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Nested Active Directory Security Groups
johnAlthough seemingly technical, understanding the Active Directory security setup is not that difficult. Just like one wouldn’t give the keys to one’s house to everyone in the society he/she lives in. Similarly the security access to the IT infrastructure of an organization cannot be given in the hands of every member of the organization. Although it was a crude example, but the idea behind it was justified enough to explain the relationship. IT environments in medium to big organizations are pretty complex and any glitch in the IT security of the company can cause huge mishaps and therefore require extreme caution. But these can be avoided.
In many IT environments, access is controlled by collecting individual user accounts into security groups. Then the access control on organizational IT resources needs to be specified for these security groups instead of for individual user accounts. Let us take the example of an IT environments powered by Microsoft Windows Server. Here Active Directory comes into the picture as security groups are used to collect domain user accounts into a single collective database. After this process is over, then the access in granted or denied to various IT resources. IT resources such as Sharepoint portals or File servers are granted or denied access based on several parameters.
When it comes to IT security through Active Directory, the many boxes in one box theory is put into place. One security group can be marked and this could become a part of another security group. What this would do is to collectively grant access to a large collective of users. This process could be termed as nesting, i.e making one security group a member of another security group. These groups are then referred to as nested security groups.
The flip side of nested Security could be the problem of identification of nested groups. What lies in what and how? Another major problem with nested security groups is that it becomes extremely difficult to know who has control over what i.e who ultimately has what access. Normally this problem is increased when the nested groups occur beyond two levels of nesting. Here is where Active Directory comes into play as it helps in effectively identifying the nested groups and also use native Microsoft security group management tools to then manage these groups.
Overall, domain security group nesting for the purpose of access control can be helpful if used carefully, and can be problematic if used haphazardly.
What role does Active Directory security play in overall IT security management?
Active Directory forms the heart of security audit and compliance reporting in a Microsoft Served based IT infrastructure. It covers the following aspects of IT security:-
Organizational domain user accounts
Domain computer accounts
Domain security groups
Thorough knowledge of the various security related strategies, appropriate measures must be taken to ensure that the IT security becomes fool-proof. Some steps which need to be taken while implementing Active Directory in your IT setup are:-
The right security strategies
The right Active Directory reporting tools
The right Active Directory security auditing measures and management tools
Great audit reports can be generated once an individual has the right understanding and knowledge of the Active Directory security setup. The information from these reports can be a valuable resource for anyone looking to proactively assess, monitor and manage Active Directory security.
Active Directory provides overall security for your IT infrastructure and is one of the most important parts of your IT infrastructure. With proper understanding one can delegate as well administer the security access to the right kind of people.
Paramount Defenses Inc., Microsoft valued partner offering global IT security services for Active Directory. Gold Finger, a trustworthy security solution generates
Active Directory delegated access report
Active Directory security reports