A Windows domain network hardening assessment aims to evaluate the security posture of a Windows domain network and identify potential vulnerabilities or weaknesses. Here are some key areas that typically need to be assessed as part of a Windows domain network hardening assessment:

  1. User Account and Authentication Security:
    • Review and enforce strong password policies.
    • Assess the usage of two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) for user accounts.
    • Evaluate the configuration of Kerberos authentication, including ticket settings and encryption types.
    • Verify the proper usage of privileged accounts and limit unnecessary privileges.
  2. Group Policy and Security Configuration:
    • Evaluate the effectiveness and consistency of Group Policy settings.
    • Assess the usage of secure baselines, such as Microsoft Security Compliance Toolkit, and review the applied configurations.
    • Verify the enforcement of security settings, including firewall rules, account lockout policies, and auditing settings.
    • Assess the configuration of Windows Defender or other antivirus solutions and review update policies.
  3. Patch Management:
    • Evaluate the patch management process and the implementation of regular security updates.
    • Assess the usage of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or other patch management tools.
    • Verify the deployment of critical security patches and assess the patching frequency.
    • Evaluate the existence of a process to assess and apply firmware updates for hardware devices.
  4. Network Perimeter Security:
    • Assess the configuration and effectiveness of firewalls, including the proper definition and enforcement of firewall rules.
    • Evaluate the usage of network segmentation and VLANs to isolate critical systems and sensitive data.
    • Verify the implementation of secure remote access mechanisms, such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) restrictions.
    • Assess the usage of intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS) to monitor network traffic and detect potential threats.
  5. Active Directory (AD) Security:
    • Evaluate the AD domain structure and assess the organizational unit (OU) and group design.
    • Verify the proper usage of security groups and evaluate the assignment of permissions and access controls.
    • Assess the configuration of auditing and monitoring settings within AD.
    • Review the implementation of AD backup and recovery processes.
  6. Endpoint Security:
    • Assess the deployment and configuration of antivirus and anti-malware solutions on endpoints.
    • Evaluate the usage of host-based intrusion detection/prevention systems (HIDS/HIPS).
    • Verify the implementation of application whitelisting or software restriction policies.
    • Assess the configuration of endpoint firewalls and review their effectiveness.
  7. Logging and Monitoring:
    • Assess the configuration of Windows Event Logging and the implementation of centralized log management.
    • Verify the usage of security information and event management (SIEM) systems for log aggregation and analysis.
    • Evaluate the configuration and effectiveness of real-time monitoring for security events and alerts.
    • Assess the implementation of incident response procedures and the usage of security incident and event management (SIEM) systems.

By thoroughly assessing these key areas in a Windows domain network, organizations can identify security gaps, prioritize remediation efforts, and implement appropriate measures to harden their network against potential threats and attacks.