What is active directory in cyber security

Active Directory (AD) is a Microsoft technology created to enable users to manage online computer networks. It is used to store information about various objects in a single, shared repository that can be accessed by all users within a network.

How Active Directory Works #

Active Directory stores information in a hierarchical, logical structure similar to a family tree. Each object is stored in the directory with relevant attributes such as the name, security rights, and other properties. The directory can be accessed by users through a graphic interface or programmatically from scripting languages such as VBScript.

To manage these objects, policies are applied to the directory. These policies define the behavior of objects, such as the ability to make changes, create new accounts, and access other resources in the network.

Benefits of Active Directory #

Active Directory provides users with several benefits, including:

  • Centralized access to network resources
  • Increased security through authentication and authorization of users and objects
  • Integration of systems and applications across a network
  • Reliable access to information with backup and restoration features

Risks of Using Active Directory #

While Active Directory can provide great convenience to a network, there are some risks associated with it. These include:

  • Unauthorized access to sensitive information
  • Exposure of information and passwords to malicious actors
  • Vulnerabilities related to outdated software and malware
  • Inaccurate or incomplete logs