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How to generate auditing reports on Active Directory Objects

Auditing Active Directory is perhaps the most important, but also the most difficult task in Active Directory management. Active Directory contains a huge number of objects and resources that need to be constantly monitored for unauthorized changes, application shutdowns and so on. ADAudit Plus helps IT administrators stay on top of their work by providing over 200+ pre-packaged audit reports that cover all AD objects.

In native AD, generating audit reports can be attempted on Windows PowerShell, however it will prove to be a tedious and time-consuming task with limited results. Here is a comparison on generating audit reports on Active Directory objects via Windows PowerShell and ADAudit Plus.

Using Windows PowerShell

  • Find the domain from which you need the report.
  • Identify the attributes that need to be included in the report.
  • Identify the attributes that need to be included in the report.
  • Compile the script.
  • Execute it in Windows PowerShell.
  • The report will exported in the format written in the script.
  • If it needs to be exported in a different format, modify the script accordingly.

Here is a sample script:

Search-ADAccount –AccountDisabled –UsersOnly –ResultPageSize 2000 –ResultSetSize $null | Select-Object SamAccountName, DistinguishedName

Search-ADAccount –AccountDisabled –UsersOnly –ResultPageSize 2000 –ResultSetSize $null | Select-Object SamAccountName, DistinguishedName
 Copied
Click to copy entire script

Note: To obtain a comprehensive auditing report on the network, several such PowerShell scripts will have to be run.

Using ADAudit Plus

  • ADAudit Plus has clearly labeled and categorized reports that don't just list data, but provide an insightful look into various Active Directory events. It also audits different parts of the network using File Audit, Server Audit among other examples.
  • Find the relevant reports, select the particular domain and OU and click Generate.
  • Click Export to export the reports in the available formats (CSV, PDF, HTML, CSVDE, XLSX)

Here is a sample report on disabled user accounts. As a network best practice, AD user accounts are disabled for a period of time before they are deleted. This list can show administrators that user accounts that need to be deleted. If the disabled users are constantly monitored, the administrator will also be able to easily identify an unauthorized re-enabling of a user account.

powershell-scripts-for-active-directory-reports-1

There are several drawbacks to using Windows PowerShell to generate reports that are intended to help audit the network:

  • We can run this script only from the computers which has Active Directory Domain Services role.
  • Auditing the network would require multiple scripts or one very complex script.
  • If the report needs to be exported in a different format, the script will have to be modified.

ADAudit Plus audits the whole network and generates very specific reports and real-time alerts if the network is compromised.

  • Avoid complex PowerShell-scripting, and simplify AD change auditing with ADAudit Plus.
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