Protect Your VDI from an RDP Brute Force Attack

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The Vulnerabilities of RDP

— Brought to you by the 2X Cloud Computing Team

Remote Desktop Protocol or RDP is an efficient way to create a virtual desktop infrastructure and remotely offer network access to multiple users. RDP servers enable businesses to leverage resources and improve business productivity levels as resources are always available to employees. The growing popularity of BYOD, virtualization and cloud computing environments has resulted in millions of remote networks across the globe. Remote network tools come preinstalled in Windows OS, offering a handy platform for businesses. While RDP networks are popular with businesses of all sizes, hackers love them too. The recent RDP exploit watch from Security researcher Dan Kaminsky reveals that there are almost 5 million RDP endpoints that provide online access. Hackers are trying to enter into business networks by exploiting remote network vulnerabilities. Essentially, an unsecured RDP network provides an ideal scenario for a brute force attack.

The MS12-020 in the Microsoft RDP tool is an example of RDP vulnerability, and Microsoft has already released a patch for this issue. At the same time, it is estimated that each computer on a network experiences at least 50 probes per day, according to an article published by Sophos Naked Security. These statistics show how important it is to secure your RDP networks.

Why should businesses secure their RDP network?

While the RDP tool offers greater benefits for organizations, leaving your remote networks open can create a huge disaster. Hackers scan the network for open RDP ports. Normally, port 3389 is used for RDP connections. By applying brute force, hackers can get a remote connection. Once a remote connection is established, hackers can spread a virus or use the server for further hacking purposes. With an open RDP endpoint, organizations face greater risks. Especially for businesses that deal with critical data, securing your remote networks is very important. For instance, hackers can use a remote banking application and illicitly transfer money from users accounts. Whether it is for fun or for profit, RDP vulnerabilities can cost you a great deal.

There are certain business networks that do not use mission critical data. Moreover, they do not perform important business processes. Even then, it is still important to secure RDP connections as hackers can use these remote desktop servers for network attacks. It is interesting to point out that most of the RDP probes come from hacked systems. While you may believe that there is nothing that hackers can gain from accessing your remote networks, you should be aware that your servers can become part of the hacking, too.

How can businesses secure RDP networks?

The best way to prevent hackers from accessing your RDP open end points is to create a VPN tunnel that can effectively filter incoming RDP connections. The filtering of remote incoming connection can be based on IP, MAC, client version or the computer name. By securing your open RDP end points using a VPN tunnel, businesses can effectively enhance the security of windows terminal services. In addition, businesses can practice security measures like using strong passwords, updating security tools on a regular basis, enabling network level authentication and setting up account locking policies.

About 2X Software

2X Software is a global leader in virtual desktop and application delivery, remote access and cloud computing solutions. Thousands of enterprises worldwide trust in the reliability and scalability of 2X products. 2X offers a range of solutions to make every company’s shift to cloud computing simple and affordable. For additional information, visit

Giorgio Bonuccelli is a Marketing and Communications Director at Parallels. Giorgio has extensive experience in cloud computing and virtualization, with a background of many years in multinational corporations (Dell, EMC and McAfee). In his career he has filled different roles, from sales to training and marketing. This wide-ranging experience and flexibility helps him simplify concepts and write content that is easy to read and understandable even by newcomers to the subject. As a blogger and technical writer he has published more than 1000 papers.

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