Protecting the Windows domain from outside intruders

Posted on 2006-11-07
Last Modified: 2010-08-05

Suppose I have a domain called

This domain has many things running on it such as:
- Domain controller (we'll call the server "Domain")
- Microsoft Exchange Server (we'll call the server "Exchange")
- Intranet Application (we'll call the server "Intranet")

Obviously, the Intranet application has to be accessible to the outside net. Though, I need to secure the Domain and Exchange servers from outside access. That is, I would like to be able to remote desktop into these servers from anywhere but without someone outside of my organization to remote into it. I don't even want outsiders to have the possibility to get to the log in screen.

Note that all these servers are behind a firewall.

Can someone please give me a robust solution for this problem?
Question by:alateos

Expert Comment

ID: 17890304
It sounds like you will need a VPN solution on your network.  There are many different available such as Juniper, Checkpoint Connectra, Cisco Client or Clientless, Nokia.  I personal ike the Checkpoint Connectra option.

Expert Comment

ID: 17890542
The best solution...IMO

Create a translation in your firewall allowing connection to your INTRANET server, be sure to restrict your connection via the specific port the app needs.  You don't need to open any other ports on the firewall which would subject your other servers to outside connections.

Also, hopefully your app requires a secondary login for an added layer of security.


Author Comment

ID: 17890632
sscuser how can I achieve a secondary login?
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

rsivanandan earned 250 total points
ID: 17890839
One of the best things out there now is SSL gateways's. For example an ssl gateway along with RSA authentication makes the authentication double.

1. First user from internet connect to the ssl gateway.
2. Authenticates to SSL using his userid and RSA token-id which is randomly generated.
3. Then he is admitted to the network.
4. From there if he wants to access an internal machine, he needs to input his Domain Username/Password to access it.

Juniper has a good solution for it and are the leaders now. #1 in the market.

Also you didn't mention what kind of firewall you have.


Author Comment

ID: 17890940
i have a sonicwall firewall. Where would I install this SSL gateway, between the firewall and the net? Also, is this SSL gateway a combination of hardware and software?
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17891036
You can place it after or behind the firewall.

SSL gateway (it is actually a SSL VPN solution, clientless) from Juniper is hardware and software combination? yes.

Checkout at


Author Comment

ID: 17891913
I just went through the Juniper demo... looks like a great solution. I didn't understand one thing though. When the users connect, what kind of client interface do they use? For my other clients, I have used the cisco vpn client application. So I'm just wondering what they would need to use in this case.

Expert Comment

ID: 17893655
You can use sonicwall global vpn client.  Once authenticated by sonicwall, they can use remote desktop or whatever other apps you have approved for them, and given them user name and password from Active Directory, to access the computers on the network.

Author Comment

ID: 17893670
i c maharlika.. so i just enable the vpn capability on the sonicwall firewall? Do I need to install additional software on the client side such as cisco's vpn client?
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17894959
For the juniper SSL VPN, you connect to your network using any standard browser (that is why it is an ssl vpn solution)

LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Rich Rumble
ID: 17894980
Typically, most network setups are as follows.
The firewall typically allows only certain ports in to certain host's, like ports for your email servers and webservers. Almost always, every host behind the firewall is allowed out to the internet unrestricted, as they are the more trustworthy devices, their yours inside your network. So your intranet server will likely have no problems getting out to the Internet/web. No one will be able to go from the outside(web) to the inside(lan) to reach your intranet server, unless you allow them to in the firewall.
You can use the Cisco VPN client to access a VPN endpoint on a router, firewall or vpn dedicated device aka a vpn concentrator or vpn server.
Depending on your firewall, it may have the VPN ability currently, SonicWall also has their own client, and many others such as cisco's can connect to it

There are free VPN servers available also on the Linux platform, and other *nix OS's, but the commercial vendors like juniper, cisco, sonicwall, netgear, linksys, 3com, symantec, and more... are a bit easier and take less training for all involved.

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