Active Directory - Simple Tier Isolation

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Shaun Vermaak
My name is Shaun Vermaak and I have always been fascinated with technology and how we use it to enhance our lives and business.
This article demonstrates probably the easiest way to configure domain-wide tier isolation within Active Directory.
If you do not know tier isolation read https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-docs/security/securing-privileged-access/securing-privileged-access-reference-material

1) WMI Filters

Create WMI filter that will identify devices for each tier. In the article three tiers are used, domain controllers, servers and workstations. This provides a balance between security and simplification but this can easily be extended to other devices or server types.

2) Groups

Create a group for each tier. This will hold the members for each tier.

3) Group Policies

Create a group policy for each tier. It should filter based on the tier type and will contain the allow/deny rules.

4) Add members to tier groups

Finally, add your dedicated DA accounts to tier 0 group, dedicated server administrators accounts to tier 1 group. Accounts will now only be able to log in locally or via RDP if they are meant for the specific tier

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Expert Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
Hi Shaun,
What's the example purpose of separating the AD object in a tier?
LVL 42

Author Comment

by:Shaun Vermaak
Preventing say a workstation admin from elevating themselves to server admins because a server admin logged into a workstation (yes, there's tools for that)

Expert Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
Great, so in this case by I assume that utilizing your GPO with WMI filtering above, the tier separation can be fully separated.
So do I just implement the Group Policy Preference above ?
LVL 42

Author Comment

by:Shaun Vermaak
You need the groups, GPOs and filters on the GPOs. At the end you link these policies to the root of the domain but during testing it should only be linked to a specific testing OU

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