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Top five VDI-related help desk questions

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Why isn't my VDI login working?

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Passwords can easily become a source of annoyance with VDI. Generally, IT uses Exchange ActiveSync for device security because it can work with many different platforms and doesn't require the device to join a domain. Virtual desktops, on the other hand, usually connect to a domain and authenticate with Active Directory.

That means that users often have two different passwords and authentication methods, one for access to their device through Exchange ActiveSync and the other for virtual desktop access. If a user changes his Exchange password on a corporate PC or mobile device, for instance, the VDI login doesn't change, but users might not know that. It is important to communicate to your users that they will actually have two different passwords to keep track of.

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How do you go about preventing password mix ups?
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We use a serious of password programs, from a simple encrypted text file to LastPass. Alicia in the front office insists on a manual ledger where she dutifully notes every password in her careful script.

They all seem to work, more or less, after a fashion. None are ideal or flawless. Then, especially with programs like LastPass, there's the password needed to secure all the passwords. And, of course, for the sake of security, all those passwords should be changed every few months. (We're rarely that efficient.)

It's a mess. And there's little question that the hackers will eventually barge their way past all the walls we erect. At best, passwords are little more than a holding tactic against the inevitable. We need a fundamentally different approach, but until then we cobble our password responses and wobble cautiously through the guarded gates.
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