Remote access (RDP) to my Small Business

Many years ago, a lot of small businesses used RDP Port Forwarding to access their Office computers from home, so they could get away from the office a little more and spend more quality time at home. This seemed like a great idea, it was easy, it was free, and it seemed secure, after all, “I’m just a tiny business, why would hackers go after me?”

What is RDP Port Forwarding?

RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) is an extremely useful technology, in essence it allows you to “take-over” another computer, see the screen, type and work as if you were sitting on a remote computer. For clarity sake, it could be down the hall from you, it could be on the desk next to you, or it could be on the other side of the planet.

But, in the earlier days computer techs and tech-savvy business owners would setup Remote Desktop, to allow them to access their computer from home. But normally the method for that was to open a hole in your Firewall, so you could sneak into it to work. But the problem is, that allowed anyone to try and login, not just you. Attackers know where to look and what to attack, and because there is no security with the exception of a Password, they can just keep trying and trying until they figure it out.

Now, in 2019, we have seen a new breed of threats, one which can abuse that Remote Desktop Protocol and launch programs such as Viruses and Malware on your system, instead of just breaking in to take over.

I’m just a small business in Langley, who would want to Attack me?

Well, the truth is, you aren’t targetted specifically in most cases. But people are constantly scanning the Internet to look for any device that matches a certain pattern. If they scan a million computers, and 99% of them are secure, then they just target the 1% that is left over, they don’t really care what or who it is and in the vast majority of cases, it’s entirely automated by an attacker.

But I need Remote Access, What should I do?

The most effective method is to install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) Router, this allows you to establish a secure connection to your office, prior to using Remote Desktop. This means you don’t have any of the open holes in your network for people to find and attempt to abuse.

There are certainly many different types of Remote Access but Remote Desktop is one of the most common and when done right, it can be very secure. Many businesses often use services like Logmein or TeamViewer which are great secure alternatives, However their prices tend to keep going up every year and in general accessing your computer over a Web-Based interface tends to be a little slower and less responsive than using Remote Desktop.

What is a VPN Router?

A VPN Router is a router that provides you with Virtual Private Network services. Essentially this means it is a secure connection broker that you can use from your Home or Abroad to establish a secure and encrypted connection into your office. Not only does it allow you to get in securely, but it also encrypts your data while it is in transit so it only further enhances the security of your network.

Another additional benefit, is often VPN Routers have several other built-in features which can continue to build a more secure network. Our favourite VPN Router not only provides VPN Services, but it also provides LTE (Cellular) Backup Internet and Content Filtering against Phishing and Malicious Websites. We call it a bit win!

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