What is The Active Directory?

Microsoft Windows Active DirectoryWhen an Information Technology professional wants to fight security threats to the software running his network, he works in the Active Directory and uses Windows Security Essentials. The active directory is a central location for all of the tasks necessary to keep the network safe and efficient.

The active directory lists all the items or objects, such as printers, workstations and routers, and the people and groups of people covered by the network with a description of the person or item, their place in the network and any attributes they have. It also lists the rules or principles that govern each person or item on the network. Each object can have other objects contained within it. For example, there may be an object called “Sales Force” with a list of individual objects contained within that object such as “Jim”, “Tom” or “Monica”. The hierarchy is divided into three levels. The lowest level is the domain in which all of the items can be contained within a single database. Several domains or databases make up a tree, and several trees create a forest. The forest is the main security unit for the network.

Network administrators can make sweeping changes within the Forest at any level. They could change the right of a certain group of workers to access a certain database or change the hours those workers are allowed on the network. The network administrator can also look at the network in terms of job description or location. Several salesmen may work in a certain salesgroup and be scattered across the country. The network administrator can see each salesmen along with the other people who work in their office or as a group of salesmen with the same job description. He can change permissions with either definition of the group.

The security work done in a Windows network depends on Microsoft or Windows Security Essentials, an anti-virus program that protects networks and individual computers against malware such as viruses, trojan horses, spyware and rootkits. Microsoft Security Essentials constantly updates with new descriptions of viruses and scans each program on the computer, server or network and removes those viruses.

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