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What is Active Directory Reporting?

What is Active Directory Reporting?

Active Directory reporting is necessary to help you gain visibility into your AD environment — which in turn is critical to effective AD management, strong security and compliance, and efficient migrations and consolidations. This page digs deeper into exactly what kind of Active Directory reporting is needed in each of these three areas, as well as what broader features are needed across all of them.


What is reporting for Active Directory management?

Proper Active Directory management requires keeping a close eye on your AD users and groups, including what permissions have been granted to each, so you can rigorously enforce the least-privilege principle. You also need clear Active Directory reports that identify inactive user and computer accounts, based on properties such as last logon time, so you can clean them up before they are misused. In addition, you need to keep track of user accounts whose passwords are about to expire and spot any accounts whose passwords never expire, since they are at increased risk of being compromised and misused. And you also need to understand your Group Policy settings and be able to easily review how they have changed over time.

More broadly, you need to be able to monitor the configuration of your domain controllers and the replication of data between them. Otherwise, users might well experience problems logging in or accessing the resources they need to do their jobs. While you can get some of the information you need using native tools and Windows PowerShell scripts to export data to Excel spreadsheets, you’ll be spending far more time than necessary on AD administration and still won’t be able to get all the actionable insight you need for truly effective AD management.

You need a reporting tool that delivers in-depth, out-of-the-box reports on your Active Directory users, groups and group membership, roles, organizational units (OUs), and permissions. Such a tool will help you proactively manage your environment. Enterprise Reporter for Active Directory  offers automated discovery and reporting on the configuration of Active Directory, and facilitates historical analysis and compliance reporting by saving configuration data and providing detailed change history reports.

Group Policy is a key part of your AD environment and you need deep insight into Group Policy settings and permission. GPOADmin enables you to easily review any GPO and even compare different versions of a GPO side by side.


What is reporting for Active Directory security and compliance?

Maintaining AD security and proving regulatory compliance are complex tasks. Wading through cryptic native logs and manually piecing information together not only requires a lot of time and effort, it’s also extremely error prone — you’re likely to miss key events and be unable to get the broad perspective you need. Therefore, you need easy-to-read, centralized Active Directory reports and Active Directory change reporting.

Enterprise Reporter for Active Directory makes it easy to keep tabs on what people are doing across the IT environment, and the integrated IT Security Search enables fast incident response and forensic analysis. You can include user entitlements, user activity, event trends, suspicious patterns and more, with rich visualizations and event timelines.

Change Auditor for Active Directory tracks user activity and audit Active Directory changes in real time, alerts you to critical changes so you can respond quickly, and provides easy-to-understand reports with all the critical details. With hundreds of prebuilt, customizable reports for GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOX, FISMA, GLBA and other mandates, you’ll always be ready for audits. Plus, with InTrust you can archive years of event log data with high compression to meet even the most stringent data retention requirements.


What is reporting for Active Directory migrations, consolidations and restructuring?

Quality reporting is also critical through all the stages of a migration, consolidation or restructuring project. During the planning phase, you need to understand your current environment (or environments) in detail so you can do any necessary cleanup and plan your migration jobs. During the migration itself, you need to be able to track progress and keep management and other stakeholders informed with reports that are easy to read and understand. And after the migration, you need to report on your target environment to ensure your migration goals were met.

Enterprise Reporter for Active Directory facilitates pre-migration analyses by pinpointing user and group dependencies; spotting unused accounts and groups with no members that are ripe for cleanup; and uncovering matching conflicts that would otherwise throw a monkey wrench into the migration process.

For help not only with pre-migration planning but the migration itself, check out Migration Manager for Active Directory. It will help you develop a comprehensive migration plan, and also offers a robust project management interface for monitoring and reporting on migration progress so you can respond quickly to issues and keep stakeholders up to date.


Where can I learn more about Active Directory?

Active Directory is central to the success of any modern business. Check out these additional helpful pages to learn best practices for the most critical areas of Active Directory:

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