Kaspersky RDP attacks

From its H1 report on Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), Kaspersky revealed that there are a total of 4,877,645 attempted brute-force attacks against WFH users of Kaspersky solutions in the Philippines.

Kaspersky recorded these findings in the first half of 2021, a massive 98.41% increase compared to the same period in 2020. 

Data showing brute-force attacks vs users of Kaspersky solutions in the Philippines from January-June 2020 and January-June 2021. (Source: Kaspersky)

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) enables employees to access their desktops from home through a web browser. In the case of Microsoft’s RDP, brute force attacks were used, which is a way to guess a password or encryption key by systematically trying all possible combinations of characters until the correct one is found. A brute-force RDP attack targets a device running Windows and tries to find a valid RDP login or password pair. If successful, it allows an attacker to gain remote access to the targeted host computer. 

According to Kaspersky, most desktops are installed with Microsoft OS and these have been the devices heavily relied upon by WFH employees since the onset of the pandemic in the Philippines.

Kaspersky provides these protective measures against RDP attacks in the workforce, which are:

  • Use strong passwords.
  • Make RDP available only through a corporate VPN.
  • Use Network Level Authentication (NLA).
  • Enable two-factor authentication, if possible.
  • Disable RDP if not using it and close port 3389.
  • Use a reliable security solution. The Kaspersky Total Security (KTS) has the High-Tech Protection feature for advanced scanning to detect fileless malware and Zero-Day threats. It comes with the Extended Protection beneficial for securing the WI-FI network and peripherals. It’s available in Shopee or Lazada with special discounts this month for remotely-working Filipinos looking to protect their work devices. 

With the ongoing pandemic, home computers used for remote work are still below corporate cybersecurity standards. For this reason, Kaspersky shares a few more tips for companies to seriously consider:  

  • Give employees training in the basics of digital security
  • Use different strong passwords to access different corporate resources.
  • Update all software on employee devices to the latest version.
  • Use encryption on devices for work purposes where possible.
  • Make backup copies of critical data. 
  • Install security solutions on all employee devices, as well as solutions for tracking equipment in case of loss. 

“Now that remote work is projected to be the next step as the future of business evolves, it would be to every company’s advantage to pay attention to establishing and improving their cybersecurity policies,” advised Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

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