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Windows XP Remote Desktop Security Risk?

Posted on 2004-10-13
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Is there a significant security risk with using Windows XP Remote Desktop?  How does this compare to using a VPN?  What is the difference and the advantages of each?  It seems that settin up Windows XP Remote Desktop is significantly easier than setting up a VPN.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:cccgsmith
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12305215
Remote desktop is encrypted, but for security, your best bet is to use a VPN and then use Remote Desktop over that.  More security, the safer you are - but nothing's 100%
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by:amirinamdar
amirinamdar earned 200 total points
ID: 12305742
Hi,
I have already answered that question elsewhere with assistance. Please look here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Q_21163133.html
Cheers!
Amir
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Expert Comment

by:gjohnson99
ID: 12324712
Windows remote desktop is very secure.   As for VPN it can be very secure to but it depends on the encryption type used.
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tmcguiness earned 300 total points
ID: 12373869
Encryption doesn't equal security. VPN and the encryption offered by remote desktop is encrypted communications. This is good, but your data spends a whole lot more time on a disk drive than it does on a wire. Sometimes, we tend to forget this fact, we secure the daylights out of the data on the wire that is already fairly difficult to get ahold of and we don't think about what it means to the security of the machine.

OK... that's all for my lecture. Either way you go, you can use ssh or ipsec or I believe you can even use plain text with remote desktop (I don't have much direct experience with it). So they can both be configured for secure communications. You need to be concerned with which one will expose your machines to the least risk in terms of confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

You are certainly going to be able to find VPN solutions that will provide you that is much more capable of securing your machine, but then you also need to determine how much money you really want to spend to protect your stuff. Remote desktop hasn't had any significant vulnerabilities, and unless you have a real need for making your machine more secure like using two factor authentication, you'll proabably be further ahead with it.
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by:cccgsmith
ID: 13230331
Sorry about the delay in closing this question. Thanks for the input.
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