Providing an integrated platform for the management and configuration of operating systems, applications, and user settings within an Active Directory environment is the responsibility of the Track Windows Group Policy Changes. This component is responsible for controlling the network. The settings for Group Policy are kept in Group Policy Objects, which are objects that can be linked to specific Sites, Domains, or Organizational Units.
When it comes to large organizations, it is not uncommon for there to be more than one administrator responsible for maintaining the network by using the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). It is critical to conduct an audit of changes made to Group Policy in order to get a better understanding of the specifics of modifications made to Group Policies by delegated users.
Why Track Windows Group Policy Changes
- To ensure compliance. Group Policy is a powerful tool that can be used to configure a wide range of settings on Windows computers. By tracking Group Policy changes, you can ensure that your computers are always in compliance with your organization’s policies and procedures.
- To troubleshoot problems. If you are having problems with a computer, tracking Group Policy changes can help you to identify the cause of the problem. For example, if a user is having problems logging in, you can check to see if any Group Policy changes have been made that could be affecting their login.
- To detect malicious activity. Attackers may try to modify Group Policy in order to gain control of computers or steal data. By tracking Group Policy changes, you can detect malicious activity and take steps to remediate it.
- To audit changes. If you need to audit changes to Group Policy for compliance or security reasons, tracking Group Policy changes can help you to do so.
How To Track Windows Group Policy Changes
- Start Server Manager in your Windows Server operating system.
- Group Policy Management is under Tools.
- Go to Domains, then Domain Controllers.
- Do either of the following:
- Right-click on “Default Domain Controllers Policy,” then click “Edit” to open the Group Policy Management Editor or “Create a new GPO.”
- Go to Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Advanced Audit Policy Configuration > Audit Policies > DS Access.
- Enable auditing for both “success” and “failure” for Audit Detailed Directory Service Replication, Audit Directory Service Access,
- Audit Directory Service Changes, and Audit Directory Service Replication.
- Now, go to Advanced Audit Policy Configuration, then Audit Policy, then Object Access.
- Enable auditing for both “success” and “failure” for all 14 types of event subcategories.
Securing Your Group Policy Changes
- Make sure your passwords are secure. Each and every Group Policy Object (GPO) requires a password in order to access. It is essential that you protect each of your GPOs with robust passwords and frequently update those passwords.
- Sign documents with a digital signature. You can validate the authenticity of GPOs by applying a digital signature to them. Attackers will have a harder time tampering with your GPOs if you take this precaution.
- Make use of different levels of control. You have the ability to hand over control of GPOs to particular users or groups. This gives you the ability to provide users with the permissions they require to manage GPOs without providing those users with full access to your Active Directory environment.
- Modifications to the Audit Group Policy. You have the ability to audit changes made to Group Policy, which allows you to track who made changes to your GPOs and when. This can assist you in identifying potentially harmful behavior.
- Keep an eye on any changes to the Group Policy. Monitoring changes to Group Policy in real time can be accomplished with the help of a number of different tools. This can help you detect changes more quickly and respond appropriately to them.
You can view the history of a Group Policy Object (GPO) by either double-clicking on the GPO or by right-clicking on the GPO and selecting the History option from the context menu. Additionally, it is shown as a tab for each GPO in the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), where it is managed. The history offers a record of the occurrences that took place during the chosen GPO’s lifetime.
The Group Policy Operational logs can be seen in Event Viewer by navigating to the Applications and Services > Microsoft > Windows > GroupPolicy directory. The Operational logs can be found in the Operational object. The Security channel of the Windows Event Log is where Group Policy stores some of the events that occur.
An event with the identifier 4634 is produced whenever a log-on session is closed. This should not be confused with event 4647, which occurs when a user starts the logoff process (that is, when a particular account makes use of the logoff function). At this point, nothing more than the fact that a session no longer exists because it was ended is recorded.