Active Directory Security: Three Recommended Best Practices
Active Directory places a central role in authorizing user access and applications. Hence it is no surprise that organizations, world over depend on it for day-to-day IT operations such as managing users, applications, critical data, and other aspects of their network.
Owing to it's sheer importance however, it is a prime target for hackers to carry out cyberattacks that can prove to be devastating. Once an attacker manages to find themselves inside your network, they can laterally move through the network, amass privileges, and walk out with business critical data. This is why it is crucial to maintain high standards of Active Directory security through round-the-clock monitoring and auditing.
To stay on top of any impending attacks and stop cybercriminals dead on their track, follow these recommended Active Directory best practices.
Regularly Clean-Up Inactive User Accounts
Inactive user accounts pose a major security risk to an organization as they aren't regularly monitored for anomalies by administrators. Anyone with access to one such inactive account can fly under the radar and exfiltrate potentially critical business data. Inactive user accounts belonging to an ex-employee can also be used for malicious intents. It is always recommended to audit inactive accounts regularly and either disable or delete them to ensure that they are not misused.
Employ the System of Least Privilege
The system of least privilege dictates that the end users should only be provisioned the minimum access required to carry out their day-to-day job functions. The system also goes so far to advocate that admins and service accounts are also to be provisioned with only the least necessary permissions. In the chance that any account gets compromised, the least privilege model will help reduce the chance of lateral movements and critical data theft.
Use the Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS)
LAPS, from Microsoft, is a password manager that rotates the passwords of privileged accounts, like that of the local administrator by forcing all local Administrator accounts to have unique passwords. This means an attacker with one compromised credential cannot laterally move to other accounts and take over.
Following these Active Directory security best practices is crucial to close any security gaps and strengthen your defenses against cyberattacks. Enabling complete visibility, continuous monitoring, reporting, and auditing are essential in maintaining Active Directory security and integrity.