5 Essential Tips for Securing Microsoft RDS in On-Premises Deployments

Securing Microsoft RDS in On-Premises Deployments

Microsoft RDS, or Remote Desktop Services, is a technology that enables users to access Windows-based applications and desktops remotely. Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is a powerful tool that enables businesses to provide remote access to their desktops, applications, and data. This allows employees to work from anywhere, at any time, while still having access to the resources they need to be productive.

However, with this convenience comes a significant risk. If not secured properly, RDS can be an easy target for hackers looking to exploit vulnerabilities. In this article, we’ll provide 5 essential tips for securing Microsoft RDS in on-premises deployments, helping you protect your organization from potential cyber threats.

Securing Microsoft RDS in On-Premises Deployments

A recent study reveals that cyber attackers successfully targeted 54% of businesses in the past year. With the rise of remote work, securing your organization’s RDS has never been more critical. Here are five tips to ensure that your Microsoft RDS is safe and secure.

Tip 1: Use Strong Passwords and Enable Two-Factor Authentication

One of the easiest ways for hackers to gain access to your RDS system is through weak passwords. The frontline defense against unauthorized RDS access is robust authentication.

Adopting strong password policies is fundamental. Passwords should be a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, enable two-factor authentication, which adds an additional layer of security by requiring a second factor, such as a text message or mobile app, to verify user identity.

Best Practices for Password Management

Passwords are often the first line of defense against unauthorized access to RDS. Using weak or easily guessable passwords can put RDS at risk of being compromised. Here are the best practices for password management, including password length and complexity:

  • Password Length: Passwords should be at least 12 characters in length and contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Password Complexity: Passwords should not contain easily guessable information, such as names, addresses, or dates of birth.
  • MFA: MFA should be required for all RDS users to add an additional layer of security.
  • Regular Password Updates: Passwords should be updated regularly to ensure that they remain secure.
  • Policies: Organizations should leverage Active Directory Group Policy to enforce all of the password recommendations above.
For customers using TruGrid SecureRDP, strong password policies and MFA are enabled by default, further strengthening this layer of defense without the need for add-ons. In addition, using TruGrid SecureRDP eliminates the need for ever exposing Microsoft RDS over the internet.

Tip 2: Keep Your System Up-to-Date

Software updates are crucial for maintaining the security of your RDS environment. Ensure that all systems are running the latest updates and patches to avoid vulnerabilities. Regularly check for updates and install them as soon as possible. By keeping your system updated, you minimize vulnerabilities.

Tip 3: Restrict Access and Implement Role-Based Permissions

A secure RDS deployment is essential to protect against unauthorized access and security threats. Weaknesses in the deployment process can result in vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers.

It is essential to restrict access to your RDS to only authorized personnel. Implement role-based permissions that limit access to specific resources based on job roles. This ensures that only those who require access can get it, reducing the likelihood of unauthorized access.

Every employee doesn’t need access to all parts of your RDS. Tailor permissions based on specific roles:

  • Use role-based permissions to grant access only to necessary resources.
  • Regularly review and revise permissions, especially during team changes.
By doing so, you limit potential breach points. TruGrid provides secure access without using VPNs or firewall vulnerabilities, which can expose your network.

Tip 4: Implement Firewall and Network Segmentation

Network security measures refer to the set of tools and techniques used to protect the network from unauthorized access, data theft, and other security threats. Firewalls are essential for protecting your RDS from external threats. Configure your firewall to allow only necessary traffic to and from your RDS. Network segmentation is also crucial, as it allows you to isolate your RDS from other network resources, reducing the likelihood of unauthorized access.

Best Practices for Network Security

  • A firewall is a device that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. It can be used to block unauthorized access and protect the network from cyber threats.
  • Encryption is the process of converting plain text into ciphertext to prevent unauthorized access. Data transmitted over RDS can be encrypted to protect it from interception.
  • Other network security measures may include intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS).

Organizations should work with security experts to implement a comprehensive network security strategy to protect the RDS environment. Where traditional setups might rely on VPNs, remember that TruGrid operates without VPN, eliminating related vulnerabilities while providing a streamlined experience.

Tip 5: Regularly Monitor and Audit Your RDS Environment

Regular monitoring and auditing of your RDS environment can help detect unauthorized access or suspicious activities. This includes monitoring logs, analyzing traffic patterns, and regularly reviewing access controls. Consistent monitoring helps in recognizing and addressing threats proactively, thereby safeguarding your RDS environment.

Methods for Monitoring and Auditing RDS Activity

  • Event Logs: Event logs are records of significant events that occur within the RDS environment. Organizations can use event logs to monitor and audit RDS activity.
  • Security Software: Security software can be used to monitor and audit RDS activity. It can detect security threats, identify unauthorized access, and provide real-time alerts.


Securing your Microsoft RDS is not a one-time task but an ongoing commitment. By implementing the practices mentioned, you not only safeguard your resources but also ensure a seamless experience for your users. Securing your Microsoft RDS is crucial for protecting your organization’s sensitive data and ensuring that it remains safe from cyber threats.

By implementing these 5 essential tips, you can ensure that your RDS environment is secure and that your organization remains protected. Use strong passwords with MFA, update your system, limit access, assign roles, use a firewall, separate networks, and regularly check your RDS. TruGrid offers a secure solution for remote access in RDS security. It is simple to use and prioritizes safety.