro processor that makes it easier to remotely manage fleets of PCs, it's becoming a lot more cost-effective for internal IT organizations to support remote offices. In effect, the internal help desk is now just as capable as any of the help desk services in that regard now that Bomgar has added support for Intel's Remote PC Assist (RPAT) technology that connects users to a remote technicians via an encrypted tunnel, he said. And deploying the Bomgar software that supports everything from Windows, Macs and Linux clients to smartphones on an appliance is now a relatively simple endeavor.

 

There's no doubt that a variety of help desk services will have support for RPAT to improve security. But RPAT needs vPro and it will be a while before there are enough new systems out there sporting embedded vPro processors. In the meantime, it's also probably only a matter of time before some unwarranted breach involving a help desk service happens. So it should come as no surprise if a fair number of IT organizations appear to be more inclined to take a conservative approach to making their data accessible to any outsider no matter how helpful that service provider may want to be.



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