4 Reasons Why You Need a More Secure Alternative for Remote Access
In a growing global economy, the need for cybersecurity is greater than ever before. Data breaches and various forms of cyberattacks are all too common–but they’re easier to prevent with comprehensive remote access solutions.
One of the most common ways that malicious attackers get into networks is through remote desktop access. With remote access, users can control certain aspects of a computer even if they’re working offsite, or remotely. The risk of this is especially important for IT departments who manage multiple sites, devices, users, and networks from a centralized location. Hence why comprehensive remote access solutions are a powerful and very necessary tool in today’s fast-paced business environment.
Whether you already have remote desktop viewers and software setup, or you want to know more about how to secure them, we’re sharing four important security factors that make a difference in your remote desktop solutions.
4 Reasons to Secure a Remote Desktop Viewer
Remote desktop attacks are primarily aimed at gaining credentials to access networks. There’s a variety of ways that attackers go about gaining access, from capitalizing on poor authentication practices, to forcing encrypted data onto computers–but each is ultimately looking for more network exposure.
Some of the more common and recent attacks have focused on ransomware. Ryuk and SamSam wreaked havoc on healthcare, municipal, and public institutions causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage–and attacks like these continue to be of concern.
Often times, the access point for these attacks is through third parties, such as unsecured networks and devices. While a company itself may maintain specific security protocols, third party partners do not always adhere to the same level of encryption, authentication, and authorization. This is why it’s so crucial for companies to make sure that they have proper vendor access risk management and that their remote desktop access is secured at the highest level.
The following four reasons highlight what to beware of and how to ensure that you’re choosing a reputable, efficacious remote desktop solution for your business.
1. Lack of Multi-Factor Password Authentication
A major source of remote desktop attacks stems from a fairly obvious source: passwords. You may notice that gated websites and institutions require increasingly intricate passwords. That’s because malware is often designed to scan the internet for remote desktop sharing using tools that launch brute-force attacks.
What is a brute-force attack? Essentially, it’s a trial and error method of obtaining passwords or PINs. Numerous passwords are generated by automated software with the goal of obtaining enough correct guesses to gain access to sensitive information.
Similar to a traditional brute-force attack is password spraying. Instead of using numerous guesses to access certain accounts, password spraying tries to access many accounts with common passwords.
Solution: Centralized Multi-Factor Authentication
There are two things that make for strong authentication: a centralized system and multi-factor authentication. A siloed approach to network security means that different tools are operating in different places, leaving your system more vulnerable to attacks. With remote desktop access being managed centrally, along with authentication, you’ll ensure that all your security tools are operating at their optimum.
Additionally, tools like Netop Remote Control allow for multi-factor identification that includes SMS tokens, soft tokens, and challenge-based tokens that can be integrated with your current authentication protocols.
2. User Authorization is Too Broad
User authorization is often broad, enabling many people to access information that does not pertain to their specific role. In some cases, software may not have the capability to control user access in more specific ways, or companies are unaware of its importance.
With so many users needing to access networks and devices around the world, it’s imperative that user access is controlled in a variety of ways. This is especially useful for companies partnering with third parties to conduct business. While third parties will need access to certain parts of a network, they don’t need access to all of it making user authorization a primary concern when it comes to remote desktop viewing and access.
Solution: Granular Control Over User Permission
Granular control refers to the ability that IT managers have to grant different machines remote access in very specific ways:
- Individual or group definitions
- Customizable security roles
- Application whitelisting
- IP address
Combined with multi-factor authentication IT administrators can be confident that devices and networks are only accessible to the people they’re supposed to be, decreasing the risk of cyberattacks.
3. Insufficient Encryption Practices
Encryption, the process of encoding information traveling through a network, is an important part of cybersecurity, including remote desktop access. Yet, even with IT departments encrypting data, hackers have become adept at encrypting their own data so that it often goes undetected.
Companies still need to encrypt their data but doing so in a comprehensive way that is combined with authentication and authorization tools warrants the most secure networks.
Solution: 256-Bit AES Encryption
The most secure way to encrypt data is at key lengths of 256-bits using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which is approved by the US National Security Agency (NSA). Netop Remote Control uses the Diffie-Hellman Method, which has key lengths up to 2048 bits, ensuring that company data is encrypted at the highest level for maximum security.
Additionally, it’s important that all encryption practices adhere to relevant regulatory guidelines. With Netop Remote Control, you can be sure that remote desktop access is being secured above and beyond the standard compliance guidelines.
4. Incomplete Audit Trails
Even if you have authorization, authentication, and encryption secured, if you don’t have sufficient records of what’s happening on your network, cyberthreats could be going undetected. It’s important that IT administrators can see all activity occurring, including video recording of sessions.
There are countless logs to be recorded, so it’s important for companies to understand their unique logging needs including what logs are necessary under specific regulatory bodies. If you’ve tried other solutions that don’t provide fully compliant logs, like TeamViewer or LogMeIn, alternatives are available that will ensure compliance.
Solution: Extensive Logging
To aid in preventing future cyberattacks, and identifying current risks, companies need remote control solutions that go beyond typical compliance standards and offer extensive logging and video recording of remote control sessions.
Proper logging is necessary for both security and auditing. Not keeping proper logs can result in compliance violations. Additionally, a superior remote access solution like Netop Remote Control allows for logging to be self-hosted or Netop-hosted, giving companies more control.
With extensive logging, companies gain more visibility into what’s happening on their network. It helps to identify where breaches occurred, while also identifying potential threats, preventing security issues later.
If you’ve been using other remote desktop access software, like TeamViewer, it may not offer all features needed to protect against vulnerabilities. Preferably, TeamViewer alternatives with more robust security are available. Netop Remote Control is focused on company security first and foremost. Learn more about Netop Remote Control and start a free trial today to find out why we’re the best TeamViewer alternative.
Sam Heiney is the Product Manager for Netop Remote Control.