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How can I lock down remote access on a windows 2003 server?

Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Hi Experts,

I have two Windows 2003 servers, one is an Exchange 2003 server and the other is a Domain Controller.  The Exchange server is also running WSUS.  I recently setup an ssl certificate that I purchased from a 3rd party provider on the Exchange server.  I am using it to secure both OWA and WSUS clients.  I setup split DNS so that I can use this certificate for internal WSUS clients.  All clients are Windows xp and 2000.  All computers on the network are running behind my router/firewall in a private ip address range.  I only have one public ip address which is configured on my router along with my ISPs DNS servers.  It all works.

Now I want to lock down remote access to the server.  At this point I am the only one who needs remote access for administrative purposes.  I currently access the server through RDP.
1.  Is this a security risk?
2.  What is the best way to setup secure remote access? (easy would be nice)
3.  Can I use my current ssl certificate to secure remote access?

Thanks Dale

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No my router does not support vpn.  I was thinking about a new router that would.  
I setup vpn on my server once but had trouble getting through the firewall.  Might try that again.  Got a good article on how to set that up?

Thanks Dale

Setting up the services on the server:

Port assignments on your firewall:

Let me know how you progress. Good luck, Todd


I setup the vpn server on my DC.  I then created a client connection on my laptop.  Opened ports
1723 tcp
1701 udp
500 udp
IPsec pass through and PPTP pass through are enabled by default on my linksys router.  I am atttached to my office LAN trying to connect but can not (is this a problem?).  I am using nat.  Is this a problem?  Help!

Well, the nat won't work when you are on the office lan as you aren't coming in from the outside interface. I don't really know what a linksys router looks like, but, you'll be doing port address translation, basically traffic coming in from the outside, on port 1723 will be translated to your internal server ip address on port 1723. To test that the vpn works, you should be able to do that from inside the network, by setting up a new network connection from your workstation to the server.

Article on a linksys setup

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