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How do i securely map a network drive over the internet?


We need to access a share that sits on a 2003 server housed at a datacentre. Without going down the VPN route I configured the Windows firewall to allow file sharing, created a share and gave certain users access to it. I can now map this share remotely (\\external ip of server\sharename) and can gain access to it after entering the correct username and password. My question is: How secure a method of accessing the server is this? Am I opening up a whole host of security problems?

1 Solution
I very strongly recommend against doing this. You would have to open and forward a number of ports (135-139, 445) and this just screams MASSIVE SECURITY RISK.

I would recommend setting up an ftp service on the server, or using a vpn solution (something like hamachi).

Server 2003 comes with it's own built in FTP service you can install via add/remove windows components. Microsoft guide to set it up: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/323384
On the server hosting the share, create an IPSEC policy to secure the communication.
I would also enforce a strong password policy.
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