Over the last three weeks my posts have focused around end users and remote support tools. This time I want to focus on vendors. In theory you should love your vendors that you work with, there are an extension of your IT team.  I know there are the new vendors trying to get new business and most people try to avoid them like the plague but there is an expectation to every rule. Most vendors have a genuine interest or at least in my mind of benefit of seeing their customer succeed.

 

One thing that can make or break a vendor relationship is remote support. Some vendors have remote support enabled on their systems so they can go directly to the box in question. I am a big fan of this but the paranoid folks are worried that security may be at risk and usually don’t allow it.  I know for Nutanix gear you can set a timer on how long you want the remote tunnel to last. It’s a good option if you’re worried about a vendor using his equipment as jump box.  I think if you’re dealing with a global company this option is great to help remove some of the language barriers that may exist with follow the sun support.

 

If you don’t have the option above the next step is the dreaded Webex/GoToMeeting.  For whatever reason in a time of crisis you can be rest assured you will be downloading the newest client and maybe even playing with a java update. Usually ok but doing console work is usually problematic for the person trying to give support.  My big beef is that it gets people use to accepting remote connections. Humans are easily fooled, self included so if possible I think it best to control access on your own terms. If at all possible if you can extend your current remote tools to share your screen with the vendor I think that is ideal.

 

What do you do for your vendors so they can support your gear on site? Give them a virtual desktop and only give access to their system? VPN with full access? Let them use their own tools?

 

Curious to hear peoples thoughts and if people think of this a security threat.