The role of the Active Directory (AD) is to centralize user management within the network and manage the authentication and authorization of your users. But just because it exists doesn’t mean it is successfully performing that job. Through AD optimization, you can strengthen your security measures, streamline the user experience, assure business continuity, and perform due diligence in the case of an acquisition.

AD optimization

Infrastructure Improvements in Your Active Directory

By addressing the Infrastructure of your AD, you evaluate the policy and process by which user accounts are created and managed. This helps ensure reliable business continuity, a reduction in administrative overhead costs, and optimization of your security resources. Specific areas fo review include:

Directory Architecture Review

As part of the directory architecture review process, it’s important to evaluate the following:

  1. Domain Controller Design – How are your domain controllers configured? Are they dedicated to individual services or are you running them on shared servers with multiple services?
  2. Sites and Services – How are sites and services currently configured for access by users and vendors?
  3. Bandwidth – How is the bandwidth between sites managed currently?
  4. Replication – When undefined this can cause an inability to log in.
  5. Domain Trusts – What is the current risk of unconditional access to outside parties.

The goal of the directory architecture review process is to evaluate the overall structure and gain recommendations on how best to optimize to fit the needs of your organization.

Group Policy Review

A group policy review can have a number of clear benefits for your organization, including:

  1. Log In Speed – Improve log in speed for all users by clarifying the group policy.
  2. Free Resources – Decrease help desk calls for password resets or access issues.
  3. User Experience – Give users more control over key elements and provide a smoother, more intuitive experience.
  4. Changes at Scale – Provide the business with improved group policy design that can allow policy changes at scale and increased operational efficiency.

Through group policy review, you can improve the overall way in which users utilize the system and engage with support staff.

Security Improvements In Your Active Directory

By optimizing the protection of your systems through security improvements, you can realize a series of additional benefits.

User Account Review

Through user account review, you can ensure all users have access to only the materials and features needed to do their jobs effectively while establishing policies for expiration and disablement of vendor and user accounts when they become inactive.

File Share Review

How are your files organized and who has access to them and in what capacity? This is an important question that many organizations rarely have time to answer. Benefits of looking at file share policy include:

  1. Visibility into who has access to all file shares
  2. Improved file share strategy with a group structure versus direct user access structure
  3. Reduction in storage capacity and bandwidth needs by optimizing file share replication

Leveraging the Benefits of AD Optimization

By investing in a comprehensive review of your Active Directory, you can address longstanding security concerns, consolidate and better control access, and update technology used to manage user access. This means:

  1. Increased productivity and flexibility for your users with only relevant access and easier to manage credentials.
  2. Reduced costs for security management and helpdesk support by giving control to users for recurring tasks like password updates.
  3. Generally improved security that reduces the risk of a data breach from user account compromise.
  4. A reduction in resolution time when issues occur and increased overall uptime for systems and accounts.
  5. Regulation compliance and policy standardization across all elements of your organization.

It starts with a clear strategy that addresses core problems in your organization and is followed by an actionable plan that will help integrate solutions in a smarter, more efficient manner.

Learn more about the benefits of Active Directory optimization and security for your identity services in our eBook: How to Secure Your Active Directory and Identity Verification Systems

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