Is windows 2003 terminal server secure for remote communications back to the office to run small apps

Posted on 2006-04-10
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
I currently have a customer who has windows 2000 server terminal server with 5 sales persons on the road and need to run small apps back at the office. I have them setup using remote desktop and the router port forwards to the terminial server. Assuming stronge passwords and fully patched systems is this sucure or am I opening myself to some big risks. I do plan to upgrade the system to a new Dell running 2003 soon, if there are some new bells and whistles in TS 2003 you can throw those comments in here to
Question by:Brendle
    LVL 51

    Assisted Solution

    It's only as secure as the method you are using to access the server.  You should be attaching to the LAN using VPN, then opening a Terminal Session - this way the communication between server and host is secured.

    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    I agree with Netman and would say that attaching via VPN, whether IPSEC or SSL, would be more secure than what you currently have setup.

    With 2003 server, you can run the Security Configuration Wizard which will definitely "lessen" the footprint that can be penetrated (if done correctly).

    Another point to consider is the trade-off between security and convenience.  You may find that nobody outside your organization really even cares about getting into your system, and the risk imposed is worth taking, so sticking with the port forwarding for remote desktop is an assumed risk that the company is ok with.

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