Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), a part of Microsoft Windows that makes it simple for your representatives to interface with work or home PCs while away, is utilized by millions. That makes far-off work area security take a chance with a top worry for network directors, security specialists, and experts. Since RDP is so broadly utilized, it is not an unexpected objective for man-in-the-center cyberattacks.
How secure RDP is for usage, let’s know this and a lot more in this article-
While RDP uses an encrypted route on servers, earlier versions of RDP had a vulnerability in the encryption process, making it a favorite gateway for hackers.
Nearly 1 million machines, according to Microsoft, are currently subject to remote desktop security concerns. Windows XP, Windows 2007, Windows Server 2008, and Windows 2003 are among the platforms the business has released a legacy patch.
This vulnerability does not exist in Windows 8, 10, or newer operating systems. Listing some vulnerabilities of cheap RDP server Security-
● User Sign-In Credentials aren’t Secured.
Weak user sign-in credentials are perhaps the most common RDP system vulnerability. They make it easy for attackers to obtain access to your network and install malicious software that steals or damages users’ sensitive data.
● Unrestricted access to the port
A port is a logical, software-based place in networking designated for specific types of connections to assist computers in keeping track of different tasks. Port 3389 is used for the majority of RDP connections. Cyber attackers can assume that port 3389 is being used for RDP and then utilize it to target their attacks.
● Vulnerabilities that have been patched but should be looked after
Although some of the most serious RDP security flaws have been patched, they can still cause harm if left unchecked.
Why Cyber Threat Actors Exploit RDP?
Threat actors sell various cloud tools such as account information and application access on dark web markets, allowing them to carry out follow-up attacks.
However, none of these programs come close to the popularity of Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) accounts. According to a recent survey, they account for more than 70% of cloud resources offered for sale on underground web markets.
RDP accounts, as a result, are more common on the dark web than ordinary cloud accounts.
How do Cyber Attackers exploit the RDP?
Hackers tend to use port scanning software to figure out the ports on the target system which are open. You can use this software to see all of your system’s open ports and close them. However, the first step is to modify RDP’s default port number.
As discussed, port 3389 is vulnerable, and the hackers know about it and try to hack the same open ones. Before you use RDP, make sure that you change your port to a number above 10000 or always close your ports.
Best RDP Security Practices that you must follow
Using vulnerability management to solve security gaps like BlueKeep, which continue to harm this protocol, is a key component. To that aim, security teams must create a list of all of their hardware and software assets, including Windows workstations that have RDP accessible. They should prioritize known vulnerabilities and build a patching plan that considers all those distinct risks.
These are some best RDP Security Practices that one must follow-
1. The weak password credentials
The most crucial vulnerability is the weak password credentials that RDP accepts by the users. Enforcing a password that’s not too complicated but enough for someone to crack easily. Incorrect and easy passwords are the most common RDP system vulnerability.
If the employees’ passwords are weak or duplicated, hackers can search the internet for systems that enable RDP connections and use a brute force assault to access their accounts quickly.
RDP attacks will be more difficult to succeed if complicated passwords are used. Employees should be required to change their desktop and RDP passwords regularly.
2. Multi-Factor Authentication should be enabled (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to log in with a security token. It makes sure that there are more layers of authentication that an attacker must pass through to obtain access to an account. So, it’s unlikely for them to gain unauthorized access to users’ computers.
3. Users can be locked out, and timeout IPs can be blocked.
A large number of login attempts usually indicates a brute force attack. Limit the number of login attempts per user to prevent these types of attacks, and log both failed and successful login attempts to identify any odd behavior.
Similarly, any IPs that timeout during sessions should be blocked, as they indicate that something fishy is going on.
4. RDP Users and Privileges Can Be Restricted
One can also limit who can use RDP to log in, just keeping in mind that RDP is enabled by default for all administrators. It should be made sure that the remote access should be restricted to only those accounts that require it.
Also, try to keep the number of local administrator accounts to a minimum, as attackers might use them to get access to the systems. The more accounts users’ have, the more likely they are to be hacked successfully if their credentials are cracked off-line.
5. Protection From Port-Based Attacks
First and foremost, one should never enable RDP connections to be established over the public internet. Hackers utilize software that constantly scans the internet for open RDP ports like port 3389 and if your RDP is open to the internet.
One may be subject to cyber assaults even if they have a rigorous password policy and multi-factor authentication.
6. The closure of Port 3389
A secure tunnel will stop any requests that do not pass through the tunnel. Using secure tunneling software, you can prevent attackers from submitting queries to port 3389.
7. Make use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Remote users can safely access their corporate network using a virtual private network (VPN) rather than exposing their computer to the entire internet. A VPN connection is mutually encrypted, and it allows client and server authentication while providing a secure tunnel to the corporate network.
Whether or not you use a VPN, consider putting your RDP servers in a DMZ or other restricted network region to limit the reach of a successful cyber assault to only your RDP server.
The most typical RDP provides four degrees of encryption, which can be adjusted on the Remote Desktop server: Low, Client Compatible, High, and FIPS Compliant. Encryption is a more secure technique for ensuring the safe transport of sensitive data, and it helps prevent fraudsters from using your data if it falls into the wrong hands.
9. Make use of an RDP Gateway.
The latest versions of Windows Server contain an RDP gateway server that provides a single external interface to a large number of internal RDP endpoints. Microsoft also provides extensive instructions for setting up a Windows Server remote desktop gateway server.
There are even more RDP security practices one can adopt to secure their RDPs. But if these factors are considered, one can use a secured and reliable RDP.
You can even configure a restricted firewall area or start by looking for a software solution that will make the most challenging aspects of governance, risk management, and compliance which will become more accessible for the user to manage.
RDP is good to use if it considers some factors and amends them. RDP security layer best practices are listed above, and Microsoft Windows must consider providing undeniable and best services that it has been offering for ages.
We hope you had fun reading the article and making the best of it. For any further questions or queries, feel free to ask us!