The Challenge with Virtual Help Desks
A Virtual Help Desk allows IT support organizations to virtually deploy personnel as required to support the administrative needs of corporate computer users. The virtualization of the support function permits the efficient management and allocation of resources and personnel independent of the physical location of the employees. Remote access, shared webconferencing, and incarnations of remote desktops permit ubiquitous support of a widely distributed workforce. The Virtual Help Desk is closely aligned with the proliferation of Software-Defined Networking (SDN), which is an approach to networking in which control is “virtual,” often remote, and nearly always decoupled from the physical infrastructure, allowing network administrators and support personnel to administrate a network fabric across multiple vendor sites and multiple installations of heterogeneous equipment.
Although the virtualized scenarios significantly improve resource management by increasing efficiency and supporting peak demand through a virtualized workforce, the overall challenge of security is magnified by the need to permit wider access for employees. For example, the traditional local help desk would only have privileged access to a particular physical or location or domain. The Virtual Help Desk employee might have access to a broader, more global distribution of facilities or, in the case of outsourcing, have access to facilities of more than one client company. In this case, “leakage” of sensitive data between companies or even wholesale “Snowden”-like data exfiltration is a major challenge.