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How Active Directory Bridging Extends Security Automation to Hybrid IT Environments

AD bridging extends the reach of your AD domain to non-Windows systems, providing centralized security, single sign-on, and compliance.

June 26, 2023

4 Min Read

In today's hybrid IT environments, it's more important than ever to have a unified security strategy. With users and applications spread across on-premises and cloud environments, it can be difficult to keep track of who has access to what and keep all systems properly configured.

That's where Active Directory (AD) bridging comes in. AD bridging is a technology that allows you to extend the reach of your AD domain to non-Windows systems, such as Linux and Unix servers. This gives you a single point of control for user authentication, authorization, and policy enforcement across your entire IT environment.

For example, say you have a company with 100 Linux servers on-premises and you're planning to move 50 of those servers to the cloud. You could manually configure the security settings on each server, but that would be a time-consuming and error-prone process. With AD bridging, you can automate the configuration of security settings across all of your servers, both on-premises and in the cloud. This will save you time and money, and it will help you keep your security settings consistent across your entire IT environment.

Benefits of AD Bridging

There are many benefits to using AD bridging, including:

  • Centralized security: With AD bridging, you can centralize user authentication, authorization, and policy enforcement across your entire IT environment. This makes it easier to manage security and maintain compliance with regulations.

  • Single sign-on: AD bridging allows users to sign in to all of their devices and applications with a single set of credentials. This makes it easier for users to get to work and reduces the risk of password fatigue.

  • Reduced costs: AD bridging can help you reduce costs by eliminating the need to manage multiple security tools and solutions.

  • Increased security: AD bridging can help you improve your security posture by enforcing consistent security policies across your entire IT environment.

  • Improved user experience: AD bridging can make it easier for users to access resources by allowing them to sign in to all of their devices and applications with a single set of credentials.

  • Reduced complexity: AD bridging can help reduce the complexity of your IT environment by providing a single point of control for user authentication, authorization, and policy enforcement.

  • Improved visibility: AD bridging can help improve your visibility into your IT environment by providing a central view of user activity and access permissions.

  • Enhanced compliance: AD bridging can help you meet regulatory compliance requirements by providing a centralized way to manage security settings and enforce access control policies.

AD Bridging and Regulatory Compliance

In today's world, organizations are subject to a wide range of regulatory compliance requirements. These requirements can vary depending on the industry and the size and location of the organization.

One of the most common regulatory compliance requirements is the need to implement strong security controls. This is especially true for organizations that handle sensitive data, such as financial or customer data.

Here are some examples of how AD bridging can help organizations meet regulatory compliance requirements:

  • To help meet NIST SP 800-53 requirements, AD bridging provides a centralized way to control access to systems and data.

  • For HIPAA, AD bridging provides a centralized way to manage security settings on systems that have health information.

  • For PCI, AD bridging can help organizations by providing a centralized way to control access to systems with credit card data.

AD Bridging and Scripting

AD bridging can also be a valuable tool for organizations that use scripting to manage their Linux and Unix servers. By integrating with scripting tools, AD bridging can help automate configuration of security settings and reduce the risk of human error.

For example, say you have a script to configure the security settings on your Linux servers. With AD bridging, you can integrate this script with AD so that the security settings are automatically applied whenever a new user is created or a user's password is changed. This will help you keep your security settings continually up to date and applied consistently across all your servers.

AD Bridging: A Valuable Tool for Hybrid IT Environments

AD bridging is a valuable tool for securing your hybrid IT environment. By extending the reach of your AD domain to non-Windows systems, you can centralize security, improve compliance, and reduce costs. If you're not already using AD bridging, I encourage you to consider it to improve the security of your IT environment.

About the Author

Rich Farrell

Rich Farrell is the CEO and a founding member of Full Armor Corp. Rich is responsible for driving the company's direction and business strategy. With a background that includes taking various software products from concept to distribution through direct and asset sales to large, public companies including Microsoft, Citrix, Dell (Quest), NetIQ, and others. Rich sets the company's goals and empowers the Full Armor team to achieve them. He started the company as a student at Cornell University, where he earned his B.S. in marketing.

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