Microland’s way of Securing the Active Directory
All about “Securing the Active Directory”
Be it a veteran or someone who has just started their professional journey, Active Directory (AD) is extremely popular among all kinds of IT folks.
AD stores information about objects on the network and makes it easily available for administrators and users to find and make use of it. The directory uses a structured data store as the basis for a logical and hierarchical organization of directory information. These objects typically include shared resources such as servers, volumes, printers, network users, and computer accounts. Additionally, the Schema, Global Catalog, Query and Index Mechanism, and Replication services are part of the AD scope.
Security is integrated with Active Directory through different modes, one of the most common being login authentication and access control to the directory objects. With a single network logon, the administrators can manage directory data and organization throughout their network, and authorized network users can access resources anywhere on the network. Policy-based administration eases the management of even the most complex networks.
The 10 Immutable laws of security administration were defined way back during the year 2000 by Scott Culp as part of the Microsoft Security Response Center. Even after two decades, the ones listed down continue to be the basic foundation.
10 Immutable Laws of Security Administration
Law #1: Common belief is nothing will go wrong, as, for anyone, their own fort will always be secure
Law #2: Security works well with a few easy secure ways
Law #3: If you want to safeguard your fort, you must make minor fixes and repairs time again
Law #4: Always start with minor fixes and repairs to avoid a major damage
Law #5: Eternal vigilance is the price of the security
Law #6: There is someone out there trying to guess your passwords
Law #7: Layered protection will always reduce the impact and time to act
Law #8: The more complex a network is, the more difficult it becomes to defend that network
Law #9: Security is about risk management; not just risk avoidance
Law #10: Technology is not a panacea
While no organization ever keeps its doors open for the attackers to come in, the attackers are always knocking the doors for someone to open, so that they can penetrate and steal valuable information by injecting malware or any other weak links that are vulnerable or exploitable.
While the technology advancements are happening at a rapid speed, the ones left behind as legacy are more susceptible to attacks. However, studies based on data breaches across the globe reveal that 96% of the attacks are not so complex, and the breaches could be avoided by implementing proper tollgates.
Mentioned below are some of the points to consider for ensuring protection against security breaches:
- Anti-virus and Anti-malware deployments with the latest updates
- Avoiding inconsistent or delayed patching
- Vulnerability management
- Up to date applications and operating systems
- Strong password policy
- Process to review the inactive user / computer accounts
Generally, the attackers look for accounts of the Domain Admins, Enterprise Admins, Administrators, and any other VIP accounts, as these accounts have the highest level of access to systems in the organization.
There are certain ways to control the attacks from happening, such as:
- Implementing the Least Privilege Access model – RBAC (Role-Based Access Control)
- Implementing Secure administrative hosts
- Securing the domain controllers
- Implementing a strong password policy
- Performing housekeeping of unused computer / user accounts
The Active Directory assessments reveal a lot of gaps and loopholes that can prevent attacks and secure the Active Directory when addressed. Such assessments can range from a basic to an in-depth one – depending upon the requirement.
During a few assessments, it was observed that a lot of administrator groups still have the old stale accounts with a weaker password, which are the potential threats that are lingering with the memberships that are not required anymore.
Valuable ways to secure the Active Directory
- Securing the local administrator accounts on the workstations and the servers
- Built-in Administrator accounts being used as Service Accounts
- Group policies to restrict the administrator accounts on domain-joined machines
- Securing groups in AD
- Auditing for built-in administrator accounts
- Implementing PIM (Privileged Identity Management) and PAM (Privileged Access Management) solutions
Significant Advantages of Securing the Active Directory
- Customization: Active Directory permits you to customize based on organizational data needs
- Compliance: Active directory delivers robust security and compliance features like data encryption, password policies, and auditing
- Improved Scalability: Active directory allows organizations to manage an extensive group of objects in a single container because of its multi-master replication model
- Centralized Control and Monitoring: AD service provides a central place for administrators to control and monitor everything associated with user access and network permissions
- Seamless User Experience: Users get smooth access once the AD infrastructure is ready and all permission policies are implemented
Microland’s way of Securing the Active Directory helps to deliver IT operations faster at a significantly lower cost and with improved scalability. With extensive experience in implementing top-notch solutions, Microland makes it easier for enterprises to adopt NextGen Digital infrastructure. Contact us to start scaling your business faster.
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