Analytics
9/20/2012
06:57 AM
Quick Hits
Quick Hits
Quick Hits
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

A Guide To Security And Enterprise Directories

Enterprise Directories, such as Microsoft's Active Directory, can be a boon to the security effort. Here are some ways to take advantage of them

[Excerpted from "A Guide to Security and Enterprise Directories," a new report posted this week on Dark Reading's Identity and Access Management Tech Center.]

An enterprise directory services infrastructure is at the heart of everything we do in IT. Let's face it: The average business can't function without a centralized database that keeps track of users, resources, systems and networks, not to mention the security policies that tie them all together. But all too often, we view our enterprise directories through a narrow prism.

Whether you're a Microsoft shop running Active Directory, a Mac OS shop running Open Directory, or a Solaris or Linux shop running NIS, we all tend to lean on our enterprise directories only for account management. Few IT shops view them as a potential solution for a wide array of security initiatives.

If you fit the profile of the typical Windows admin, you probably look to Microsoft's Active Directory for managing user accounts, authentication, managing group policy and organizing objects hierarchically. You might use it for search, and you might use it for reporting.

These are all examples of basic ways to leverage AD for administrative tasks, but the reality is that AD is a living LDAP-compliant database that can be extended to service a wide range of application access and security enforcement problems. It can grow and be used securely to store important user attributes and metadata that applications can access to make security-related decisions.

There's a perception that exists in some circles that AD is too limited in the scope of security services that it can provide. But if you peel back the onion a bit on some of AD's complete feature set, you'll find it surprisingly versatile at accomplishing a wide range of security-related tasks.

Most every organization uses the built-in security features of AD to secure user accounts and to enforce aggressive password policy. And many organizations make use of the wide range of Group Policy objects that are available to lock down systems, control software distribution and otherwise protect users from themselves during the course of business.

However, there are many other ways to leverage AD as a centralized clearinghouse for implementing a broad set of security policies that do much more than just secure users and enforce group policy. Organizations that fully leverage AD are also using it to secure data, to secure access to the network, to secure access to applications and even to secure the data contained within the directory itself.

To get step-by-step details on how you can use directories to ease security administration, download the free report on security and directories.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-3946
Published: 2014-04-24
Cisco IOS before 15.3(2)S allows remote attackers to bypass interface ACL restrictions in opportunistic circumstances by sending IPv6 packets in an unspecified scenario in which expected packet drops do not occur for "a small percentage" of the packets, aka Bug ID CSCty73682.

CVE-2012-5723
Published: 2014-04-24
Cisco ASR 1000 devices with software before 3.8S, when BDI routing is enabled, allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via crafted (1) broadcast or (2) multicast ICMP packets with fragmentation, aka Bug ID CSCub55948.

CVE-2013-6738
Published: 2014-04-24
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in IBM SmartCloud Analytics Log Analysis 1.1 and 1.2 before 1.2.0.0-CSI-SCALA-IF0003 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via an invalid query parameter in a response from an OAuth authorization endpoint.

CVE-2014-2391
Published: 2014-04-24
The password recovery service in Open-Xchange AppSuite before 7.2.2-rev20, 7.4.1 before 7.4.1-rev11, and 7.4.2 before 7.4.2-rev13 makes an improper decision about the sensitivity of a string representing a previously used but currently invalid password, which allows remote attackers to obtain potent...

CVE-2014-2392
Published: 2014-04-24
The E-Mail autoconfiguration feature in Open-Xchange AppSuite before 7.2.2-rev20, 7.4.1 before 7.4.1-rev11, and 7.4.2 before 7.4.2-rev13 places a password in a GET request, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information by reading (1) web-server access logs, (2) web-server Referer log...

Best of the Web