Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cybersecurity Tip #28: Lock Down Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

#CybersecurityTip: Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is an effective tool that allows MSPs to access and control their clients machines remotely through RMM to troubleshoot errors at any point in time. This type of flexibility is attractive to the MSP, but it is even more attractive to a threat actor. An unsecured RDP can open up many vulnerabilities if it is not properly protected, especially if malware is deployed. This can be alarming for the MSP if the following best practices are not in place in order to secure and lock down your RDP.

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Risks of an Unsecured RDP:

A primary goal of the threat actor is to gain full access to the RDP by:

  • Brute force attacks to break login credentials
  • Social engineering attacks to deploy malware/ransomware
  • Open up backdoors (and leave them open for future attacks)
  • Gain full control of exfiltrated network and ability to navigate into other networks; jeopardizing an MSPs SMBs
  • Deploy malware or ransomware to access or hold hostage of sensitive data

Secure Your RDP:

  • Use a strong, unique passwords and/or passphrase 
  • Update/patch your software and hardware regularly. Run the latest version software.
  • Change/disable listening port to so that port-scanners cannot find it.
  • Establish a lockout policy for failed login attempts.  

Multi-factor Authentication:

  • Enable Network Level Authentication (NLA). This provides an extra level of authentication before a full connection is established. 
  • Use Remote Desktop Gateway Server (RD Gateway). It provides another way to restrict access to Remote Desktop ports while supporting remote connections through a single "gateway" server.
  • For super security, implement an additional multi-factor authentication tool on an alternate device. 

Restrict Access by:


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Topics: Cybersecurity Tips