Authorization / Active Directory - Indirect Control



Local user or computer accounts with indirect control over an object in Active Directory refer to accounts that, while not explicitly assigned permissions on an object within Active Directory, have a level of control or influence over that object through group memberships, group policies, or other means. This indirect control can introduce security risks if not properly managed.


  • Unauthorized Access: Indirectly controlled accounts may gain unauthorized access to objects, potentially leading to data exposure, unauthorized modifications, or misuse of resources.
  • Privilege Escalation: If an attacker compromises an account with indirect control, they may escalate their privileges by exploiting the account's influence over objects in Active Directory.
  • Data Loss: Improperly configured indirect control can lead to data loss, data corruption, or unauthorized data modification.
  • Security Policy Violations: Accounts with indirect control may have the ability to bypass security policies, leading to non-compliance with security best practices and regulatory requirements.


  • Access Reviews: Conduct regular access reviews and audits to identify accounts with indirect control over objects. Ensure that these accounts have a legitimate need for such control.
  • Principle of Least Privilege: Apply the principle of least privilege (POLP) to restrict the level of access granted to accounts, both directly and indirectly. Ensure that users and computers have only the permissions necessary to perform their specific tasks.
  • Group Membership Auditing: Monitor group memberships and group policies to understand how indirect control is established and maintained. Remove unnecessary group memberships and permissions.
  • Regular Training: Educate administrators and IT personnel about the risks of indirect control and the importance of maintaining proper access controls.
  • Security Tools: Implement security tools and solutions, such as identity and access management (IAM) systems, to automate and streamline access control processes, ensuring that permissions remain appropriate and up to date.
  • Incident Response: Develop an incident response plan that outlines procedures for addressing security incidents involving accounts with indirect control. Be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any unauthorized access or data breaches.

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