5 Ways to Keep Your Windows Remote Desktop Secure

Secure Remote Desktop

It is important to ensure that your remote desktop connections are safe and do not compromise the security of the rest of your system.

The remote desktop feature in Windows is one of the most powerful tools available for remote access. It allows remote access to your desktop from any computer with an internet connection. This technology was usually popular for providing tech support and quick fixes to software problems. But its power also makes it a target for malicious actors seeking access to your system and data. Here are some tips that you can follow to make sure that your Windows Remote Desktop experience is secure.

How to Secure Remote Desktop?

If you have a computer with a weak security setup remote connections could act as a gateway for cybercriminals to access your devices and data. It’s possible that the hacker could gain access to your work system as well. But there are specific things that you can do to ensure that your connection remains secure. Here is how to Secure Remote Desktop Connections To Safely Access Your PC over the Internet.

Use Strong Passwords

When you access the remote computer it asks for user credentials. And having a strong password is the simplest and most effective way to secure remote desktop access. Make sure your password should be unique and use more than eight characters (12+ is recommended) with numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, and special characters.

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    Additionally, you can change your user account name to something other than the default Administrator, this makes it twice as difficult for cybercriminals as they have to guess your user name as well as your password.

    secure password generator

    Use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

    MFA is an additional layer of security that you can use to protect your system. It requires users to provide an extra verification factor to prove the account belongs to them. The Windows multi-factor authentication feature can be used for Remote Desktop sessions and is highly recommended if you are accessing sensitive data. You can also use third-party solutions such as Google Authenticator or Authy to provide additional security.

    two-factor authentication

    Disable Drive Redirection and Clipboard Sharing

    Drive redirection and clipboard sharing to refer to the ability to access and share files between two machines. This feature is convenient but can be a security risk if an attacker has access to your system. Say, for instance, an attacker has access to your computer, and you have drive redirection enabled. They could then potentially download sensitive files from your system. Disable drive redirection and clipboard sharing for any Remote Desktop connections to prevent this.

    To configure this open Group policy editor using gpedit.msc and navigate Local Group Policy Editor navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Device and Resource Redirection.

    Disable Drive Redirection

    Use a VPN

    Virtual private networks have long been used to securely connect two computers over the internet. As for the remote desktop protocol, you can use a VPN to add an extra layer of security. It will encrypt all traffic between the two machines, making it difficult for an attacker to eavesdrop on your session. When choosing a VPN, select one with a good track record for security and privacy. Consider using a paid VPN if you are accessing highly sensitive data.

    How VPN works

    Use Network Segmentation

    Network segmentation separates different parts of your network into different “zones” or subnets. This can help to reduce the risk of an attacker gaining access to your entire system if one part is compromised. For a remote desktop, you can use network segmentation to limit access to just the remote desktop session itself. This will help to protect other parts of your system from being exposed if an attacker manages to gain access to the session.

    Limit the Number of Users

    Sometimes, threats arise from within. Limiting the number of users with access to your remote desktop can help reduce the risk of malicious actors gaining access or making changes to your system. Make sure to only grant access to trusted users who need remote access. When one of the users is done with their session, make sure to end it or log out immediately. This will help to further protect your system from unauthorized access.

    Sign out remote user

    Install patch updates

    Microsoft regularly releases windows updates to patch or address security vulnerabilities. Make sure all computers, as well as the systems themselves, are running the latest versions of the operating system. This includes installing any recent security updates to make sure that recent breaches are fixed.

    Windows 11 check for updates

    Following the tips above can help keep your Windows Remote Desktop experience secure. You can access your remote desktop with peace of mind, knowing that your system is protected from malicious actors.

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