Securing Your Network Infrastructure – Free Auditing Tools

In this edition of our “Securing Your Windows Infrastructure” series, I’ll be talking about some great free tools offered by Netwrix. Netwrix was founded in 2006 and offers a comprehensive suite of commercial and free security tools, all focused around increasing visibility into the changes made to your Windows environment.

Among their free tools, you can find Netwrix Change Notifier for Active Directory, Netwrix Effective Permissions Reporting Tool, and Netwrix Change Notifier for File Servers. The two change notification applications should be considered essential in any organization where multiple people have administrative access to Active Directory and member servers, and the permissions reporting tool will increase visibility into the rights that have been granted to a user throughout your infrastructure.

Netwrix Change Notifier for Active Directory will give you “Complete Visibility into Who Did What, When and Where in Your Active Directory”. As with all of the freeware software offered by Netwrix, there are some limitations. Without a license you will not see who made a change, but you can still gain insight into the changes made in your environment, roughly when the change was made (based on when the report was generated), and which objects were affected.

Netwrix Effective Permissions Reporting Tool is a new freeware offering with no commercial counterpart. Using this application, you can scan your servers for the rights held by a specific user. After the scan is complete, you will be presented with a report that clearly shows the objects the user has permissions to, their level of access, and via which group(s) the access is gained. At this point, the tool is good for one-off scans or periodic audits, but I’m hoping to see a more feature-full commercial version in the near future.

Lastly, Netwrix Change Notifier for File Servers is very similar to Netwrix Change Notifier for Active Directory, but as you may have guessed, it targets file and folders, detailing changes to both permissions and additions and deletions to the file system. As with Netwrix Change Notifier for Activec Directory, you must upgrade to the commercial version to see who made the change and when.

If you weren’t familiar with Netwrix, I hope this quick introduction to a few of their most popular products was helpful and will give you a new level of insight into the changes made and permissions in your Windows environment. As always, feel free to contact Archetype SC at any time for assistance with auditing, Windows security, or any of the number of other services we offer.

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