Category Archives: Security

From the field: The Case of Raising the DFL to make all fail-over clusters inaccessible

Troubleshooting stories from the field are the best. That’s why I like writing them down. Although, sometimes they might appear as straight cases of schadenfreude, I feel there are lessons to be learned for anyone, if you’re willing to look closely and listen carefully. This week I experienced an issue at a customer, when they […]


HOWTO: Hunt for abuse of Azure AD Connect’s AD Connector account

Azure AD Connect Sync’s uses three separate accounts. Its AD Connector account is an account that has several permissions that warrant a closer look at how the account can be abused. Of course, we’ll need command lines to hunt for any misuse. About the AD Connector account Since Azure AD Connect version, the use […]


How to solve Azure AD Connect synchronization errors for objects with adminCount attributes set to 1

Roughly a year ago, I shared how to properly delegate Directory permissions to Azure AD Connect service accounts. One of the issues you might encounter with those steps is that you privileged accounts and previously-privileged accounts might present permission-issue errors in Azure AD Connect’s Synchronization Service Manager: Initially, I didn’t include these accounts into the […]


HOWTO: Check your LAPS Implementation for Proper Security

Recently, several projects, including Akijo’s and n00py’s work, have emerged that exploit misconfigurations of Microsoft’s Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) in Active Directory environments. This begs the question: how to make sure their LAPS implementation is secure? It’s a solution to manage passwords for privileged accounts. If this breaks, like cpassword values in Group Policy […]


TODO: Stream additional logs from Azure AD for optimal visibility

Over the past six months, I’ve shown you ways to get to know the devices that people in your organization use App Passwords on, set an alert to notify when an additional person is assigned the Azure AD Global Administrator role and set an alert to notify when an Azure AD emergency access account is […]


Experiences with Zero Trust

Recently, people responsible for identity, security and governance have embraced the vision of Zero Trust. It is the logical evolution of our thinking towards an actionable, more thorough and holistic approach to access, based on the mantra ‘trust no-one, verify everything’. Today, I'm sharing my early experiences in this field.   The idea of Zero […]


TODO: Require MFA from four more Azure AD Roles through your Conditional Access Policies

As part of MC224734, Microsoft has communicated publicly that they are requiring multi-factor authentication (MFA) from four more Azure AD privileged roles through the Security Defaults functionality. Organizations leveraging Conditional Access to require MFA from privileged accounts should take note.   About Security Defaults Security Defaults is an Identity security feature. When enabled, it requires […]


Five things to know about the Office 365 app in Azure AD Conditional Access

After being in Public Preview since February 2020, Microsoft made the Office 365 app in Azure AD Conditional Access Generally Available. The below image sums up what is in the Office 365 app: The Office 365 app helps with common challenges Microsoft 365 admins have: All the individual services in the Office 365 Suite are […]

Mainstream support for Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) ends in three months

We’ve helped organizations embrace Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) solution to protect their Active Directory environments from attacks. On January 12th, 2021, mainstream support for this product ends. ATA version 1.9.3, released on September 14th, 2020 is the final update as part of mainstream support. It’s time to move on to Microsoft Defender for Identity. […]


HOWTO: Harden Remote Desktop connections to Domain Controllers

Workstations that are allowed to communicate to Domain Controllers pose a risk of lateral movement. To mitigate some of these risks, we can harden the Remote Desktop connections to Domain Controllers. Note: For organizations that have implemented the Active Directory administrative tier model, or are striving to embrace, their Privileged Access Workstations (PAWs) pose a […]