Learning Guide: Access control

Understand how access control works and get various tips for preventing unauthorized access in this Learning Guide.


Robyn Lorusso, Editor This guide organizes tips and expert advice that will help address your access control issues and concerns. It will take you through access control tools and techniques, and various how-tos for enabling certain permissions and preventing unauthorized access to Windows systems. All of the information in this learning guide applies to Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. If any of your questions aren't answered below, ask Hardening Windows expert Roberta Bragg for help, or post your questions in ITKnowledge Exchange.

   Access control overview: How it works
   Access control tools and techniques
   Access control how-tos
   Submit your access control questions




  Access control overview: How it works  Return to Table of Contents

Access control acts as the physical controls that prevent unauthorized access to your Windows systems. After a user is authenticated, Windows uses the authorization and access control technologies to determine if that user should be allowed to access a resource.

In both Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003, Microsoft defines access control technologies with five overriding principals: User-based authorization, discretionary access control, inheritance of permissions, administrative privileges and auditing of system events.

This access control model ensures authorized use of Windows objects by security principals, which include users and groups that perform actions. Therefore, access control ultimately works to answer the question, "Can [security principal] perform [specified action] on [specified object]?"

In addition to security principals, access control components include security identifiers (SIDs), access tokens, permissions, user rights, security descriptors and access control lists (ACLs).

To start better understanding access control, check out this sampling of book excerpts from The definitive guide to securing Windows 2000 Server, Chapter 5, 'Configuring access control.'





  Access control tools and techniques  Return to Table of Contents





  Access control how-tos  Return to Table of Contents





  Submit your access control questions  Return to Table of Contents

If you didn't see your access control questions addressed above, ask site expert Roberta Bragg for help. We'll add your question and Roberta's response to this learning guide. Or, ask your peers for help in the ITKnowledge Exchange.



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