RDP Connection

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Remote Desktop Connection has become a common target for online attacks and malicious threats, regardless of how we feel about it. This is due to the increasing use of Windows Remote Desktop Connection to remotely manage all Windows servers within their local networks.

The simple answer to the question, “How can I protect my remote desktop connection?” is easy. We’ll be discussing the various security tips that you can use to protect your remote desktop connection.

Secure Remote Desktop Software

Windows Remote Desktop has been the target of hacking attacks in recent years. It is the easiest way to manage Windows servers. It has security features to protect your network and device from being attacked but these are not enough to deal with the advanced hacking today.

Threatpost reports that three healthcare organizations using Microsoft Remote Desktop were hacked through vulnerabilities in their remote desktop protocol (RDP). The dark web resulted in the sale of 655,000 healthcare records from Georgia, Farmington and Missouri as well as Central/Midwest United States.

What is Secure RDP?

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has warned of remote desktop hacking and the danger it poses to your company. According to Small Business Trends, RDP attacks have increased in recent years and aim to perform unwanted activities like gaining unauthorized remote access to your network and remote access system.

Top Tips for Protecting Remote Desktop Connections

You can find the following security tips to answer your question How do I protect remote desktop connections?

Use strong passwords

A strong password can be used to secure your remote desk connection. This password will be the first line defense for your RDP system against unwanted attacks or threats. It should be mandatory for all users with access to remote desktop connections to have to enter a password to access your RDP system. Berkeley states that your password should contain at least one numeric and one special character.

Keep your software up-to-date

For both client and server software, make sure you have the most recent version of Microsoft RDP. This can be done by activating Microsoft Updates. You should ensure that your RDP version is current and includes the most recent security features. Older RDP versions can sometimes not keep up with high encryptions. They are also more flaky than their updated counterparts.

Firewalls can be used to limit access

Windows firewall can be used to limit access to your RDP. This will prevent connections from any IP addresses that are not within your scope. Below are the steps to take when scoping your RDP port.

  • Type Windows Firewall into the Windows search bar
  • Click on Windows Firewall Advanced Security
  • Click on Inbound Rules
  • Look for a RDP-labelled rule
  • Double-click the RDP rule
  • Click on the Scope tab
  • In the list of permitted remote IPs, include your most recent IP address
  • Click the radio button to access these IP addresses
  • Click OK

Enable Network Level Verification

Enabling network level verification is one way to secure your remote desktop session. This provides an additional layer of authentication before you can establish remote desktop sessions. Windows 8, 10, and 7 all provide NLA (network level authentication) by default.

Users who are unable to log in remotely can be limited

Although remote desktop is available to all administrators, they shouldn’t have it. It’s best to temporarily remove administrative access from remote desktop if it isn’t being used to manage system and network administration.

Two-factor authentication is recommended for highly sensitive systems

TFA, or two-factor authentication, is another method to increase security for your secure remote desktop connections. Devolutions claims that TFA enhances user authentication by combining two login components. These components typically consist of the user’s password, key Fob, or smartcard. It requires two authentication factors, so unauthorized access to the system will be less likely to allow for both the required identifications.

Melina Richardson is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cybers Guards & w-se. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.