Sep 28

How to Secure User Accounts in Active Directory?

Active Directory

In an Active Directory, permissions to perform certain tasks and o access certain resources is done by security principal objects by assigning security identifiers (SIDs). User accounts are used to identify all the users, individually, present on the network, and include information such as the username and password. In terms of security administration, user accounts can be said to be the fundamental units.

For a user account, the most fundamental step to secure the account is the use of a stringent password protection policy. The best practice would be to increase the minimum length of the password and to implement a mix and match of upper-case and lower-case characters, numbers, and special characters. Another way to increase security is by setting a policy to periodically change the passwords. Two-factor authentication is also a reliable solution to increasing security. We can also configure the maximum number of login attempts before the account is locked. We can also apply restrictions on the access to the user accounts based on the location, type of connection, machine, time, etc. Another way to secure a user account would be to pay due importance to the permissions set and the inheritance applied. At times, a user can be a member of more than one group, even nested groups, and there can be a conflict between the set permissions which can compromise the functionality of the user account. Due consideration should also be paid on whom to add to the active directory security groups. As members of a security group are entitled to access to numerous devices, accounts, and security settings, therefore they are one of the prime targets for the attackers, and if they succeed in breaking into the credentials of any of those members, then they can have access to all the accounts and devices in that domain. And the inactive users, if any, should be deleted at the earliest to avoid any security attack through those user accounts. For the safety of the user accounts, we should always implement monitoring of the network and if there is any suspicious activity then the access to the network should be denied straightaway, and administrators should also be able to do this remotely.

User awareness should also be made a priority to secure the accounts. The do’s and don’t s for maintaining the security should be conveyed to the users, and any new security implementations should also be told to the users. Staying alert and vigilant is the best practice when it comes to securing anything.

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