The Security of Remote Desktops

Posted: March 15, 2012 in IT policy, Mobile, Rethink Remote Access, SSL
Tags: , , ,

Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about the security of remote desktop applications like LogMeIn, so here’s our take on this. More than 20 million people are registered on LogMeIn and are connecting from more than 125 million devices to their business networks. There’s no doubt that remote desktop tools, like LogMeIn, are essential for doing business in today’s mobile and distributed work environment. Yet in the rush for connectivity, too many organizations ignore the potential security risks for enabling remote desktop access – until they’re faced with a breach themselves.

Here’s why we ultimately do not recommend remote desktop tools. They impose the following security risks on businesses:

  • Because these tools run inside web browsers, they impose all of the security vulnerabilities of the browser on the connection, compromising the safety of any document retrieved from the corporate server.
  •  Remote desktop tools facilitate access from any computer or terminal, opening an opportunity for unwanted visitors to get on to the network if the original user does not log out properly.
  •  A particular concern with LogMeIn is, all communication is transacted via a third-party gateway system, exposing a company’s server to potentially malicious, unknown entities.
Comments
  1. KJ says:

    While I agree with your conclusion, I have one issue with your introduction, and it’s one that annoys me because everyone seems to lead with it. I couldn’t possibly care less that LogMeIn has 20 million, 20 thousand or 2 billion users. That says precisely nothing about the security of the product, and bringing it up gives a false sense that the more users a product has the more secure it is. How many hundreds of millions of users use Flash or Java which are perennial security cesspools?

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