Remote Desktop

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Improving Network Security - Remote Desktop

by Dave Smallen

Last fall Hamilton, along with other NY 6 Colleges (Colgate, Union, Skidmore, Hobart and William Smith and St. Lawrence) hired a team of security consultants to assess our network security environment. Among the recommendations were steps to lower our vulnerabilities from the Internet.  The first change will be to enhance the security of the use of Remote Desktop.

Who does this affect?  Initially, any Hamilton employee connecting to on-campus resources, from off-campus, using a Remote Desktop connection (Mac or Windows).

What:  Employees will need to use a secure connection through what is known as a virtual private network (VPN) BEFORE using Remote Desktop. A VPN connection is not required if you want to check your email from off-campus, use My Hamilton or Webadvisor.

Why: To improve our data security.  Remote Desktop through an insecure connection is known to be a common point of attack for hackers.

Required: Follow the directions provided in future posts about "VPN" or "Virtual Private Network" access before making your Remote Desktop connection. If you need help setting up the VPN software ITS staff will be available to help.

Please direct questions to the Help Desk at 859-4181.  Thank you for your help in improving the security of our information environment.

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