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Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD) may be an unfamiliar term, but it is an essential part of securing Windows Server-based networks. Active Directory (AD) was launched in 1999 and quickly became the standard for network identity management. Companies use AD to locate, secure, manage, and organize their computer and network infrastructure, including workstations, servers, files, users, groups, and other network devices.
AD allows the IT Team to create and manage domains, users, and objects within a network. System Administrators can create a group of users with specific access privileges to certain directories on the server, limit or grant access to certain parts of the network, and administer important updates such as software patches to specific groups. As a network grows, AD provides a way to organize a large number of users into logical hierarchies while providing access control.
Active Directory integrates with the Domain Name System (DNS). The DNS is an address book of the Internet. People can access information online through domain names, like edafio.com or starbucks.com. These web browsers interact through Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. The DNS translates domain names to IP addresses so browsers can load Internet resources.
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There are many Active Directory benefits, but let’s take a closer look at the basics. The fact is that not all associates of a company need to have access to all of the files on a network. For instance, if you have payroll information, the sysadmins can grant permissions to associates from the accounting department.
Implementing security such as installing a new antivirus software onto each device, or making certain sensitive documents inaccessible, so they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
By saving files to the central server, there is unified access to resources based on company needs. Users can manage from any device on the network
AD makes it easier to implement specific settings and grant certain rights and privileges to users on the network.
Built-in single sign-on avoids having multiple credentials, allows for better user experience and improved security.
By saving data to a central storage location, it is easier to recover them if a user’s machine is compromised.
All of the above benefits of Active Directory streamline IT operations that reduce IT costs and overheads.
As a core functionality required by a centralized user management system, AD services include several different functions.
Active Directory is the foundation of any Windows Server-based network, and it is a critical component, even when using Cloud-based resources. Active Directory is also evolving, with Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory being used on an increasingly frequent basis. How do you know the limitations and best practices for Active Directory? Edafio helps our clients navigate this increasingly complex environment so that you can get the benefit, security, and ongoing thought leadership needed to secure your company.
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