What Is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)?
When talking about Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) we are referring to the technical standard used to safely and remotely access a desktop computer.
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is the protocol that controls the operation of a personal computer from a remote location. The protocol is intended to provide users access to their computers in order to administer them, share files and other resources, and perform other types of tasks.
‘Remote Desktop’ Meaning?
The ability represented by being able to connect to and utilize a remote desktop computer from a different computer is known as a remote desktop. The users that are employing this protocol will be able to access their desktop, open and edit files, and utilize apps just like they were sitting in front of their computer, making RDP a must-have when traveling or working from home.
Imagine that you are using the machine you are connected to just as you were in front of it.
RDP works by sending the mouse movements and keystrokes to the desktop computer remotely, by making use of the internet.
To connect to any remote desktop gateways on-premises, a client can utilize a browser or a remote desk client over the Internet. While these are predicated on using RDP via HTTPS, the danger is only substantially reduced as compared to using RDP directly.
Additional authentication and abstraction restrictions in the RD Gateway or RD Web Access Server would be defined as Policy Rules as part of the mitigation.
The greatest risk, however, is exposing RDP on the Internet and allowing it to get through firewalls directly to a target on the internal network. This is a widespread practice that should be avoided at all costs.
When it comes to sending and receiving data via the RDP stack the 7-layer OSI model for communication is applied.
The data itself goes through a process where is sectioned, directed to a channel, encrypted, wrapped, framed and packaged and only then it’s sent over the wire to its destination. The same process is repeated, but in reverse, afterward.
The stages of an RDP connection are as follows:
- Connection Initiation
- Basic Settings Exchange
- Channel Connection
- Security Commencement
- Secure Settings Exchange
- Capabilities Exchange
- Connection Finalization
- Data Exchange
Why Use RDP?
One advantage of using this protocol is that it does not demand the use of a VPN, as it keeps data on the user’s desktop, rather than on cloud servers or on insecure personal devices, which is safer. RDP also allows firms with an on-premises IT infrastructure to allow their workers to work from home.
Unfortunately, though, RDP can create latency, especially if the user’s local Internet connection is sluggish. This may irritate remote workers and reduce their productivity.
Enterprises of all sizes may employ the use of RDP to access servers, collaborate with other employees, and remotely access desktops to perform tasks similar to how they would with a physical office presence.
RDP Security Risks and Mitigation
Remote Desktop sessions are carried out through an encrypted channel, which prevents anyone from listening in your session. However, a flaw in the way used to encrypt sessions in previous versions of RDP can allow unwanted access to your connection through a man-in-the-middle attack.
SSL/TLS encryption may be used to secure Remote Desktop on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016. Here are some basic security precautions for utilizing RDP properly.
The following recommendations will help you in securing Remote Desktop access.
Before activating Remote Desktop, use strong passwords on any accounts that may have access to it.
When feasible, use two-factor authentication to add an extra degree of protection.
Maintain your software updated. You should ensure that you have the most recent versions of both the client and server software installed.
Use firewalls to restrict access to remote desktop listening ports when they are accessible (default is TCP 3389). An RDP Gateway may be used to limit RDP access to desktops and servers.
RDP Gateways can restrict access to Remote Desktop ports while still allowing remote connections to be made through a single “Gateway” server. When using an RD Gateway server, you should restrict access to all Remote Desktop services on your PCs and workstations to the RD Gateway exclusively.
The RD Gateway server listens for Remote Desktop requests via HTTPS (port 443) and connects the client to the destination machine’s Remote Desktop service.
If using an RD Gateway is not an option, you might add an additional layer of authentication and encryption by tunneling your Remote Desktop sessions using IPSec or SSH.
It’s important to note that Heimdal™ Remote Desktop uses the RSA 2048/4096-bit public/private key exchange to negotiate a final symmetrical AES 256-bit end-to-end encryption, therefore making sure that the connection will be safe.
Heimdal™ Remote Desktop, the Solution that Helps Support Users Anywhere in the World
Connect with your staff and customers across several devices with ease, using a secure, ready-to-use, and compliant solution.
Agent-to-agent, dashboard-to-agent, and agent-to-no-agent communication are all supported by Heimdal™ Remote Desktop.
Enjoy Heimdal™’s Remote Desktop solution, the integrative approach to remote access & control made to empower your support crew to achieve more in less time and from a single application.
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