Laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones have become a part of our lifestyle. We are so much dependent on technology for our work, enjoyment and socializing that now, we can’t imagine our lives without it. An average American owns 2 computers, one for work and the other for regular usage. But technology often fails. A technical fault at a very crucial moment can halt your entire work and at worst damage your reputation.
- For non-IT professionals that have to work on deadlines, a frozen screen can become a nightmare.
- Often at work or at home, we find a need for accessing our far-off system to get an important file which we have forgotten to save to cloud.
Remote Desktop Sharing
Remote desktop sharing technology is the answer to these problems. Remote support technology can allow you or someone you trust, to have remote access to your computer. With remote access, you can share your important files or allow support personnel to identify and resolve the technical errors on your system.
With the innovations in the technology, individuals and corporates have been using Remote desktop sharing to:
- Work with remote team members
- Stay connected with home and Office computers
- Get instant help from IT support services
- Communicate easily in outsourced projects
But the massive scale of cyber-attacks in recent years have raised a big question- Is remote desktop sharing secured?
Remote desktop technology gives you full control over the resources of your remote system including the cursor control and keyboard inputs. Now, if imagine that an attacker somehow gained access to your computer using the same technology. The damage that he can cause is disastrous. Not only can he delete your files, but also access your banking or shopping websites and use your saved credit card to buy things or misuse the data. Websites, generally store your login credentials in cookies, therefore, an attacker doesn’t need to crack your password. He can simply open your web browser and use these websites with your identity.
Security in Remote Desktop Sharing
With compliance regulations and raising concerns of cybersecurity, remote desktop sharing tools have now become more secure and encrypted. This article focuses on the security provided by major remote desktop tools in the industry. We will see how these tools guarantee the confidentiality of remote sessions and secure them from a man in the middle, phishing or malware attacks.
The following security measures are implemented by major remote support tools:
Access Control Mechanism:
The priority of remote desktop tools is to restrict an unauthorized person to gain access to your system. This is accomplished by:
- Providing access authorization keys (employee-id) to employees and third parties that regularly require remote access to the server or network assets.
- Restricting and granting access based on keys to identify the persons having authorized access
- Recording the date, time, access id and other relevant information so that the administrator has a knowledge of when and by whom, the system was accessed
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security for helpdesk technicians and IT professionals to access a remote system. They need to go through a two-step verification process by providing their password and a security question or a one-time password sent to their email address.
After a remote desktop session is established between the host and the client, all data traffic needs to be encrypted using encryption algorithms like TLS v 1.2/AES-256 encryption. An end-to-end tunnel is established between the host and the client which means that any router or ISP server cannot decrypt the content of the sessions.
Code signing is used to protect any software that is distributed over the Internet. Code signing appends a digital signature to the executable code. This digital signature assures customers that the remote desktop software is coming from a trusted company. This assurance is necessary because attackers also create similar tools that are available for free but steals your personal and banking information.
Limit the Login and Connection Attempts:
Someone may try to guess your login credentials for the remote desktop software with repeated failed attempts. This trial-and-error method is also facilitated by automated software that generates a large number of consecutive guesses until the correct one is found. Remote desktop software needs to limit the login and connection attempts in order to prevent brute force attacks. A login attempt should also be limited only in a specific time frame.
Security on Your End
In order to truly secure your remote desktop sessions, you need to implement some of the security measures on your side as well. Companies also have security and usage policies for its employees that prevent unauthorized reading, copying, alteration, or misuse of stored data. These measures include:
- Authenticating authorized personnel (support technician)
- Securing and hiding your files and folders in which sensitive data and media are located
- Use of strong passwords & periodic change of passwords generally within 60 days.
- If a remote session has been idle for more than 15 minutes, the software should re-authenticate the user to re-activate the session.
Security should be the key criteria for anyone looking for remote desktop software. You need to ensure the confidentiality of your sessions and secure your system from unauthorized access. Therefore, while using a new remote desktop tool, for either tech support or personal use you want to make sure that it’s secure like a fort.