This is the first of a 2 part article I’m going to do on the Windows 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services, or RDS. This first article I’m going to cover the technology and the basic implementation. In Article 2 of 2, I’m going to focus on the Remote Desktop Web Access which is like Outlook Web Access (OWA) but for terminal services sessions as well as I’m going to cover the Remote Desktop RemoteApp that allows you to have an icon on a desktop and the user simply clicks on the icon and has access to the application without having to load up a full desktop session with a Start button and everything.So Remote Desktop Services, or RDS is the old Windows Terminal Services but several generations updated! Where organizations used to think of Terminal Services as the foundation for Citrix where the “real” stuff came from the Citrix add-in, now with Windows 2008 R2 RDS, we’ve found most (almost all) organizations no longer need … [Read more...] about Windows 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services (RDS) (1 of 2)
Remote desktop with network level authentication
Remote desktop tools are the only practical access solution for deskbound workers who are only occasionally out of the office, but should you use a hosted service or an appliance?It will depend on your specific needs, but here are some of the pros and cons of each approach.The appliance-based remote desktop solutions provide centralized control, which can be beneficial when corporate policy requires user compliance for network access from outside the DMZ. Additionally, there is no need to oversubscribe, reducing the risk of service interruptions and ensuring that even in emergencies each user will have access to their desktop. This maintains productivity for all users, which is especially useful when remote desktop is used in the context of business continuity planning (BCP).Appliances only require a one-time capital outlay. While the up-front cost may be relatively higher than a managed service, there are no ongoing license costs that could keep adding up, making ROI more easily … [Read more...] about Remote desktop access: Hosted Service or Appliance?
Increasingly, whether due to regulatory requirements or a basic recognition that static passwords just don't provide adequate security, organizations are implementing some form of strong authentication. Like all new efforts, before you start you want to be reasonably assured that you will succeed. In this tutorial we will document how to add two-factor authentication to various Microsoft remote access solutions through the Windows Server 2008 Network Policy Server. For two-factor authentication, we will be using the WiKID Strong Authentication Server - Enterprise Edition. WiKID is a dual-sourced, software-based two-factor authentication system. While the document is product specific, the process is typically the same no matter the products.Assume that you have a mixed OS environment with some Windows, some Linux/Unix. You have a new requirement for two-factor authentication to meet PCI requirements. You intend to protect all key systems, which are mostly linux and you are going to lock … [Read more...] about Two-factor authentication through Windows Server 2008 Net Policy Server
You've installed Windows Server 2008 Core Edition, so now what? For most Windows systems, remote desktop protocol (RDP) is the key mechanism to administer the server. While there are not many things that can be done locally on a Core server, it is still beneficial to have access to a session locally on the system.Determining how to do this is easy enough from Microsoft KB article 555964, but before we do this, we want to focus on the options involved. RDP connections are available in two modes for Windows Core servers: (1) only allowing other Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista connections or (2) permitting Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista connections. The difference is network level authentication (NLA), which Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 support. NLA performs the authentication through various features of the newer products before starting the Remote Desktop session and passing the display to the client. (For more about NLA and the … [Read more...] about Enabling Remote Desktop on Windows Server 2008 Core Edition
publish a blog is a little difficult. With that in mind it's nice to have the tools that allow you to work with your blog on the fly and do it without having to have a network connection.One such tool that allows this is Microsoft Windows Live Writer. Live Writer is part of the Windows Live family, which also consists of the following tools:Messenger: A much-expanded instant messaging client.Mail: Keep track of multiple e-mail accounts in one program.Photo Gallery: Manage all your photos from your camera to your PC.Movie Maker Beta: Create movies from your pictures and video clips.Family Safety: Decide how much safety you need for Web surfing.Toolbar: Add easy access to Windows Live and Windows search from Internet Explorer.Most of the tools above would be more suited for home use. Obviously one could take advantage of Messenger, Mail, and Toolbar in a business setting. Family Safety, Movie Maker, and Photo Gallery are home user only as they have little to no features ready for … [Read more...] about How do I … blog from the Windows desktop with Live Writer?
RDP Remote Desktop iFreeRDP is a free remote desktopsolution that enables secure access to your desktop from anywhere. It supportsall operating systems that support terminal services/remote desktop out of thebox. With RDP Remote Desktop iFreeRDP, you get full control over MicrosoftOffice, Adobe Acrobat, and other installed applications.Here are some of the features you'll find with RDP Remote Desktop iFreeRDP: Gesture supportfor smartphones, tablets, and mouse pointer Customizable resolutions Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP),Network Level Authentication (NLA), Transport Layer Security (TLS), or automaticencryption mode security RemoteFX supportwith NEON optimizations NSCodec 32-Bitbitmap compression support Custom keyboardfeaturing all keys found on a traditional PC keyboard Optimized cachingfor mobile 3G networksNote: The free Androidversion of this app, available from the Google Play Store, is called RDP Remote Desktop aFreeRDP. It's worth mentioning that … [Read more...] about Use RDP Remote Desktop iFreeRDP on your iPad to access a remote PC
By Susan Bradley, MVP(SBS)The dog days of summer are here along with eight bulletinsthat include one that impacts Exchange 2007 through Exchange 2013. In fact, it'sthe first official security patch for that platform. Due to a change in howExchange 2013 releases updates you must be on Cumulative rollup update 1 or 2in order to deploy this security update.Once again we're patching Internet Explorer (6 through 10)for a critical issue that includes remote code execution. For many of you, thebiggest headache will be reinstalling those .NET updates from last month'sMS13-052 that will have to be reinstalled again along with the re-releasedWindows Media patch in MS13-057 that had issues with certain applications andWMF files last month. Thisblog post is also available in the PDF format in a TechRepublic Download. This month's eight security bulletins addressvulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, the Windows OS, and Exchange. ***MS13-059/KB2862772 – Cumulative Security … [Read more...] about It’s Microsoft Patch Tuesday: August 2013
Through the years, managing desktop computers has gone from a one-to-one method of executing management tasks to the one-to-many method, of which most system admins are so fond are using. From the earlier days, prior to robust switched networks, " sneakernet" is not-so-affectionately remembered as the means with which to get data copied from one desktop by carrying a floppy disk (several of them, I might add) and manually performing the copy operation to each desktop in the company. While tried and true, it was an error-prone process since it relied on multiple executions of the same task by a human. Fast forward to modern computing times and remote management is the de facto way to perform any changes from OS provisioning to software deployment to making changes to user settings — it can all be scripted, pushed, installed, or executed remotely from a single machine to all the desktops in your environment. One task. One operation. Welcome to Apple Remote Desktop (ARD)! … [Read more...] about Pro tip: Perform remote administration with Apple Remote Desktop
In a recent article covering Sesame, a multi-factor authentication product, several readers responded with a request for more articles with a security focus. Sesame is just one great example of how a relatively small, lightweight product can enhance security beyond the traditional username/password combo. There are several other products on the market that provide a variation in enhancing the security of desktop access using hardware that many users will undoubtedly already possess: an iOS-based device.Comparing one app to another would be akin to recommending a firewall over an IPS—both provide similar functions—however, they're implemented in different fashions and often seen as complimentary to each other. In this particular article, we'll take a closer look at the iOS app called MacID from Kane Cheshire.MacID is an app for iOS/OS X that costs $3.99 (USD), and it functions as a replacement for the password combination used to access a modern Apple computer. Its strength … [Read more...] about MacID iOS app: Securely access OS X with multi-factor authentication
the most seasoned Mac users sometimes need to access Windows applications to get their work done. While the two ecosystems were at odds with each other for most of their early days in the enterprise, there are now many options for Mac users who need to access a Windows app or server. Tools like Parallels and Virtualbox are popular among users but, for years, one of the standard applications for connecting the two systems is the Microsoft Remote Desktop connection. And, fortunately, the process for downloading and using the Microsoft Remote Desktop on macOS Sierra is fairly straightforward. Here's how. Note: If you want to access Microsoft Remote Desktop on an older version of Mac OS X, check out this article instead. As with most modern Mac applications, Microsoft Remote Desktop is available for download through the Mac App Store. Go to the icon Dock on your desktop and click the blue "App Store" icon to open it. Inside the Mac App Store, type "Microsoft Remote Desktop" … [Read more...] about How to access Microsoft Remote Desktop on macOS Sierra