What is RDP?
RDP, or Remote Desktop Protocol, is an integral part of Windows that can be found in most PCs that act as servers (as a general rule: pro editions). It enables users to access a device from a distance, giving them remote access and control of the remote device. Purposes include remote work and remote desktop use, application publication, troubleshooting and technical support, farm management and maintenance and upkeep of servers.
What is VPN?
Virtual Private Networks act like a tunnel for information in transit. What it cannot do is replace strong credentials or strict sign-in settings such as connection provenance or failed-login attempts thresholds. The tunnel becomes ineffective if there is no stops on who can use it.
Basics to secure RDP without VPN
Securing RDP requires some basic actions such as strong passwords and related credentials settings. Encryption and certificates are also important, to help guarantee end-points and communications. Without these, RDP can prove to be too much of an inroad for attacks and other cyber-threats. Businesses generally value their data but not all realise to what risks unsecured RDP exposes them.
What TLS does towards securing RDP?
TLS, Transport Layer Security, is the protocol used by HTTPS for encryption. Have you heard of secure handshakes? That is the expression to refer to this way of checking the legitimacy of both parties in a remote data connection. Indeed, without a valid certificate from either end-point, the connection will be curtailed. On the other hand, once identities are ascertained, the ensuing communication tunnel in place is secure.
How do Strong Credentials Secure RDP Better Than a VPN?
There is no doubt that usernames being adapted (rather than left as default) is amongst our top solutions along with passwords being chosen for their strength. These remain some of the simplest yet most powerful ways to keep any threat out of the system. Whether a password is invented or randomly generated, it locks a systems down with sufficiently great effectiveness that potentially makes strong credentials the single paramount factor for good security from certain points of view.
And derived from this, you can add any settings attached to passwords such as time-restrictions for connection attempts or lockout which restricts the number of failed login attempts and their frequency. You can use these great tools within TSplus Advanced Security and benefit from other great networking safeguards in one download.
2FA as an Extra Layer of Security for RDP
Two factor authentication is definitely a good way to strengthen any login procedure. It should be no secret since it figures among the tools used for online banking. Multi factor authentication adds an extra field of identity verification and generally uses a mobile device such as your smartphone. For example, though it is often sent as an SMS, the random code can also be sent via email.
TSplus Advanced Security Tools to Secure RDP
Meanwhile, you can let the potential settings guide your steps. As you go through the side menu on the Admin Console, you can rapidly see the important areas to target and where to clamp down. Here are some power-tools to help secure your RDP connections, thanks to Advanced Security.
A big favourite amongst the toolset provided by TSplus Advanced Security is Homeland selection. This stops remote connections from countries other than those you validate. The tip here is to make sure the first country you select is the one from which you are connecting at the time of setup.
But that’s not all. In Advanced Settings, you can choose the processes that are listened to and watched by Homeland Access Protection. Ports are one of the items in question here. Homeland listens to 3 of them by default, of which port 3389, the standard RDP port. Hence why our security software makes such a difference towards RDP security.
IP Addresses and Ransomware
When you look at it, Homeland, works similarly to a whitelist. In fact, whitelisting also features on Advanced Security’s actions. In the IP Addresses tab, you can block or whitelist Ips. This will enable you to verify certain IP addresses which you know need to be used.
Along the same vein, another perk is the list of countless blocked IPs from which Advanced Security protects your network from the outset. These are listed in the Ransomware tab. You may find it interesting that you can also describe any of them to differentiate them from the rest. Plus, for practical reasons, they are searchable.
In Bruteforce, you have the possibility to implement the plan you may have drawn up to strengthen your company’s cyber-security. Keeping “maximum failed login attempts” to a minimum while waiting longer before resetting the counter will noticeably diminish malicious opportunities to hack into your network via password testing.
As for the next tabs of the Admin Console, Permissions enables you to inspect and edit each permission or type of permission by clicking on them, down to even subfolders. The categories users, groups, files, folders and printers can be set to denied, read, modify or ownership status according to the company choices for each.
Working Hours, meanwhile, is a tool to allocate times and days to users or groups. It also means administrators can set automatic disconnection when users reach the end of their business hours and parameters for warning messages to notify them prior to this happening.
With security levels for different uses, Secure Desktop gives access Kiosk Mode, Secured Desktop Mode or Windows Mode. These are respectively a sandbox use, an in-part access (documents, printer, Windows keys and disconnecting from the session) and finally a default Windows session. What’s more, each of these is customisable and can be strengthened with right-click and context menu restriction.
The Endpoints tab, not to be ignored, enables your IT administrators to name particular devices from which a user may connect. This actions once more serves tighter security since it requires a pair made of an authorised device and its correct credentials.
The Events tab will open the list of events so you can check and search them. Different actions are available via a right-click on any particular event, so you can copy it or block or unblock IPs etc.
To Conclude: Is RDP Secure Without VPN
Our software speaks for itself, so feel free to download TSplus Advanced Security and any other of our products to secure your RDP connections. All are instantly available on a 15-day fully featured trial. And should you have any questions, we will be glad to hear from you. Our Support Team as well as our Sales Team are easily reached for any matters. Your technical, purchase, and partnership matters or specific needs amongst others are all taken into account.