In a public service announcement released last Thursday, the FBI confirmed that known Remote Desktop Protocol vulnerabilities are increasingly common attack vectors of malicious cyber actors, a fact many already consider to be conventional knowledge.
Weak passwords, flawed encryption mechanisms in older versions, and lack of access controls are cited as vulnerabilities which make RDP such a frequent entry point of malware and ransomware. The report recommends that all use of RDP be carefully regulated and supervised, if not disabled entirely.
RDP is used within the Microsoft program Remote Desktop Connection, the client application for Remote Desktop Services. For general remote access needs, RDP is a useful tool that provides a lot of functionality for IT teams. However, businesses must be aware of RDP’s inherent security flaws when accessing critical IT infrastructure (e.g. production equipment, point-of-sale devices) or any equipment that contains sensitive data (e.g. employee records, healthcare information, payment card data).
Using RDP is not always a risk, but if you are remotely accessing sensitive information or secure infrastructure, RDP becomes an attack vector. It’s best to avoid using RDP in these instances.
If you would like to learn more about secure remote access and remote desktop technologies, or if you already know you need to switch to a secure solution, consider Netop Remote Control as an alternative to RDP or compare Netop Remote Control against your current solution here.