Bottom line up front: If you use a personal computer to
connect to LCC using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you will need to
transition to a virtual desktop by
Nov. 2, 2020. If you are
using a LCC-issued computer, no action is needed.
With LCC’s large-scale and rapid move
to remote operations, LCC leadership accepted the cybersecurity risk to allow
non-LCC owned devices to connect to the LCC network via Virtual Private Network
(VPN), using software called Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client. Unfortunately,
non-LCC owned devices connecting to LCC’s VPN cause a lack of visibility and
control required to support a breach or malware investigation, and continuing
to allow non-LCC owned devices to connect to the VPN could lead to malware
infections and a potential data breach.
We now have a secure remote access
solution for those personal computer users that improves our security posture
and significantly reduces the risk. Employees who lack a LCC-issued computer
and would like to access network drives (H:, N:, and others), office printers,
or on-campus applications while working off campus can now access LCC resources
through a virtual desktopon their personal computers. A virtual desktop is a software program that
emulates a computer and it’s applications. For example, through the virtual
desktop application, users can send emails, browse the internet, conduct video
conferences, create documents in Microsoft Word, and any other action normally
conducted on a computer.
A virtual desktop is accessed remotely but functions as if
you were sitting at a workstation on campus. This
virtual desktop is not an exact replica of your LCC-owned computer, but comes
equipped with LCC standard software that behaves as if you are on campus (your network
drives are available and automatically appear, etc). The switch to a virtual
desktop instead of VPN on non-LCC owned computers does not impact your access
to web-based systems such as employee email (Office 365), Sharepoint sites, and
D2L, as they are still available to personal computer users with only a web
The virtual desktop is non-persistent, meaning that it
functions like the machines in the computer lab. Once you have signed out, all
data saved to the machine or applications installed is lost without possibility
of being recovered. However, anything saved into “My Documents” folder will be kept and available the next time you sign
in. Similarly, your network drives will also be available for storage of
All employees can download the
virtual desktop software, VMware Horizon Client, onto their personal computers by following the instructions
on 5Star. The virtual desktop will
provide the standard LCC office software. We have the ability to install additional software packages for
different groups (or even individuals) on campus.
If you need additional software, please speak with
your team to decide if this is something an entire team would use. Please
provide this list, contact info, and any other team members who may need the
same software installation to the LCC Help
Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the virtual desktop software
is installed, employees can then remove the LCC VPN software from their personal computers. You can
do this by going to ‘Add or remove programs’ on Win10 computers and selecting
‘uninstall’ on Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client software.
Please note that
LCC is transitioning remote access for non-LCC devices from VPN to virtual
desktop access by Nov. 2, 2020. Users that utilize VPN access currently will need to
download VMware Horizon Client to continue to perform their duties remotely.
If you have any
questions, please contact Paul Schwartz, Director of Information Security, at email@example.com.