Performance in Remote Desktop Connection : Factors
The performance in remote desktop connection has become an significant factor for IT departments. We Live in a new decentralized society. Freelancing, remote working and outsourcing has become the norm now, when it used to be the exception 10 years ago.To be able to keep up with the trouble shooting demands of their remote employees, companies started using off-site tech support teams .They often use Microsoft remote desktop client to diagnose the IT problems. But when it comes to security, they often neglect some aspects of the process. From leaving the server room unlocked to forgetting to close unused ports and using default sing in options for the Remote Desktop Protocol. They often don’t realize how these attacks can have a major effect on the system’s performance and the performance of remote desktop connection. In this article we will go over how brute force attacks will decrease the performance in remote desktop connection and how to fix it.
Windows Remote Desktop Connection
Windows Remote Desktop Connection uses the Remote Desktop Protocol to let users log in to remote clients. It’s widely used, be it inter network connections or connecting to remote hosts outside the user’s network. This feature is not enabled by default because it can be easily exploited by hackers and lower the performance of RDP significantly. But when you are working in a corporate environment, the IT department will have you enable the feature for troubleshooting purposes. It’s enabled on servers most of the time because nobody wants to take a monitor and keyboard to the server room and get their hands dirty when they want to access the servers. But most people don’t realize how costly this can be when some malicious people know how to exploit the RDP protocol.
Exploiting RDP, Easier Than You Might Think
With the rising popularity of the remote desktop clients, the risk of getting hacked increases significantly. Hackers often use third-party software to monitor and snoop out the packets that are using RDP. They can identify the port range and IP addresses of the remote desktop clients. And with that little bit of information which can be traced really easily they begin to gain access to the system via brute force attacks. Brute force attacks work relatively simply. The hackers start trying different usernames and password combinations until they stumble upon a username password pair that works. It’s like having to try to open a lock with a key chain with infinite number of keys. But the thing is that they don’t do this manually but use an automated program with a pre determined pool of commonly used usernames and passwords (e.g.. Admin, administrator, test, etc) which can work 24/7. The process might take from a day to weeks or even months based on the complexity of the passwords used and the hacker’s hardware capability. But eventually they can unlock the system and start to exploit it in endless ways. But just getting hacked shouldn’t worry you. While they are trying to brute force they way through the system performance of RDP will drop significantly.
Lower System Performance in Remote Desktop Connection
Both the network performance and the system performance can be hindered by the brute force attacks simultaneously on the servers and also on the remote desktop clients. The performance in RDP will have a significant drop in a brute force attack in the following ways:
The network performance
The network performance of remote desktop connection will drop because if the hackers try to use multiple clients to perform the attack they are going to put a considerable load on the bandwidth. If they try to attack the clients first (which they do most of the time), the clients will suffer lower network speed, might get disconnected or even become unresponsive due to the low amount of bandwidth and the slow response time caused by it.
The system performance
The system performance in remote desktop conenction will drop because the domain controllers will have a lot of requests sent to them simultaneously, flooding them and while they are trying to respond to these rogue requests,they will use a lot of resources which will slow the system down.With the port range and IP addresses of the clients identified, the hackers can also launch common DDOS attacks which try and access the remote client from multiple points simultaneously to prevent actual users from accessing their clients altogether.
If the hackers stay under the radar (and they stay anonymous most of the time) we will observe slow system and network performance on our clients with no seemingly valid reason. But how can we prevent this altogether so the performance of Remote desktop connection won’t be affected?
Security Measures For Your Remote Desktop Clients
There are a lot of ways to secure your remote desktop clients from incoming attacks. You can take some elementary steps and secure your windows client with the standard Windows Defender software. But as we have found out recently there are many security risks in windows and more are being discovered every day, so relying solely on these measures won’t be enough. This is where third party software and hardware solutions come to our aid. A firewall is the first solution that comes to mind, and some antivirus software have built in firewalls.While we recommend you install antivirus software on your clients, their firewall software might not be enough to keep attackers away from your remote desktop clients. But don’t worry firewalls have come a far way and have become more sophisticated and advanced than ever before.
Sun Firewall Securing Your RDP Clients
Sun Firewall offers specific firewalls designed for remote desktop clients. With using SunFirewall you will secure you clients easily, so the performance of RDP won’t be affected by attackers at all. Sun Firewall comes with a built in “Black Country” feature. Which allows you to select specific countries from the list that you want nothing to do with on the web. So any other traffic coming from countries that you have blacklisted (e.g. Russia, Iran, North Korea, etc) will be dropped. It also allows you to see any request coming from IP addresses that you don’t want in your network. This will greatly improve the performance of RDP because you will identify attacks at the very early stages which will in turn allow you to identify the attackers and take action before systems suffer any considerable damage to performance or network speed.
So next time you see the performance in remote desktop connection drops, be cautious of potential hackers exploiting your network. And if you want to be sure about the security of your clients at all time, you can check out our solutions tailored for remote desktop clients so you can identify hackers faster and easier and make your remote desktop clients more secure than ever.