Protect Yourself From Attacks, A More Secure Remote Desktop Environment
Nowadays, employees are sometimes spread all over around the world. Constantly new technologies for remote work, outsourcing and cloud services blur geographical boundaries. At the same time, they give small and medium-sized companies access to a large selection of specialists using Secure remote desktop systems.
Networks that support these work concepts must of course also be maintained. Many small and medium-sized enterprises use external service providers to diagnose and repair network problems using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). The RDP enables secure network communication between a terminal server and a terminal server client. Network administrators often use it to work remotely with virtual desktops and applications.
However, there is always some risk when working with the RDP. Not Secure remote desktops in particular are a welcome target for hackers. Unfortunately, many companies underestimate this danger, which could be avoided with a few simple safety precautions.
In this article, we'd like to explain how RDP attacks work and what you can do to protect your business from this type of Internet threat. If you want to have a secure remote desktop connection you first have to know about brute force attacks.
What Are Some Potential Dangers to Remote Desktop Computers?
There are many security exploits in the RDP scene but one of the main issues is a brute force attack. In an RDP brute force attack, hackers look for socket (IP and TCP port) ranges used by RDP servers to find vulnerabilities in networks such as finding networks that are using default ports. As soon as they have found a client that uses a port that they can infiltrate, they try to access the device (mostly as an administrator). To do this, they use brute force tools that automatically attempt to log in again and again with countless combinations of user names and passwords. Meanwhile, server performance may drop because the attacks are taking up too much of the processing power or the bandwidth of the network.
After hours, days, or even weeks of systematic experimentation, the hackers may find the right combination and get access to the server. You can imagine the catastrophic effects this can have on creating a none secure remote desktop environment.
How Can You Create a More Secure Remote Desktop Environment?
You have to take a few steps to protect yourself from RDP attacks. Hackers can do unlimited damage once they have access to the system. So, first of all, you have to prevent this access by minimizing the security risks from RDP. There are several ways to secure remote desktop connections:
Stronger Username And Password Selection
New credentials are the easiest and most effective step in not becoming a victim of RDP brute force attacks. If you change the username to something more complicated than the standard term “administrator”, it will make it twice as difficult for criminals. Because brute force attacks in their essence are a combination of frequently used user name and password pair. Now they have to guess the username in addition to the password.
The same thing goes for choosing a password, a password like admin123 might be easy to remember but it has catastrophic consequences if a hacker can get their hands on it. You can take a look at some password guidelines provided by IT security companies. They generally specify using either a randomly generated password which you can store in a password manager application, or using multiple characters, numbers and lower and uppercase letters in defining a password for yourself. This is one of the major ways that you can protect yourself from dictionary or brute force attacks and create a more secure remote desktop environment.
Change RDP port
When hackers scan the Internet, they mostly look for connections that use the RDP standard port, TCP 3389. You can theoretically “hide” your RDP connection by setting the monitoring port to a different value. This is one of the major ways that hackers will try and infiltrate the system if you are using a default port. You can change your default port yourself or use third party software to achieve a better and smoother experience with more options .
Create Specific RDP Accounts or Edit Group Policies
You can further minimize the risk of attack by specifying a certain number of the maximum number of people who can log in via RDP. By default, anyone with administrator privileges can log on to the remote desktop. However, there will most likely be very few users on your network who need these permissions for their work. By allowing RDP access only to those who really need it, you minimize the risk of a security breach. You can also create users with RDP privileges that people use only for rdp usage and deactivate them when you don’t need them via the windows group policies.
Create a lock out policy
As indicated above, RDP brute force attacks require a substantial amount of attempts to log on. However, you can slow down the attack. To do this, you create a simple policy that locks users for a certain amount of time after a certain number of attempts. This can also be done using a third-party software to administrate windows logins.
You Can be Extra Sure
If hackers gain access to your system, or even if they are trying to get access to your system you should always be prepared. In most cases, however, the hackers can simply disable the firewall, antivirus, and other security software that is installed by default. This makes it very difficult for antivirus solutions to fight RDP attacks once they break through your network. That is why there are third party software designed with remote desktop security in mind that help you mitigate the attack before they crack their way through.
By using SunFirewall as a preventive measure to secure remote desktop environments you are actively prepared for brute force attacks and even have many tools at your disposal to know more about the hackers and their geographical location and also what times they are trying to initiate an attack. The product is free to use for half month so you can have a taste of all the features and see for yourself what it can provide.