RDP is one of the most used protocols for managing servers and jumping around in the IT infrastructure environment. This is a 3-part series about how to protect it and use it with different delegation models.
This is part one where we look at how to configure SSO and use Restricted Admin mode and other technologies minimizing our credential exposure.
Network Level Authentication
Lets start with Network Level Authentication (NLA) which should be enabled on all servers.
As per MS documentation: Configure Network Level Authentication for Remote Desktop Services Connections
Network Level Authentication completes user authentication before you establish a remote desktop connection and the logon screen appears. This is a more secure authentication method that can help protect the remote computer from malicious users and malicious software. The advantages of Network Level Authentication are:
- It requires fewer remote computer resources initially. The remote computer uses a limited number of resources before authenticating the user, rather than starting a full remote desktop connection as in previous versions.
- It can help provide better security by reducing the risk of denial-of-service attacks.
Another thing that should be mentioned is that it also provides protection against Man In The Middle (MITM) attacks. With Kerberos or TLS it can perform a mutual authentication verifying the servers identity as well. Continue reading