11 Tips for Protecting Active Directory While Working from Home

An example of the tidal wave of ‘advice’ during the pandemic. This is not bad, just pretty tangential stuff when it comes to AD itself. What’s missing is any check that your controls are: a) actually deployed; b) effective. (Full disclosure: my business sells tools that help with this)…:

[…] A full list of recommendations by experts to fully minimize the risk are summarized as follows:

  1. Implement an equipment policy for remote workers: As much as possible, use the means available, secured and controlled by the company itself. If this is not possible, you need to give clear usage and security guidelines to your remote employees.
  2. Secure external access: You should use a VPN to secure connections to your infrastructure. Whenever possible, limit VPN access to only authorized devices. Any attempt to connect from another device should be denied.
  3. Strengthen password policy: The passwords should be long enough, complex, and unique for each service or piece of equipment used. You should also activate two-factor authentication on remote sessions, especially for connections to the corporate network.
  4. Strict security updates policy: You should deploy them as soon as they become available and on all accessible device in your information system. Cybercriminals can quickly exploit such vulnerabilities.
  5. Tighten backup of data and activities: Backups are important; they will sometimes be the only way for the company to recover its data after a cyberattack. Make sure you perform and test backups regularly to ensure they are working.
  6. Use professional antiviral solutions: They can protect companies from most common viral attacks, but also sometimes from phishing, or even from certain ransomware.
  7. Set up logging of the activity: You should set up systematic logging of all access and activities of your infrastructure equipment (servers, firewall, proxy…), and workstations. This auditing can be the only way to understand what happened with a cyberattack, the extent of the attack, and how to remedy it.
  8. Supervise the activity of all external accesses and sensitive systems: You should monitor RDP connections and all access to files and folders in order to detect unusual access which could be the sign of an attack. For example, a suspicious connection from an unknown user, or of a known user outside of its usual hour, or an unusual volume or activity to sensitive files and folders. When possible, real-time alerts and an immediate response are a great way to act before any damage is caused.
  9. Raise awareness and provide reactive support: You need to give remote workers clear instructions on what they can and cannot do. Raising awareness of the security risks linked to remote working is important. Users will often constitute the first barrier to avoid or detect cyber-attacks.
  10. Prepare for a cyberattack: We know that no organization, whatever its size, is fully protected against a cyberattack. The assessment of the different possible attack scenarios allows you to anticipate the measures to be taken to protect your company from them.
  11. Leaders: Get involved! The involvement and commitment of managers in security measures must be exemplary in order to ensure the adhesion of employees.

[…]

Original article here