IT administrators struggle everyday with the challenge of maintaining security in the Active Directory environment. It can often be difficult to find out critical information about who has modified what, where and when in AD user accounts in order to trap malicious users and track unusual activity in their IT environment.
One thing you can do to help mitigate the risks of malicious changes is ensure that you are constantly monitoring and recording any changes taking place in the Active Directory.
Below are the steps you can take to enable auditing of Active Directory modifications using native processes:
Type the command gpmc.msc in order to open the Group Policy Management Console.
- Configuration of Group Policy Audit Settings
Under Group Policy Management, select the forest domain you wish to choose and expand it further to navigate to the Domain Controllers→ Default Domain Controller Policy, right click on it and select Edit to open the configuration window.
- The Group Policy Management Console
Navigate to Computer Configuration> Policies> Windows Settings> Security Settings> Advanced Audit Policy Configuration> Audit Policies in the GPMC Editor.
- Advanced Audit Policy Configuration
- Configuring All the Policies
In order to configure all the policies, define the following categories and then configure them one after another:
- Account Logon
- Account Management
- DS Access
- Object Access
- Policy Change
Click on the first policy – Account Logon and configure the audit events of its subcategories one after another.
- Configuring All Policies One by One
In the Policy tab of Audit Credential Validation Window, simply check both the options – success and failure to audit the events and click OK.
- Check Both Success and Failure
Follow the step 6 for all other Advanced Audit Policies listed above.
This can be done by executing the command: gpupdate /force in the command prompt.
- Updating the Group Policy
- Use ADSIEdit.msc to Enable Auditing
- Open ADSI Edit Console and select “Connect to” in order to view the Connection Settings.
- Next, establish connections with all four available naming contexts to turn on their auditing for:
- Default Naming Context
- Configuring Connection Settings
- Establishing connection with Root DSE
- Connection Settings for Schema
For all the four root nodes of different naming contexts, enable the auditing settings.
- Enabling the Audit Settings for All the Four Root Nodes
In the Domain Controller properties, navigate to the security tab and click Advanced. This will open the Advanced Security Settings. Now, quickly navigate to the Auditing tab and click Add to open the Auditing Entry window. In the field “Name”- type “Everyone” and in the “Access” section, check all the boxes except the following four options:
- Managing Auditing Entry for Your Domain
- Full Control
- List contents
- Read all properties
- Read permissions
In the Event Viewer, navigate to Windows Logs and select Security. Then, simply click Filter Current Log.
- Filtering the Security Event Log
In the “Filter Current Log” window, simply enter the particular Event ID and carry out the search operation.
- Search by Event ID
- Open Event Properties to See Further Details
To know more about any particular event, simply double click on it to see further details.
List of Other Relevant Event IDs
How LepideAuditor for Active Directory Records Changes Made in AD
For many users, manual auditing can be both time consuming and unreliable, as does not generate instant alerts and reports for Active Directory changes.
It is therefore recommended that you opt for an automated Active Directory auditing solution. One such solution, LepideAuditor for Active Directory, that enables users to pro-actively track, alert and report on changes being made to Active Directory.
LepideAuditor for Active Directory records the details of every change made in the configuration of Active Directory and generates 90 reports in three different categories – Active Directory Modification Reports, Active Directory Security Reports, and Active Directory State Reports.
Below are some screenshots that show how our Active Directory auditing solution helps IT administrators track changes in Active Directory objects. Three reports are shown below; a report for objects created, objects deleted and objects modified.
- Object Created Report – LepideAuditor Suite
- Object Deleted Report – LepideAuditor Suite
- Object Modifications Report – LepideAuditor Suite
The Final Note
LepideAuditor for Active Directory can actually make the whole Active Directory auditing process simpler through its intuitive user interface and sending real-time alerts as emails to desired recipients, as updates to LiveFeed widget, and as push-notifications to LepideAuditor App to ensure the security of your Active Directory environment.