Frequently Asked Questions
LANDesk is an asset management software system used to remotely inventory and manage desktop computers. It has the ability to report on installed software and hardware, allow remote assistance, and install security patches. Comprehensive information can be found at the LANDesk website.
Yes, LANDesk must be installed on all MSU-owned assets or any asset that connects to the MSU network.
MSU is deploying LANDesk for several reasons:
REMOTE ASSISTANCE / EFFICIENCY
ITC strives to provide the best user experience. With the user's consent and LANDesk Remote Assistance, Help Desk analysts can see exactly what the customer sees. This allows them to provide help instantly, over the phone. Field technicians can thus be deployed more quickly to attend to urgent hardware and software issues that require a physical presence.
All workstations with the LANDesk Agent provide valuable inventory data about the machines they are installed on; such as: available storage, total RAM, and age of hardware. This will allow ITC staff and our local support partners to more effectively manage the workstation management lifecycle.
LANDesk will enable ITC and your departmental IT support staff to address vulnerabilities remotely and quickly. LANDesk can install software patches in a matter of a few days, or remotely change workstation settings to counter recently discovered security holes.
The LANDesk Agent, combined with patch management, can ensure that all applications are up to date with the latest security fixes. LANDesk can update a variety of products from many vendors.
Site administrators using LANDesk can create customized, detailed reports regarding departmental hardware and software assets.
There is a LANDesk client for Mac's, as well as a Linux client. LANDesk capabilities vary for each of the different operating systems, but inventory reporting works across all platforms.
No. The LANDesk Agent communicates exclusively with the LANDesk Core server to ensure that the managed workstation is up to date, and protected from malicious software. Some settings may also be changed if there are security issues.
Please note, departmental IT staff may approach this differently than central IT staff.
LANDesk will not permit ITC or our support partners to view the files on your computer.
Using LANDesk, ITC can only view inventory information about the hardware components
and software applications.
When using the Remote Assistance tool, you are able to grant permission to a Help Desk Analyst and to share your desktop with them. During a Remote Assistance session, they will see exactly what you see and be able to move the mouse cursor and type through the keyboard. Please note: permission must be granted for each session before viewing begins.
A Remote Assistance session is just like having that person sitting with you in your office: you will be able to see each action as it is performed. You can stop the session at any time.
No. LANDesk does not monitor staff, faculty, or students; or the websites they visit. LANDesk does check to see if your software applications are up to date with the latest Microsoft patches, as well as patches from other companies such as Adobe, Apple, Corel, Dell, and Symantec. LANDesk also returns important information to administrators about the hardware installed in a university-owned workstation.
No. LANDesk does not increase risk. However, be sure that you store all important information on an appropriate resource, like Montana State Box to ensure that it is secure and backed up. We discourage you from storing sensitive or important information on your workstation. Please contact the ITC Help Desk at 406-994-1777, firstname.lastname@example.org, or our walk-up location in the Renne Library Commons and ask to have your workstation encrypted.
No. LANDesk has been deployed on over 3000 workstations, both Windows and OS X, with no adverse effects on performance.
The LANDesk Agent is only active while utilizing remote assistance features and sending inventory to the Core Server. The rest of the time, it is inactive and will not interfere with network communication.
Remote User Assistance
The Remote Assistance feature in LANDesk lets you share control of your computer with an ITC Help Desk analyst. This will help ITC to more quickly and accurately troubleshoot and resolve problems. Please note: the Help Desk cannot access your computer or provide remote assistance without your explicit permission. To authorize an analyst to help you remotely, you will need to click OK when presented with a remote assistance dialog box.
Help Desk staff may connect to a computer remotely without asking for permission if no one is logged into that device.
At this time Remote Assistance does not work with workstations not on MSU's network. However, we are working on adding this feature in the future.
IT Asset Management
Asset management is a combination of inventory control and maintenance. It helps departments answer basic questions about their computing environment, such as:
- How many workstations do we own?
- When did we deploy this workstation?
- Is the workstation due for replacement?
- Is the workstation in use?
- Is the workstation using one of our software licenses?
- Is the workstation up to date with the latest antivirus signatures?
The inventory contains detailed information about all of the hardware components and
software applications installed on your computer. It can be used to determine how
much and what kind of memory is in your computer, what operating system you have,
and the versions of the software that you use. The inventory tool will run no more
than once per day.
All of this information assists ITC when troubleshooting a problem with your computer. Inventory information will also help departments evaluate their current technology assets when it is time to buy new computers. The inventory tool cannot access any of your personal files.
Patch Management helps to safeguard MSU owned computers and MSU data from cyber criminals looking to exploit applications that are out of date. Patch Management keeps operating system software and applications up to date and also can help protect the user of the computer from identity theft.
Yes, while LANDesk is mandatory, automatic patching may be opted out of with director level approval. Please complete the LANDesk Automatic Patching Opt Out form.
ITC and our support partners will use LANDesk to determine which systems require critical and recommended patches, as well as other third party software patches, such as: Adobe, Flash, and Java.
Patches will be installed on MSU workstations on an as needed basis.
In addition, there may be a need for an out of cycle patch installation to protect against a Zero-Day threat.
Zero-Day is the term used by security professionals to describe a security hole that has been discovered by cyber criminals that was unknown by software developers. If we see or hear of cyber criminals exploiting the security hole, ITC will test, and then install the appropriate patch to vulnerable systems as soon as it becomes available.
The performance impact of patching will depend on the type and quantity of patches being applied. However, the impact will be equal to that of installing the patches via the Windows Update site.