SecSign ID Plugin: Windows Remote Desktop

2019-11-12 5 minutes to read
Tutorial Index

Two-Factor Authentication for Windows Remote Desktop

Secure Logins have never been so easy Introducing SecSign ID for Windows Remote Desktop logins. Protect access with our simple touch authentication and intuitive authentication rules, defined by you. Compliance can easily be enforced and attacks to your company logins are rendered impossible.

This article gives an overview of securing your Remote Desktop Login with two-factor authentication. For a detailed tutorial on how to integrate two-factor authentication with your Remote Desktop setup, have a look at the plugin tutorial.



The following video gives an overview on the authentication process. The complex process can easily be integrated in a few simple steps.

Integration in your setup

Integration of the plugin into your setup

SecSign ID Integration

Please configure your desired integration of the SecSign ID Two Factor Authentication

Choose a system, where you want to add the secure login

Do you need your own ID Server inside your protected network or prefer if we manage and maintain it for you

The location to save the assigned SecSign IDs to a user account or the IDM alltogether

System to protect
The System you want to protect - Choose a system, where you want to add the secure login
SecSign ID Server location
Do you need your own ID Server inside your protected network or prefer if we manage and maintain it for you
User account location
The system to save the assigned SecSign IDs to a user account or the IDM alltogether
edit the settings to change the integration
2FA blind
2FA no AP
2SA no AP
2SA blind
Custom ID
IDP Custom Website
Enrollment initiated by SP
Enrollment with IDM
Show Network
Hide Network
Request Solution
The authentication was successful


Authentication procedure

With the SecSign ID Two-Factor Authentication the user can log in to Remote Desktop in just one convenient and quick step – without inconvenient and complex codes.
To login the user simply needs to provide user credentials like he is used to, and select the displayed symbol in his mobile app – that’s it. Next level security with minimal complexity.

If required you can choose mobile or Email OTP (one-time passwords) as alternative authentication option.


Enrolling your users for 2FA

With SecSign enrollment of your users is quick and convenient for both the user and the administrator.

You have several options to enroll your users for 2FA with SecSign. Most commonly, the 2FA ID should be identical to the Windows user name (for example sAMAccountName or userPrincipalName), and only successfully authenticated (user name and password) users should be able to create a 2FA account.
SecSign offers several options to achieve a default 2FA activation and link of the 2FA with the AD user. The two most popular are described below.

With Schema Extension to add a 2FA attribute to the user in the Active Directory, or without Schema Extension and read-only access from the SecSign ID Server.

For both options the enrollment procedure can either proceed via the Custom ID App or a custom landing page for the users to enroll.

Enrolling your users for 2FA with a custom app
Enrolling your users for 2FA with a custom landing page

An overview on how the Active Directory can be integrated with you 2FA setup is available here.


Integration Tutorial for the 2FA plugin

Windows Login: Prerequisites

The SecSign ID Credential Provider looks up the SecSign ID user name of a Windows user in the Active Directory of the Windows domain. If the user is not yet associated with an ID, he is prompted to create one either manually, or by being automatically redirected to the onboarding website. The following pre-requisites need to be fulfilled:

  • The PC on which the credential provider is install must be member of a Windows domain and
  • Active Directory Configuration

In some cases the Active Directory needs to be connected with the SecSign ID On-premise server. To realize the following situations a connection must be established:

  • If the SecSign ID should match the Windows user name. This can be realized during the enrollment with the Active Directory.
  • If the SecSign ID should not match the Windows user name. This can be realized both with and without Active Directory schema extension. With an Active Directory Schema Extension the plugin receives the ID from the AD. If no Active Directory Schema Extension is set up, the plugin can store the users ID.
  • If the 2FA should only be activated for specific Active Directory groups or IP ranges. This setting can either be activated in the plugin or in the Active Directory. The Active Directory needs to be connected to the on-premise server if the settings are defined via the AD. A connection is also required if selective 2FA should be centrally activated for several plugins at once.

All Windows Plugins are available as a MSI for a convenient and quick install

2FA for MS Remote Desktop Web Access

Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Web Access service allows to run published Windows applications from a browser. If the SecSign ID log-in has been added to the RD Web Access site then after the usual log-in with Windows user name and password a second page asks for confirmation of the log- in using SecSign ID:

MS Remote Desktop Web Access: Installation

Log-in using a domain administrator account an the Windows Server which has the RD Web Access role. Then run SecSign-RD-WebAccess-Setup.exe:

  • Run regedit.exe.
  • Set SecSignIDServerHostName and SecSignIDServerPort to the host name and port of your SecSign ID Server. You will find the port number in the properties files of your SecSign ID Server in the line secsignidserver.port=… .
  • If you have a second SecSign ID Server enter its host name and address in FallbackSecSignIDServerHostName and FallbackSecSignIDServerPort. Otherwise, you may enter the values of the primary SecSign ID Server again.
  • The values configured in ServiceAddressForSecSignApp and ServiceNameForSecSignApp will be displayed in the user’s SecSign App during a log-in.
  • SharedSecretWithRDGateway shall contain any random bytes. Please type any arbitrary characters here but make sure that the length remains 64 bytes.
  • After installing the SecSign ID plug-in for Microsoft Remote Desktop Gateway the shared secret has to be copied there. The SecSign ID RD Web Access plug-in uses the secret to sign a gateway access token which it inserts into the RDP files of each published application. The SecSign ID RD Gateway plug-in will validate the signature using the same secret.

    Finally, open your RD Web Access URL in a browser, log-in using your Windows user name and password and test the SecSign ID log-in. If anything fails the Windows Event Log will contain more information in Windows Logs → Application with the source SecSign ID RD Web Access.

    2FA for Microsoft Remote Desktop Gateway

    The SecSign ID log-in integration into RD Web Access alone only protects the RD Web Access log-in in a browser. A user who knows the necessary details to create an RDP file could log-in directly at the RD Gateway using the Remote Desktop Client. Furthermore, users could download RDP files generated by RD Web Access and use them again later without logging in at the RD Web Access site again.

    The SecSign ID PAA (pluggable authentication and authorization) plug-in for Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Gateway prevents the aforementioned unwanted direct log-ins at the RD Gateway. To achieve this, the SecSign ID plug-in validates the signature of the gateway access token which has been inserted into the RDP file by the SecSign ID RD Web Access plug-in after a successful SecSign ID log-in at the RD Web Access site using a browser.

    • Log-in using a domain administrator account an the Windows Server which has the RD Gateway role.
    • Run SecSign-RD-Gateway-Setup.
    • Run regedit.exe.
    • Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SecSign\RDGatewayAuthentication.
    • SharedSecretWithRDWebAccess has to contain exactly the same 64 bytes as the respective
      value SharedSecretWithRDGateway in the adjacent registry key RDWebAccess.
    • AccessTokenMaxAgeSeconds defines for how many seconds after a RD Web Access log-in the generated RDP files are allowed to run the published applications. The remote desktop client’s connection to the RD session host remains open for a certain time. During this time the opening of published applications is still possible even if AccessTokenMaxAgeSeconds has expired already. A user may always generate fresh RDP files by reloading the RD Web Access page in his browser. Only someone you downloads and copies an RDP file cannot use it after the RD Web Access log-out or on another computer when AccessTokenMaxAgeSeconds has expired.

    The Windows Event Log will contain information about SecSign ID log-ins in „Windows Logs → Application“ with the source „SecSign ID RD Gateway“.

    Secure Windows

    Securing all Windows access points with SecSign ID 2FA

    For more information about the individual Windows Plugins select your user case below.

    AD/LDAPView Tutorial

    Windows User Login View Tutorial

    Office 365 View Tutorial

    Remote Desktop View Tutorial

    RD Gateway View Tutorial

    VPN/Radius Proxy View Tutorial

    Your own ID-Server

    On premise installations of SecSign ID offer the flexibility to connect with your preferred servers, services, and devices. And you can customize the SecSign ID with your own organization’s branding.

    Learn More
    On Premise 2FA ID

    Latest Blog Posts, Updates & Features

    SecSign ID Server passed FIDO Certification

    We are happy to announce that the SecSign ID server has passed the official FIDO certification program of the FIDO Alliance. This will allow you to use the complete FIDO2/WebAuthn standard for passwordless 2FA sign-ins in your exi ...

    Mehr Lesen

    Two-Factor Authentication with Fido2 / WebAuth

    The FIDO2 Project is a set of standards developed by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to create a strong authentication protocol for the web. It consist mainly of the WebAuth standard for the browser part ...

    Mehr Lesen

    Protecting the Home Office VPN with 2FA

    In the recent weeks, home office work has increased potentially. And while employees are practicing social distancing from their home computer, attackers are working hard to exploit security issues in this situation that is unfami ...

    Mehr Lesen
    SecSign 2FA