When our customers have a problem we usually connect to their server in order to investigate. Normally we use Remote Desktop or VNC for this. During this investigation I usually copy text between the server and my computer several times.

For one new customer we are using Remote Desktop and Citrix. The customer has disabled clipboard sharing "for security reasons". This will make supporting them rather difficult. (I don't just want to copy the odd word - usually it's large XML documents.)

I want to persuade them to enable clipboard sharing because it will mean we will be able to resolve problems for them much faster and without becoming extremely frustrated. I work better when I am not frustrated!

Is clipboard sharing over RDP insecure? We're allowed to transfer files to and from. Surely that's less secure than transferring text.

What can say to our customer to get them to enable it?


Depends on the type of company and applications I gather.

Depending on where you are (which department) in my company, you can or cannot use clipboard sharing.

The reason for it, is that in some departments, they are using highly classified information, and with using clipboard they would be able to copy and paste it into for example mail or other documents.

You should ask why they prohibit clipboard sharing. If it is because of a risk of introducing malicious code, or is it another reason? The risk of introducingg malicious code / software via RDP is not a very big risk.

On the other hand, I totally get their point. It's not a high risk, but it is a risk easy to avoid. Just deny Clipboard over RDP.

Good luck persuading them!

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  • I persuaded them through the powers of extreme logic and everyone was happy. It was just some manager who wanted to cover himself from what I recall. – cja Jul 23 '13 at 10:31

Although the vast majority of systems I RDP into do allow clipboard sharing I totally understand where they're coming from. However remote the possibility you could use it to introduce and execute malicious code if you wanted, like I say it's not a common practice but I do understand their concern. As to whether you can persuade them, that's down to you.

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