Active Directory Users Accounting and Managing

Active Directory (AD) emerges as a pivotal framework for orchestrating user accounts, thereby playing a crucial role in bolstering network security and operational efficiency.

The integration of sophisticated tools such as Total Network Inventory (TNI) has markedly refined the processes associated with the accounting and management of Active Directory user accounts. This exposition delves into the essence of Active Directory auditing, underscores its significance, and elucidates how Total Network Inventory can transform organizational approaches to network resource management.

What is Active Directory Auditing?

Active Directory auditing refers to monitoring and recording events related to users, groups, computers, and other objects in an AD environment. It provides visibility into changes being made across an organization's directory services infrastructure. Auditing AD lets administrators track privileged activities, troubleshoot issues faster, and ensure compliance with security policies, including the management of user accounts active directory.

Specifically, Active Directory auditing enables the tracking of critical events such as user authentication, account modifications, security group membership changes, computer policy changes, and access attempts across an AD domain. Capturing this activity facilitates the detection of security incidents, malicious insider threats, and general access misconfigurations. It also aids troubleshooting by revealing recent modifications made across users, OUs, managed service reports, workstations, and so on.

Common Active Directory user accounts types that can be monitored via AD auditing include domain admin, service descriptions, standard domain users, privileged endpoint users with local admin rights, and domain-joined computer/server records. Additionally, tracking inactive user accounts in AD is important to prune stale access and ensure separation of duties as personnel change.

Why it is important?

Auditing Active Directory is critical for security and operational oversight in today's digital environments. By enabling detailed AD auditing, administrators gain clear visibility into account modifications, user authentication events, resource and object access, group membership changes, and policy changes across an organization’s directory services and infrastructure. Capturing this activity helps rapidly identify potential security issues like unauthorized or inappropriate access, privilege escalation attacks from insiders, or policy misconfigurations enabling access creep.

Auditing also significantly aids incident investigation and troubleshooting efforts by revealing key changes and revealing suspicious user activities. Furthermore, compliance benchmarks like HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOX, and other data protection mandates require auditing of critical systems like Active Directory as part of mandatory access and change controls. Overall, comprehensive AD auditing delivers essential transparency and accountability needed to secure modern IT environments.

Disadvantages of native active directory auditing

The native auditing tools in Active Directory have some limitations. The volume of events recorded can be difficult to manage, yet also needs more context for analyzing patterns. There are no central reporting capabilities for slice-and-dice visibility. Enabling auditing negatively impacts domain controller performance since all events funnel through DCs. Restoring data from backups erases audit history. So native auditing is a start, but organizations gain more control, insight, and efficiency with dedicated auditing solutions.

What are the best practices for auditing active directory managing

Best practices for auditing AD include enabling key events like account logon activity, object access, policy changes, privilege use, and modifications across users, computers, and groups. Audit event volume should be managed by only capturing critical events and targeting specific assets. Dedicate specialist servers for audit log collection and reporting. Schedule regular reports to gain visibility without information overload. Control AD risks by immediately reviewing anomalies. And archive audit data externally for analysis and compliance.

How to get started with active directory auditing

Getting started with Active Directory auditing requires planning what events to capture based on security and compliance needs.

  • Determine requirements like retention policies and access controls for audit data.
  • Enable auditing at the domain controller OS level before configuring AD object and attribute audit settings.
  • Start by tracking logon events, user management actions, and policy changes before expanding capture.
  • Centralize logs in a secured manner such as on dedicated collectors.
  • Schedule reports for efficient daily review. And control audit data sprawl via archiving.

Building these foundations ensures AD auditing visibility without disruption.

Manage user account information retrieved from the active directory

Total Network Inventory can store information about the employees of your company, for example: name, address, photo, description, and any other information. This data can be retrieved from AD or entered manually, facilitating the process to create user accounts in Active Directory.

Viewing, adding, and editing users

TNI has a special tab called "Users", where you can work with and manage user account data.

All network users are separated into three categories:

  • Domain users;
  • Local users;
  • Added manually.

You can delete and rename only manually created users. This functionality is crucial for managing user accounts in Active Directory efficiently.

Assigning users to devices

Only one user of any type can be assigned to each computer found on the network: a local user of this device, a domain user, or a manually created user.

Managing user accounts in Active Directory

Any field that contains user data can be added as a column to a table report. Viewing, managing, editing, and adding user information is as easy as using other functionality of Total Network Inventory.

How Total Network Inventory helps with active directory auditing

Total Network Inventory integrates tightly with Active Directory to index organizational unit structures, import user attributes, track group memberships, and enable user-to-device mappings across the directory. Customizable auditing reports give visibility into AD user account statuses, disabled or inactive users, password expiration, group policies, and permission changes.

Automated synchronization schedule tasks further enhance auditing capabilities through change tracking and alerting on modifications. As an all-in-one IT asset and audit solution, TNI helps manage both assets and identities with role-based access controls, revision histories, and timeline reporting for forensic investigations.

Who will benefit from this program?

Total Network Inventory will be useful for system and network administrators of companies of any size and profile. Even if there are only a few computers in the office today, it takes a lot of time to go around them and write down all the information about their hardware and software. In any growing company, the number of pieces of computer equipment is increasing, and some users may need additional devices to optimize their tasks. Having a large number of equipment and employees, it is quite difficult to track all devices and users, therefore, sooner or later, you have to resort to using software that will automate these processes.

Total Network Inventory makes the administration and accounting of Active Directory users a lot easier, streamlining the process of creating user accounts, managing active and inactive user reports, and ensuring efficient management of inactive user accounts Active Directory.


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