Methods to Secure Windows Remote Desktop RDP

How To Secure Windows Remote Desktop In September 2018 the FBI issued a public service announcement regarding risks and hacking attempts again the RDP protocol.  See the announcement here which includes some suggestions (with additional considerations below) https://www.ic3.gov/media/2018/180927.aspx Considerations For Securing your Windows Server / RDP Terminal Server Here is a list of various actions to […]

RD Session Host Security settings in Windows Server 2016

RD Session Host Security settings in Windows Server 2016 (SSL, High encryption, etc.) Gpedit.msc, computer configuration, administrative templates, windows components, remote desktop services, remote desktop session host, security, see various options. “Require use of specific security layer for remote (RDP) connections” – Changing Security Layer to SSL is the recommendation listed in Windows 2016, “Client […]

Enable Group Policies to automatically logoff disconnected sessions or idle sessions after X minutes/hours

Enable Group Policies to automatically logoff disconnected sessions or idle sessions after X minutes/hours Not only does this reduce server resources (ram/cpu) that are used up by disconnected sessions and affecting the overall performance of the remote desktop server, automatically logging off disconnected and idle sessions may help lessen risk if vulnerabilities in Windows are […]

RD Gateway Role in RDS

Update: see more detailed post on how to install the RD Gateway Role on Windows Server 2019/2016 here:  http://www.riptidehosting.com/blog/installing-the-remote-desktop-gateway-role-rdgw-on-windows-server-2019/ RD Gateway Role in RDS Using the Remote Desktop Gateway Role (RDGW) provides additional security by forcing RDP traffic over https/port 443 (requires SSL certificate) instead of port 3389. General steps to install the RDGW role on […]

Windows Server Lockout Policies

Lockout Policies (based on username attempts, not IP addresses): To lock out an account for a period of time after a number of incorrect login attempts (to create delay with recurring failed logins), you can set up Account Lockout Policies in Windows.  It does NOT apply to the Administrator account (so you may want to […]

Limit users who can login via RDP

Limit users who can login via RDP By default, all users in the “Administrators group” have RDP access rights.  And, of course, all users in the “Remote Desktop Users group” have RDP access rights too.  If you only want some members of the Administrators group to have RDP access, you can adjust this in Local […]

Change RDP Listening Port

Change RDP Listening Port from default 3389 Changing the RDP listening port to a non-default port may not defeat a determined hacker but it should reduce attacks from automated bots.  **Remember to create new firewall rules to allow the new port number so you don’t accidently lock yourself out.  And remember that end-users will need […]

Windows Server 2016 VPN

Update:  See link here for Setting up the VPN Role on Server 2019- http://www.riptidehosting.com/blog/how-to-install-vpn-server-on-windows-server-2019/ Windows Server 2016 VPN Using a VPN with RDP is more secure because it provides two steps to access your network.  You could require clients to connect with a VPN first before being able to RDP to the server.  Unless you […]

Two-Factor / Dual-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor / Dual-Factor Authentication There are several third-party software products available that enable two-factor authentication.  One third party software option is Duo Security (www.duo.com) which provides two-factor authentication for RDP access (and more) where you have to enter a code during RDP login that you receive on your smartphone first.  Duo has a free personal […]