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Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Two-Factor / Multi-Factor Authentication (2FA/MFA)

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In this setup guide, we will configure Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) or Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for Remote Desktop Services (RDS). This additional layer of security helps protect your RDS environment from unauthorized access by requiring users to provide two or more authentication factors.

By implementing 2FA/MFA for Remote Desktop Service (RDS), you enhance the overall security of your remote desktop access. It significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access, as it becomes much harder for attackers to bypass the additional authentication layer. This helps protect sensitive data and mitigates the chances of successful brute-force attacks or compromised credentials.

It is very important to have second-factor authentication. miniOrange provides easy to setup Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) solution for your Virtual Desktop and easy to setup solution for your Remote Desktop Services (RDS). After entering your username and password as the first factor for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) MFA, you will have to enter the second factor which will authenticate you to use your machine virtually. MiniOrange provides 15+ MFA methods like OTP over SMS, Email, Google/Microsoft Authenticator, Hardware tokens and many more.

Be Cyber Insurance compliant with miniOrange MFA solution.  Read More

miniOrange Integrates with the following Remote Desktop Services (RDS) for MFA -

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Gateway
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Web Access
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop HTML5 Web Client

Get Free Installation Help - Book a Slot

miniOrange offers free help through a consultation call with our System Engineers to Install or Setup Remote Desktop Services (RDS) MFA / 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) solution in your environment with 30 days Free trial.

For this, you need to just send us an email at idpsupport@xecurify.com to book a slot and we'll help you setting it up in no time.

Pre requisites for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) MFA

  • Make sure your Remote Desktop service (RDS) is configured properly in your environment. The standard authentication process for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) with an active directory should be working properly.
  • miniOrange also supports MFA for Windows Logon and RDP. You can configure MFA over domain-joined machines as well as standalone machines. Click the above link to know more details.
  • If you are having Linux systems and want to enable MFA for Linux login & SSH access, please visit miniOrange Linux MFA.

1. miniOrange MFA for RD Gateway

Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway or RDG) is a secure encrypted connection for access and managing the remote access to servers and internal resources using RDP protocol. RD Gateway gives better control and management of resources and servers for end-users accessing outside the organization’s firewall. With miniOrange, you can enable 15+ MFA methods like OTP over SMS/email, push notifications, TOTP-based soft tokens, etc. for RD Gateway.

Get more detailed information about miniOrange's RD Gateway MFA solution.

Remote Desktop Services (RDS) (MFA/2FA) two factor authentication : RD Gateway

2. miniOrange MFA for RD Web access

Microsoft Remote desktop Web Access (RD Web Access) is used in remote desktop services to get access to remote Windows machines and servers using a web browser or from the Start menu. Enable miniOrange MFA over RD web for your end-users for remote access. The first level of authentication will be done from the Active directory and then the user will be prompted for the second factor (2FA / MFA). miniOrange helps to improve the security of the servers and resources of your organization.

Get more detailed information about miniOrange's RD Web Access MFA solution.

Remote Desktop Services (RDS) (MFA/2FA) two factor authentication: RD Web Access

3. miniOrange MFA for RD HTML5 Web Client

miniOrange supports the latest HTML5-based RD web client for enabling MFA for remote access of users. There will be no change in the primary authentication (username and password) using the on-premise active directory, and only an additional MFA will be asked of the user. Enable 15+ MFA methods for your end-users will be using the remote desktop services (RDS). User registration and setting up MFA can be managed using the miniOrange self-service console. Custom groups and policies can be set up for RDS MFA based on the organization's requirements.

What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) & Why VDI Security Solutions important?

VDI is a desktop-centric service that hosts user desktop environments on remote servers and storage systems, which are accessed over a network using a remote display protocol. Enterprises are converting physical desktops to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) since it provides efficient hardware utilization and centralized management while reducing costs.

Due to the COVID-19, many companies need to find some ways to enable remote working. VDI solution is one of their choices. Remote Desktop Services (RDS) can provide a quick win VDI solution but it still need to spend efforts to setup for some authentications and security settings, e.g. MFA. For some SME companies, they may not have their own RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) server and OTP (one-time password) server to enable Two Factor Authentication 2FA/MFA. miniOrange provides a ready to use Two-Factor Authentication - 2FA solution for RDS/RDP/RD Web/RD Gateway using RADIUS Server which enables an extra layer of authentication to RDS/RDP/RD Web/RD Gateway logins & ensures that you roll out secure access to your employees within minutes.

To use miniOrange Two-Factor Authentication (2FA/MFA) you can enable RADIUS authentication in Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and configure policies in miniOrange to enable or disable Two-Factor Authentication 2FA for users.

Types of Two Factor Authentication (2FA/MFA) Authentication with RADIUS

The 2-factor authentication can be of two types depending on the Application.

  • Applications that support RADIUS Challenge.
  • Applications that do not support RADIUS Challenge.

In Applications that support RADIUS Challenge :

  • First step is user's username & password get validated against the credentials stored in Active Directory and 2nd request sends a success response, this request is sent to validate the 2-factor authentication of the user, on successful authentication user is granted access to the application.
  • Authentication methods : All Authentication methods are supported by miniOrange. Software Token, Push Notification, OTP over Email to name a few.
Remote Desktop Services (RDS) (MFA/2FA) Multi-Factor Authentication

Connect with any External Directories

miniOrange provides user authentication from various external directories such as miniOrange Directory, Microsoft AD, Azure Active Directory/LDAP, AWS Cognito and many more.

Can't find your Directory? Contact us on idpsupport@xecurify.com

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA/MFA) for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) VDI to increase security level.

1. Add Radius Client in miniOrange

  • Login into miniOrange Admin Console.
  • Go to Apps and click on Add Applicaton button on the top right corner.
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) (MFA/2FA) Multi-Factor Authentication add app

  • Choose RADIUS as Application type and click on Create App button.
  • MFA Multi-Factor Authentication for Remote Desktop Services (RDS)  radius dashboard

  • Click on Remote Desktop Services (RDS) application tab. If you don't find your application click on Radius Client application tab.
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) (MFA/2FA) Multi-Factor Authentication radius client

  • Configure details below to add Radius Client.
  • Client Name: Any name for your reference.
    Client IP: IP address of VPN server which will send Radius authentication request.
    Shared Secret: Security key.
    For Eg. "sharedsecret"
    (Keep this with you, you will need to configure same on VPN Server).
    Do not Support Challenge: Keep this Unchecked.

    MFA Multi factor authentication for Remote Desktop Services (RDS)  App Configure

  • Configure the following Policy details for the Radius App.
  • Group Name: Group for which the policy will apply.
    Policy Name: Any Identifier that specifies policy name.
    Login Method Login Method for the users associated with this policy.
    Enable 2-Factor Authentication Enables Second Factor during Login for users associated with this policy.
    Enable Adaptive Authentication Enables Adaptive Authentication for Login of users associated with this policy.
    MFA Multi factor authentication for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Policy Configure

  • Click on Save.

  • NOTE: For On-Premise version follow the below steps before testing the connectivity.

    Only For On-Premise Version

    Step 1: Open Firewall Ports.

  • In order to receive the RADIUS request, it is necessary to open UDP traffic on ports 1812 and 1813 for the machine where On-Premise IdP is deployed.
  • If the hosting machine is a Windows Machine then you can follow this document.
  • If the hosting machine is a Linux Machine then you can follow this document.

  • NOTE: If your machine is hosted on AWS, then enable the ports from the AWS panel.

2. Configure Remote Desktop Services

  • Login to your Remote Desktop Services (RDS) dashboard and go to RADIUS Server Settings.
  • Fill the details as mentioned below:
  • Label The name of this configuration. Eg:miniOrange Radius
    Hostname/Address For on-premise version: IP of server where IDP(miniOrange) is installed
    For cloud version: Contact us at info@xecurify.com to get the IP
    Authentication Port Enter 1812 (or whichever port configured on your miniOrange Authentication Proxy).
    Authentication type Must be PAP.
    Shared secret code Enter the Shared secret that we used to configure RADIUS app in miniOrange IDP.
    In step 1 we configured the shared secret as "sharedsecret"
    Server timeout (in seconds) Increase the timeout to 90 seconds.
    Max attempts Number of times to send authentication request. Must be 1.
  • Click Save.

3. Configure 2FA for End-Users

  • Login into End-User Dashboard using Default User Directory credentials..
  • Select Configure 2FA from left panel.
  • MFA/Two Factor Authentication(2FA) for Remote Desktop Services (RDS)  Configure 2FA Panel

  • Browse through the Second factor options and choose an appropriate method to be used by end user during login.
  • For now, we have selected the "OTP OVER SMS"as our 2FA method. You can explore the guide to setup other 2FA methods.
  • Enable the OTP over SMS if you have your phone number added under your profile section else click on Edit button.
  • MFA/Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) for   Configure 2FA Panel

  • Enter you Phone Number along with the necessary country code and click on the SAVE below.
  • MFA/Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) for   Configure Second Factor-SMS(Enter Mobile Number)

4. Configure Your User Directory (Optional)

miniOrange provides user authentication from various external sources, which can be Directories (like ADFS, Microsoft Active Directory, Azure AD, OpenLDAP, Google, AWS Cognito etc), Identity Providers (like Okta, Shibboleth, Ping, OneLogin, KeyCloak), Databases (like MySQL, Maria DB, PostgreSQL) and many more. You can configure your existing directory/user store or add users in miniOrange.

  • To add your users in miniOrange there are 2 ways:
  • 1. Create User in miniOrange

    • Click on Users >> User List >> Add User.
    •  VPN 2FA : Add user in miniOrange

    • Here, fill the user details without the password and then click on the Create User button.
    •  MFA: Add user details

    • After successful user creation a notification message "An end user is added successfully" will be displayed at the top of the dashboard.
    •  Two-Factor Authentication: Add user details

    • Click on On Boarding Status tab. Check the email, with the registered e-mail id and select action Send Activation Mail with Password Reset Link from Select Action dropdown list and then click on Apply button.
    •  2FA: Select email action

    • Now, Open your email id. Open the mail you get from miniOrange and then click on the link to set your account password.
    • On the next screen, enter the password and confirm password and then click on the Single Sign-On (SSO) reset password button.
    •  Multi-Factor Authentication: Reset user password
    • Now, you can log in into miniOrange account by entering your credentials.

    2. Bulk Upload Users in miniOrange via Uploading CSV File.

    • Navigate to Users >> User List. Click on Add User button.
    •  2FA: Add users via bulk upload

    • In Bulk User Registration Download sample csv format from our console and edit this csv file according to the instructions.
    •  Two-Factor authentication: Download sample csv file

    • To bulk upload users, choose the file make sure it is in comma separated .csv file format then click on Upload.
    •  2FA : Bulk upload user

    • After uploading the csv file successfully, you will see a success message with a link.
    • Click on that link you will see list of users to send activation mail. Select users to send activation mail and click on Send Activation Mail. An activation mail will be sent to the selected users.
  • Click on External Directories >> Add Directory in the left menu of the dashboard.
  •  2FA: Configure User Store

  • Select Directory type as AD/LDAP.
  •  2FA: Select AD/LDAP as user store

    1. STORE LDAP CONFIGURATION IN MINIORANGE: Choose this option if you want to keep your configuration in miniOrange. If active directory is behind a firewall, you will need to open the firewall to allow incoming requests to your AD.
    2. STORE LDAP CONFIGURATION ON PREMISE: Choose this option if you want to keep your configuration in your premise and only allow access to AD inside premises. You will have to download and install miniOrange gateway in your premise.
    3.  Two-Factor Authentication : Select ad/ldap user store type

  • Enter LDAP Display Name and LDAP Identifier name.
  • Select Directory Type as Active Directory.
  • Enter the LDAP Server URL or IP Address against LDAP Server URL field.
  • Click on Test Connection button to verify if you have made a successful connection with your LDAP server.
  •  MFA/2FA: Configure LDAP server URL Connection

  • In Active Directory, go to the properties of user containers/OU's and search for Distinguished Name attribute.
  •  MFA: Configure user bind account domain name

  • Enter the valid Bind account Password.
  • Click on Test Bind Account Credentials button to verify your LDAP Bind credentials for LDAP connection.
  •  MFA: Check bind account credentials

  • Search Base is the location in the directory where the search for a user begins. You will get this from the same place you got your Distinguished name.
  •  2FA : Configure user search base

  • Select a suitable Search filter from the drop down menu. To use custom Search Filter select "Write your Custom Filter" option and customize it accordingly.
  •  MFA/2FA : Select user search filter

  • You can also configure following options while setting up AD. Enable Activate LDAP in order to authenticate users from AD/LDAP. Click on the Save button to add user store.
  •  MFA : Activate LDAP options

    Here's the list of the attributes and what it does when we enable it. You can enable/disable accordingly.

    Attribute Description
    Activate LDAP All user authentications will be done with LDAP credentials if you Activate it
    Sync users in miniOrange Users will be created in miniOrange after authentication with LDAP
    Fallback Authentication If LDAP credentials fail then user will be authenticated through miniOrange
    Allow users to change password This allows your users to change their password. It updates the new credentials in your LDAP server
    Enable administrator login On enabling this, your miniOrange Administrator login authenticates using your LDAP server
    Show IdP to users If you enable this option, this IdP will be visible to users
    Send Configured Attributes If you enable this option, then only the attributes configured below will be sent in attributes at the time of login

  • Click on Save. After this, it will show you the list of User stores. Click on Test Connection to check whether you have enter valid details. For that, it will ask for username and password.
  •  2FA: Test AD/Ldap connection

  • On Successful connection with LDAP Server, a success message is shown.
  • Click on Test Attribute Mapping.
  •  LDAP successful connection

  • Enter a valid Username. Then, click on Test. Mapped Attributes corresponding to the user are fetched.
  •  MFA: Fetch mapped attributes for user

  • After successful Attribute Mapping Configuration, go back to the ldap configuration and enable Activate LDAP in order to authenticate users from AD/LDAP.
  • Refer our guide to setup LDAPS on windows server.

User Import and Provisioning from AD

  • Go to Settings >> Product Settings in the Customer Admin Account.
  • MFA/Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) for   miniOrange dashboard

  • Enable the "Enable User Auto Registration" option and click Save.
  • MFA/Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) for   Enable User Auto Registration

  • (Optional) To send a welcome email to all the end users that will be imported, enable the "Enable sending Welcome Emails after user registration" option and click Save.
  • MFA/Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) for   Enable sending Welcome Emails after user registration

  • From the Left-Side menu of the dashboard select Provisioning.
  • MFA/Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) for   User Sync/Provisioning

  • In Setup Provisioning tab select Active Directory in the Select Application Drop Down.
  • Toggle the Import Users tab, click on Save button.
  • MFA/Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) for   User Sync Active Directory Configuration

  • On the same section, switch to Import Users section.
  • Select Active Directory from the dropdown and click on the Import Users tab, to import all the users from Active Directory to miniOrange.
  • MFA/Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) for   User Sync Import Operation

  • You can view all the Users you have imports by selecting Users >> User List from Left Panel.
  • MFA/Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) for   User List

  • All the imported users will be auto registered.
  • These groups will be helpful in adding multiple 2FA policies on the applications.

miniOrange integrates with various external user sources such as directories, identity providers, and etc.

Not able to find your IdP or Need help setting it up?

Contact us or email us at idpsupport@xecurify.com and we'll help you setting it up in no time.

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