Monday, November 24, 2008

Locking down domain controllers at branch offices

November 24, 2008 Published by

Systems Channel Advisor
Best practices for securing domain controllers at the branch office
Ross Mistry, Contributor

Today's organizations are likely to consist of many branch offices, connected to the headquarters site by means of a wide area network (WAN) link in a distributed fashion. Due to the high costs associated with purchasing bandwidth, these WAN links are usually slow, unreliable and inefficient; Windows shops address this problem by installing Active Directory (AD) domain controllers at the branch office. Domain controllers are used to authenticate corporate users and provide them with access to domain resources.

Companies face a number of challenges with implementing domain controllers at the branch office, including lack of physical security, stolen domain controllers, lack of administrative role separation, lack of IT support personnel and lack of service isolation, as domain controllers usually reside on servers running other services, such as Exchange. Solution providers should adhere to the following strategies and best practices when deploying and securing domain controllers for customers at the branch office:

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