BCIT Remote Support Policy

Executive Summary

This policy defines BCIT's policy for the use of remote-support tools in the Barnard College computing environment.

Reason for the Policy

The use of remote-support tools should be governed by clear statements of acceptable use, in order to orient expectations for the College community.  Transparency in how these tools are used is critical to support the community's trust in BCIT's custodianship of their privacy.

Who is Responsible for this Policy

Barnard's Vice President for Information Technology or her designee is responsible for the maintenance of this policy and for responding to questions regarding this policy. The college reserves the right to amend this policy at any time.

Who is Governed by This Policy

This policy applies to all individuals who use College-owned computers. Those individuals covered include, but are not limited to, faculty, staff, those working on behalf of the College, and individuals authorized by affiliated institutions and organizations.

Policy Statement

Remote access support provides a means for the BCIT Service Desk to assist campus computer users and resolve minor issues quickly, in real-time, often with minimal interruption to the user and eliminating the complication of arranging an appointment time.

BCIT technicians provide the same level of privacy, confidentiality, and discretion while performing a remote support session as when providing deskside support. BCIT technicians have the responsibility of ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the computers they are supporting. BCIT technicians are granted significant trust to use their privileges appropriately for the intended purpose of performing support and maintenance, including software installations. Any private information obtained in carrying out these duties is treated in the strictest confidence.

BCIT technicians will provide remote-access support only under these conditions:

  1. If the user is at the computer, on the phone with the technician.
  2. If the user cannot reach their computer, and specifically approves the technician's access and the exact work the technician will perform.
  3. In an emergency, such as a severely compromised computer causing issues on the network.  In such a case, the technician will remove the computer from the network and contact the user to schedule a follow-up appointment.

The Service Desk will log in remotely only from authenticated applications where any and all sessions are logged and can be traced to a particular technician.

Before initiating a login session, the technician will notify the user in advance and explain to the user what is the purpose of the session.  After the session is complete, the technician will review with the user what steps were taken and what changes were made.  The technician will update the ServiceNow ticket with the same information.

On some occasions, software updates or patches may be distributed to wide groups of campus computers en masse, usually as a result of an overriding security concern.  When this occurs, it is entirely automated, and no technician is personally or physically accessing the computer.


Remote-Access Support Tool: An application that permits a third party (in this case, a BCIT technician) to log into a Barnard computer without being physically at that computer.

Applicable Acts, Regulations, and Laws




Cross Reference to Related Policies

Acceptable Use Policy
Data Privacy Policy


For questions or comments:

Barnard College Service Desk
Web: http://barnard.edu/bcit/
Email: help@barnard.edu
Telephone: 212-854-7172

Revision History

Policy Issued: 12.22.2011
Policy Revised: 6.12.2017