Cybercriminals today are targeting the active directories of enterprises to get access to the IT infrastructure.
The malicious actors exploit the active directory because it acts like a navigation tool to the entire business network. AD is one of the most leveraged approaches and tools in many organizations to manage identities and authentication. Organizations that do not implement robust AD management policies are exposing their entire network’s skeleton to attackers.
Many businesses find it challenging to secure the active directory; hence threat actors are able to accomplish a full-blown AD attack to infiltrate the enterprise tech stack. It is a challenging task for the SecOps teams to differentiate between suspicious activity and users’ invalid credentials login requests. Because-
Active Directory manages the authentication across the network, users, systems, applications, and other devices on the network.
CISOs should consider developing resilient AD security policies to protect their IT infrastructure from various threats and risks.
Enterprises can integrate advanced identity protection tools to help the SecOps teams to get a better understanding of what to look for. Implementing stringent threat identification and remediation processes to deflect adversaries before they become full-blown. Here are a few ways to protect the active directory from cyber threats and risks:
Map cyber threats and risks in real-time
CISOs should consider scanning their active directory stores to spot all the potential vulnerabilities. Businesses today have a very dynamic and complex IT infrastructure. Privileged account users have to log in at multiple touchpoints, servers, and applications to streamline the information flow. Privileged account users might leave behind tokens and credentials that the attackers can exploit to get access to sensitive information. Implementation of new applications into the enterprise tech stack requires businesses to grant new permissions and accommodate security requirements to ensure seamless integration. CIOs should consider mapping the requirements of all the devices, users, domain controllers, privileged accounts, and individual endpoints.
Identify all the active directory chokepoints
It will be a difficult task for businesses to patch all the attack surface areas and vulnerabilities. SecOps need to look out for chokepoints that lead to tier zero assets, such as domain controllers. All the assets that are connected to high-value assets need to pass through those choke points irrespective of their route. It is one of the most effective ways to spot all the cyber security threats to the active directory and seamlessly manage the process. Enterprises can implement various advanced tools to give AD misconfigurations a subjective threat assessment value. Objective threat assessment will enable the CISOs to analyze the systems and users that have access to every choke point.
Protect credential harvesting from domain shares
Cyber attackers usually target simple text or reversible passwords saved in scripts and group policy files saved in the domain shares. CISOs should consider integrating security solutions that help them to identify such passwords to make changes before the attackers use them as vectors. Implementing deceptive group policy objects in the production’s active directory will help businesses to mislead the attackers away from the production assets.
Create deceptive privileged user accounts
After the cybercriminal has infiltrated the network’s perimeter defenses, they will start attacking the privileged devices. CISOs should consider implementing strategies to detect and mitigate enumeration on privileged devices, admins, and service accounts to spot the infiltrator at the start of the attack cycle. Implementing deceptive domain accounts and credentials will act like an intruder trap that the cyber attackers walk themselves into. Creating deceptive accounts will prevent credential harvesting from domain shares to protect the active directory from various cyber threats and risks.
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