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Cybersecurity risk management for Active Directory

Hybrid Active Directory cyber resilience with defense in depth. Microsoft Active Directory (AD) is under attack. That’s why cybersecurity risk management is so important. With 95 million attempted AD attacks every day, it should be no surprise to hear AD was the target of another cybercrime. But these concerns aren’t contained to on-prem AD; in 2021 alone, there were more than 25 billion Azure AD attacks. It’s clear cybersecurity risk management needs to be a consideration, and even if the issues you’ve encountered aren’t intentional or nefarious, you still need to be prepared for the worst.
Overview of cybersecurity risk management for Active Directory

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States standardized on an effectively future-proof framework to help model your own Active Directory cybersecurity risk management plan. New threats come up, and attackers keep trying, but the NIST Framework is structured to ensure all your bases are covered if – or rather when – an attack happens.


attempted AD attacks every day


Azure AD attacks in 2021

23 days

average downtime from ransomware attack

At Quest, we offer a complete and continuous AD and Office 365 cyber resilience lifecycle that provides defense in depth across many layers that map to the NIST Cyber Security Framework: 

  • Identify. Limit an attacker’s avenues into your environment with effective attack path management.
  • Protect. Block adversaries from making changes to critical data or stealing credentials to gain a foothold in your environment.
  • Detect. Sound the alarm faster with automated anomaly detection and object protection.
  • Respond. Rapidly respond before damage spreads in the event of a security event.
  • Recover. Get your systems and data back up and running faster, and make cybersecurity events non-events.

The days of a strong perimeter being enough are over. Attackers are getting more sophisticated, and their tools are getting more powerful. You need a partner every step of the way. See for yourself how Quest can help with complete cybersecurity risk management across your entire Active Directory environment.

Core Principles

Identify cybersecurity risk management


Identify indicators of exposure (IOEs) and prioritize the attack paths an attacker could use to own your environment. With Quest and SpecterOps BloodHound Enterprise, you can quickly assess the potential risks in your environment and make a plan to eliminate the most vulnerable paths based on the calculated percentage of your organization that could utilize each attack path. Pinpoint critical choke points to eliminate any lower path.

  • Visualize every relationship and connection in AD and Azure AD, making it easy to identify new and existing attack paths. 
  • Measure the impact of any point in an attack path and identify optimal locations to block the largest number of pathways. 
  • Identify all critical Tier Zero assets and then automatically monitor them for any suspicious activity indicating they’ve been compromised.


Protect your environment to ensure attackers can’t make changes to critical groups or GPO settings. Also prevent them from linking or exfiltrating your AD database to steal credentials — regardless of the privileges they’ve hijacked. Quest makes it easier than ever to eliminate manual GPO management and governance tasks to reduce potential cybersecurity risk.

  • Ensure changes adhere to change management best practices prior to deployment, a critical step. 
  • Validate GPOs continually through automated attestation — a must for any third-party group policy management solution.
  • Improve GPO auditing and verify setting consistency quickly and easily with advanced, side-by-side GPO version comparisons at various intervals.
  • Revert back to a working GPO quickly in the event a GPO change created an undesired effect. In seconds, the environment can be running smoothly again.


Detect indicators of compromise (IOCs) with real-time auditing, anomaly detection and alerting. Only Quest makes it easier than ever to detect suspicious activity so the actions and affected accounts can be automatically locked down and rolled back to previously safe versions if necessary.

  • Audit all security changes across your AD and Azure AD environments.
  • Monitor AD in real-time for active attacks and IOCs.
  • Block attackers from leveraging critical attack vectors.
Respond  - Quest helps you make the most of the cybersecurity risk management


Respond quickly and accelerate investigations with automated information gathering on indicators of compromise (IOCs), as well as additional indicators of exposure (IOEs). Quest helps you make the most of the cybersecurity risk management information you’ve gathered to automatically respond to potential threats. Don’t wait until it’s too late; we can help.

  • High-fidelity on-premises auditing of AD changes and authentications
  • Azure AD and Office 365 user activity, security and configuration changes
  • Hybrid security vulnerability dashboard with IOCs and IOEs from on premises and cloud activity
  • Automated anomaly detection and critical activity alerts


Recover AD from a scorched earth scenario and restore business operations, data integrity and customer trust in minutes or hours instead of days, weeks or months. Only Quest helps you slash recovery times while bolstering recovery fidelity to ensure user and customer trust. Get peace of mind that any AD disaster will not become a business failure. 

  • Automate every step of the manual AD forest recovery process. 
  • Protect AD backups from compromise and eliminate the risk of malware reinfection. 
  • Restore cloud-only objects not synced by Azure AD Connect.
  • Demonstrate and validate your hybrid AD backup and disaster recovery plan.

Featured Products

SpecterOps BloodHound Enterprise

Identify, quantify and prioritize attack paths so you can secure Active Directory from every angle.

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On Demand Audit

Search and investigate changes made on prem or in the cloud from a single, hosted dashboard.

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Control and simplify Group Policy management.

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Change Auditor

Real-time security and IT auditing for your Microsoft Windows environment

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Change Auditor

Real-time security and IT auditing for your Microsoft Windows environment

Learn More

On Demand Audit

Search and investigate changes made on prem or in the cloud from a single, hosted dashboard.

Try Online

North Central Texas Council of Government

If high-severity events occur, Change Auditor alerts us by email, so we can determine whether the change was made properly through our change management process of is a malicious act by a hacker.

Brett Ogletree Information Security Officer, North Central Texas Council of Government

AFV Beltrame Group

With Change Auditor in place, we have not only the continuous monitoring we need to ensure smooth business operations, but a historian that tracks exactly what happened. The GDPR requires tight response times, which are pivotal and compulsory, and Change Auditor enables us to achieve compliance.

Micro Destro CIO and IT Manager, AFV Beltrame Group

Large Retail Chain

Change Auditor object protection is a lifesaver. I have set it up to prevent changes to ACLs on certain directories on our files servers, as well as to protect all administrative accounts. We’ve had pen testers come in and be very surprised they couldn’t get past Change Auditor object protection.

Enterprise Administrator Large Retail Chain

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Mitigate the risk of cyberattacks with defense in depth.