Windows server is different than your normal operating system, which you use just for accessing information from other servers. As the name states, you use this version of Windows for starting up different services such as web, DNS and Active Directory.
Users and Groups is a key feature that enables users to manage and secure a Windows server. If you are planning on working on a network environment, you should know how to navigate this window.
From this window you can:
- Create users
- Delete users
- Manage users through groups
After you can navigate this window, you can practice the policy of least privilege, which in general, means that you only give users what they need to function. This step is important because if normal web users can edit the website, they might accidentally delete a critical file.
For security purposes, least privilege is important because if a normal user account gets compromised, then the attacker can already make administrator changes.
Firewall Rules allows you to control what network information comes in the server and what comes out. This restriction also helps prevent unnecessary connections. You also have the option of using a third party firewall if you need to use a certain graphical interface.
You can configure a firewall for public, domain and private profiles individually.
The public profile is for public sharing networks as well as networks set up for anyone to use such as a guest network at a hotel.
A private profile is used for the internal use of a network such as home networks.
A domain profile is used for large scale networks that use a domain such as firewall rules for an Active Directory server.
PowerShell is a command line tool that enables you to interact with your server more effectively than a graphical interface. You have faster navigation when using a command line interface because you can type a command to install a service instead of going through multiple windows. PowerShell is also useful if you have a server that you can only access remotely because it will allow you to run commands without a monitor.
PowerShell has the ability to create scripts that allow you to automate administration tasks such as giving out password resets.
PowerShell use should be monitored because of its ability to do administrator tasks, which means it can also be used for malicious purposes on the host computer.
Group Policy is a feature of Windows that lets you administer a whole network at once. Once you have access to group policy, you can control what users can and can not do.
- What time a day an account can be used
- What password requirements need to be met for a user
- How often everyone on a network has to change passwords
- What desktop background everyone on a network can have
Group policies are great for business environments where everything needs to be uniform and secure.
Windows Event Viewer enables you to keep track of the events that happen on your computer. It records different type of events, including information events, warning events and error events.
An information event lets you know if something happened on your computer such as successful logins or audits.
A warning event is when Windows is trying to tell you something is up. For example, a misconfiguration on a server will often show up as a warning.
When you get a error event, something has gone wrong with what Windows is trying to do. In order to see how serious the error is, you will have to look at the event ID.
All of these tools work together with firewalls to control network traffic. Group policy helps manage all of the accounts on a network too. Event log will let you see what is happening to your server when you are away, which is very important. Finally, when you need to do something to advance or automate a task, you have the PowerShell command line.