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5 ways to secure your company’s remote desktop (RDP) data and sessions

You have to secure your computer for your sake and your company’s sake. A simple cyberattack can have long-lasting effects on everyone.

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Image: Joe Rice-Jones/KnowTechie

There has been a huge rise in people working remotely. That means more workers than ever are relying on a remote desktop (RDP). Unfortunately, not many people know how to actually secure the data and sessions on their RDP. You’re about to learn the 5 ways to secure your RDP and stay safe while working remotely.

Keep in mind: the following list works best when you use all five ways at the same time – it’s not a “top 5” list that you can choose from.

Why Does RDP Security Matter?

Cybersecurity is important for personal devices, but it’s even more important for devices you use for work. Company trade secrets, financial documents, and customer information is at stake as well as your personal information.

Quick ways to secure your RDP will keep hackers and cyber attackers away from this data.

1. Two-Factor Authentication

One of the quickest ways to secure your RDP is by enabling two-factor authentication. This is the process of getting a call, text, or email that has a temporary code. The temporary code needs to be entered as well as your account’s password to gain access.

How does this help? Even if a hacker gets ahold of your password, they can’t access your account without also getting physical access to your phone or email. As you can imagine, this makes it a lot more difficult.

Hackers use software that can eventually crack into any password. Never assume your account is safe just because your password is strong – that’s where two-factor authentication comes in.

2. Windows Updates

Those pesky updates that leave you rolling your eyes are actually keeping you safer than you can imagine. The most common reason for updates is to fix errors and make the software harder for hackers to break into.

That means that the longer you go without updating, the higher your chances are of a successful cyberattack on your RDP. Hackers like to share the exploits and vulnerabilities that they find. The longer you drag your feet, the more hackers know how to get into your system.

3. Antivirus

Another strong way to keep your RDP secure from hackers is with a robust antivirus program.

If you didn’t know, every time you use your computer, you’re at risk of running into a virus. Seemingly normal-looking websites, links, and images can be hiding malicious content in them. You won’t know until it’s too late.

Antivirus software is constantly screening your computer and checking for malware and malicious code. In many cases, an antivirus application will do routine scans that look at the files on your computer and verify that they’re safe.

That means that even if malicious code snuck through the cracks and is living on your RDP, antivirus programs can find it and eliminate it.

4. A Strong Firewall

Alongside your antivirus program, you should also use a strong firewall. These two work hand-in-hand to create a strong cybersecurity system.

The firewall will screen content as you use the internet. The firewall is the first line of defense against attacks. When you go to a website, the website will ask your computer’s permission to show you content and download data.

The firewall will determine if this request is legitimate, and it will see if the data contains viruses. If it spots suspicious requests, it will deny access and won’t load the website at all.

5. VPN

The final way to secure your RDP is through a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. Without a VPN, every action you make online is saved and stored somewhere. This data can be used against you in the long run, and it can be used against your company as well.

The only way to stop this data from being stored is to use a VPN. The VPN masks your identity and allows you to use the internet anonymously and without a data log.

Your company can get a VPN that protects multiple users at the same time. Some VPN programs also work in a similar way to a firewall – if too much information is being requested, then the website won’t load at all.

Conclusion

Now you know some easy and effective ways to secure your RDP while working remotely. You have to secure your computer for your sake and your company’s sake. A simple cyberattack can have long-lasting effects on everyone.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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