Active Directory (AD)

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Active Directory (AD) is Microsoft’s proprietary directory service. It runs on Windows Server and enables administrators to manage permissions and access to network resources. Active Directory stores data as objects; a single element, such as a user, group, application, or device such as a printer. Objects are normally defined as either a resource, such as printers or computers, or a security principle, such as users or groups.

The main service in AD is Domain Services (ADDS), which stores directory information and handles the interaction of the user with the domain. ADDS verifies access when a user signs into a device or attempts to connect to a server over a network. ADDS controls which users have access to each resource, as well as group policies. For example, an administrator typically has a different level of access to data than an end-user.

An example of utilizing AD is when CyberHoot leverages Azure AD to make user administration considerably easier. Simply set up the details in the company CyberHoot site and manage users through Azure. Whenever an employee leaves or joins the company, they will be added or removed from Azure and it syncs with the CyberHoot platform to pull in or remove those users from the company training. 

What does this mean for an SMB or MSP?

Most SMBs or MSPs should be familiar with Active Directory as it can help make their business more efficient and more secure. Setting up access permissions and implementing the Principle of Least Privilege through AD could significantly reduce your risk. It can also help with user administration complications, making those tasks easier and faster. Although, these recommendations aren’t the only things you should be doing, continue reading to learn our minimum essential recommendations. 

CyberHoot’s Minimum Essential Cybersecurity Recommendations

The following recommendations will help you and your business stay secure with the various threats you may face on a day-to-day basis. All of the suggestions listed below can be gained by hiring CyberHoot’s vCISO Program development services.

  1. Govern employees with policies and procedures. You need a password policy, an acceptable use policy, an information handling policy, and a written information security program (WISP) at a minimum.
  2. Train employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Adopt a Learning Management system like CyberHoot to teach employees the skills they need to be more confident, productive, and secure.
  3. Test employees with Phishing attacks to practice. CyberHoot’s Phish testing allows businesses to test employees with believable phishing attacks and put those that fail into remedial phish training.
  4. Deploy critical cybersecurity technology including two-factor authentication on all critical accounts including AD Domain Services (ADDS). Enable email SPAM filtering, validate backups, and deploy DNS protection, antivirus, and anti-malware on all your endpoints.
  5. In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections) or prohibiting their use entirely.
  6. If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
  7. Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.

Each of these recommendations, except cyber-insurance, is built into CyberHoot’s product and virtual Chief Information Security Officer services. With CyberHoot you can govern, train, assess, and test your employees. Visit and sign up for our services today. At the very least continue to learn by enrolling in our monthly Cybersecurity newsletters to stay on top of current cybersecurity updates.

To learn more about Active Directory (AD), watch this short 3-minute video:

CyberHoot does have some other resources available for your use. Below are links to all of our resources, feel free to check them out whenever you like: 

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