Modern technologies allow the displacement of the servers on a significant distance from your office. Administrators use remote desktop software to manage this kind of systems. Actually, a system administrator can control the most part of server tasks, sitting hundreds of kilometers away from the server room.
At the same time, the remote desktop management has some obvious problems. The traffic between your computer and a server is going through a common Internet line without any additional protection. In this way hackers can trap the packages, containing important business information. A remote desktop setting requires opening ports and software installation. These two factors increase the risks as well. If you are going to choose the remote administration, then, you should pay more attention to the security questions and make sure that nobody else has an access to the server information.
There are four main problems of the remote desktop control: access restrictions, unity, confidentiality and audit. There is no perfect software product for these purposes. However, combining some known methods gives sufficient results. You can implement a remote desktop safe usage with the help of the following technologies.
You can apply the terminal service via Zebedee. The Zebedee is the open source software that permits to redirect the TCP or the UDP traffic via encrypted tunnels. Using the Zebedee is hard to determine by a fingerprints method. The software implements additional coding, authentification, filtering by the IP address, tunneling and writing all the accounts. The Zebedee scans the local port, encrypts and compresses the traffic to send it to another Zebedee copy that is started on a server. Accordingly, the software creates a tunnel that can use multiple TCP or UDP connections via a single TCP port.
Another way is the usage of VNC, which is a remote desktop that is similar to the Terminal Services and gives a possibility to access the server additionally. There are some differences:
- The VNC works with the existing remote desktop on the server instead of creating multiple virtual desktops.
- The VNC clients are available on the multiple platforms, including Windows CE and Java;
- The VNC is an open source product;
- The VNC can restrict the access for definite IP addresses;
- It does not encrypt the traffic between a client and a server.
Actually, the VNC has some advantages; however, you should not use it separately. The main disadvantage is the encryption absence. Even though the VNC can create tunnels and you can enforce it with the SSH protocol. There are some products for this solution implementation, like the Windows OpenSSH.
The OpenSSH is the third way to implement the remote server management. It uses concepts, similar to the Zebedee, but this product has a more wide functionality - it works with the paths to the remote software units, has secured file copying and secured FTP functions. The SSH supports the powerful encryption and popular protocol, which provide the users' support.
You have only viewed three popular methods, though there are a lot more solutions. Each system administrator has many opportunities to choose the best security and performance for each individual case.