Success! (in more ways than one)

Success! (in more ways than one)

Government office is rolling out remote desktop connections over VPN for some of its users, and not everyone is jumping on board, reports a pilot fish

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Government office is rolling out remote desktop connections over VPN for some of its users, and not everyone is jumping on board, reports a pilot fish working there.

“I was staffing our support desk when one of these users called in from home, two weeks after we had set up the provisioning task for him,” fish says.

“He admitted he wasn’t the most proficient with computers, so he had his wife with him to help, and wanted to get going on the process.”

Fish explains the steps, and quickly determines that the user didn’t respond to the provisioning task until the day before — when it had already expired.

No problem, fish says, I’ll regenerate the task. That will take an hour, but in the meantime I can remote into your laptop and we can make sure it meets the minimum requirements.

So fish uses a third-party site to get remote access to the user’s desktop, calls up the website pages that talk about the two-factor authentication required to set up the VPN, and configures the user’s laptop as far as he can without the provisioning task.

“He needed to go to an appointment, so we agreed I would leave my connection to his laptop open,” says fish. “That way, by the time he returned from his appointment we should have the new provisioning task and we could pick up there and continue.”

An hour and a half later, user calls fish back. Fish pulls up his session to take control of the laptop again — and is greeted with a message that the user has left the session.

After five minutes of trying to reestablish the connection, fish decides to try walking the user through the rest of the process without being remoted into his laptop.

And it works — thanks largely to the user’s wife, who spots the little pop-ups for security questions like “Do you want to allow this program to make changes to your computer?” and “Do you want to install this Citrix client.”

Ten minutes later, the user has created the encrypted tunnel and logged into his work environment from home. Then fish suggests that he log out, close the tunnel and start over from scratch by himself.

“He agreed, joking that his wife and I must have been talking behind his back when he went to his appointment,” fish says. “As he started the process, I heard his wife in the background: Oh no! He wants you to do it this time?

“I almost laughed out loud, but he proceeded to rebuild his tunnel and log back in without any assistance from either of us.”

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