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Published on May 21st, 2013 | by John I.

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Is Remote Desktop Access Secure?

As with any form of software that uses the internet, remote desktop protocols can have security issues. This is rare and usually caused by users not having added the right layers of security to meet their specific needs. RDP solutions, like many forms, will come with a default setting. It is this setting that can leave you at risk of security breaches, in just the same way as not protecting your emails for example. So the main thing that you need to do is add the encrypted layers of protection to your RDP connection.

The security risks are low however and if you have the right protection, including general computer security, you will be unlikely to experience anything untoward. Here are the main forms of security issues that can happen when using a remote desktop protocol.

Man in the Middle Attack

A man in the middle attack is exactly what the name suggests, it is someone in the middle of the conversation that can gain information through your computer movements. Much like a Trojan Horse virus, this person will intercept what you are doing from one device onto the next and then have access to the information you are looking at. This could be passwords, data information or financial records and so you must make sure that you have the right level of security to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Like many online hacking attacks, making sure you take measures like regularly changing passwords, encrypting data and regularly scanning your devices for issues are the best form of defense and also protection if an attack happens.

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Pass the Hash Attack

Although this form of attack is unlikely, it can happen especially if you don’t keep your computer passwords and usernames secure. A Pass the Hash attack is known as a brute force hacking attack, where the person will use brute force through the use of your servers to grasp your passwords and usernames so that they can obtain remote access to your computer.

There is no singular protection against this form of hacking, but there are many small things you can do to protect yourself. It is also worth noting that this attack doesn’t just happen through the use of RDP’s, but can happen through any internet software. Some of the main things to initiate is to only allow full access to limited people within your company, not because you don’t trust them, but to limit the amount of full access that can lead to attacks. Other than this, you need to maintain your firewalls, use password systems that are regularly changed and full disk encryption.

At the end of the day, RDP software is just the same as any software that works through the use of the internet. It is open to security breaches, just the same as everything else and by not taking the right measures to protect your data then you are leaving your own and your company’s data open to attack. Protect yourself by making sure all antivirus, firewall protection and passwords are changed regularly, kept up to date and maintained in order to be happy in the knowledge that you are protected.



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