Password Managers with AD Integration: What to Look For

Organizations looking to manage passwords beyond the Active Directory password might choose to do so with an enterprise password manager. Organizations that run on Active Directory will have an AD integration at the top of their shopping list.

So, how can Active Directory integrate with a password manager? And what should an IT team look for when evaluating such integrations?

What Password Manager AD Integrations Can Do

Integrating with Active Directory can mean many different things. Specops products are known for integrating with Active Directory and often that includes seamless integration into the ADUC in addition to provisioning users via Group Policy.

But what can integrating with Active Directory mean when we’re talking password managers?

An AD integration for an enterprise password manager could include:

  • Using the Active Directory login as the “master password” for the user’s password manager login
  • Provisioning users to the password manager via Group Policy
  • Setting different MFA requirements for different sets of users via Group Policy
  • And more

IT admins seek out password managers that can use the AD login to login to vaults to make things easier for their users but also because often the protections the organization has on their AD passwords is greater than what is offered by the enterprise password managers themselves.

An integration that allows for provisioning users and setting MFA requirements for different user groups via Group Policy is a feature that makes the administration lives of the IT department a lot easier.

In order for the password manager to be able to do this and more via Active Directory and Group Policy, the password manager needs a way to talk to Active Directory.

How Password Managers Connect to Active Directory

Many password managers will require a “bridge” or “connector” to establish a communication path between an organization’s Active Directory and the password manager itself. This allows for an organization to utilize AD for authentication into the password vaults no matter from where their users are accessing the password manager.

These bridges or connectors are often required to be installed on domain controllers with an internet connection.

Best practices to implement for these types of connections include:

  • Physically secure the domain controllers
  • Keep them up to date with security patches
  • Protect the DC connections to your network with a firewall
  • Limit what is run on the domain controller
  • Restrict what users have administrative access to the DCs
  • Back them up regularly
  • Audit logs for irregular activity

With your users’ AD passwords granting them access to even more websites and apps via an AD integrated password manager, protecting that Active Directory password is going to become even more important.

Don’t Use an AD Integration for Your Enterprise Password Manager Without This

That AD integration means your users are logging on to even more with their Active Directory passwords. Sites that include financial information, customer details, source code, intellectual property, sensitive business plans and more. Sensitive information that is critical for any organization to protect.

With that extra access, it’s even more important to increase protections on the AD password itself. Organizations can make use of protections like custom dictionaries, encouraging long passwords, blocking billions of known compromised passwords, and securing their reset with MFA. Find out how with Specops Password Policy and Specops uReset.

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(Last updated on June 7, 2022)

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