Fast Guide: Group Policy

Group Policy can be complicated. Make sure you understand how to implement it and how it affects security. Brush up on your Group Policy knowledge with this Fast Guide. This guide uses tips, webcasts and book excerpts to cover Group Policy design, administration with GPOs and GP security.

Group Policy is the backbone of Microsoft's Active Directory. Group Policy determines registry-based polices, security options, software installation and maintenance options, scripts options, and folder redirection options. Group Policy can be used to ensure the security of clients in your enterprise, and understanding Group Policy and how to implement it are essential to the secure operation of Active Directory. Brush up on your Group...

Policy knowledge and skills with our collection of tips, webcasts and book excerpts.

Tips

Administering computers with registry-based Group Policy
Tony Bradley
The Windows registry is the operating system's reference mechanism, particular entries can help secure the PC as well as weaken its security. According to contributor Tony Bradley, using administrative templates to manipulate GPOs can help you standardize security settings.

Testing Group Policy security
Kevin Beaver
So you've hardened Group Policy settings to protect Windows from attacks -- but are you sure all of those settings are working? Contributor Kevin Beaver offers several methods for testing Group Policy.

Group Policy inheritance and application
Derek Melber
Group policy can be confusing. According to Microsoft MVP Derek Melber, understanding some key Group Policy concepts can ensure better security implementation.

Ten attacks you can easily avoid with Group Policy
Kevin Beaver
If client security is your goal, Group Policy has to be part of your plan for achieving that goal. Group Policy can help to implement policies that prevent simple attacks from attackers both on and outside your network.

Hardening Windows School: Intermediate checklist on secure Group Policy design
Jonathan Hassell
Group Policy can be complex. The most difficult aspects of configuring Group Policy correctly are planning and laying out the policy settings. Use this short checklist to make sure you planning your policies correctly.

Configure Group Policy to prevent attacks
Kevin Beaver
This list of critical Group Policy settings will help you lock down Windows against security threats, whether you want to thwart automated password cracking attacks, enable audit logging or simply force attackers to jump through more hoops.

Webcasts

Securing computers using Group Policy Objects (GPOs)
Derek Melber
This webcast will look at the different areas of a GPO that allow for security configurations, how to use security templates to configure security and how to properly design the Active Directory to allow for the use of GPOs for security.

Planning Group Policy implementation with security in mind
Jonathan Hassell
Group Policy can be a simple way to distribute settings across a Windows domain environment, but it requires forethought and planning. Learn how to best structure a GP implementation with security configurations in mind.

Book Excerpts

Microsoft Windows Group Policy Guide: Chapter 5, "Hardening Clients and Servers"
The following excerpt series from Chapter 5 of "Microsoft Windows Group Policy Guide" by William R. Stanek, Darren Mar-Elia and Derek Melber is provided by Microsoft Press.

Advantages of Microsoft Group Policy Management Console
The following excerpt is from Chapter 2 of the free eBook "Administrator shortcut guide to Active Directory security" written by Derek Melber and Dave Kearns.

This was first published in March 2006

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