When we speak of help desk security, we usually refer to the authentication technique used
by help desks which consists of asking the user to provide a valid username and registered
password before they can be able to avail of the help desk function. For this technique to
be applicable in real situations, it is necessary that users take responsibility for
providing complex, undecipherable passwords for their username file, and then keep updating
their passwords so that they remain undecipherable to intruders or identity thieves. But in
practice, passwords get forgotten, jumbled in the mind of the user, and may eventually
expire over time. When this is the situation, the help desk system gets stressed because
its IT personnel have to help these users out of the jam they are in. These IT personnel
thus waste valuable time, resources, skills and energies in assisting users when the IT
staff could be applying themselves to other important IT-related projects for the
organization instead.

One solution to this common trend is for IT help desk managers to provide a self-service
security protocol to the help desk system. In this way, users are dependent on their own
intellectual capabilities at managing passwords (even when they tend to mix up passwords
from different systems or have completely forgotten them.) At the same time, the security
protocol of the help desk is not jeopardized since strict security policies are still
adhered to by the help desk staff and followed by the users.

All users need to be granted access somehow to the help desk network because this is where
they get to use various resources. Some common resources that can easily be availed of by
end users when a self-service security protocol is in place could be portals, online
services, websites, data, and applications.

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