Splunk® Content Packs for ITSI and IT Essentials Work

Splunk Content Packs for ITSI and IT Essentials Work

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Get Active Directory Data

This topic discusses changing the Active Directory audit policy to allow the domain controllers in your Active Directory to generate the needed events and logs for the Content Pack for Windows Dashboards and Reports.

Active Directory audit policy

By default, Active Directory does not automatically audit certain security events. You must enable auditing of these events so that your domain controllers log them into the Security event log channel. You do this by creating a Group Policy Object (GPO) and deploying that GPO to all domain controllers (DCs) in your Active Directory environment. Once you activate the GPO, your DCs log these security events into the Security event log. Then, you install universal forwarders (as deployment clients) to the domain controllers and deploy the appropriate Active Directory add-ons into those clients. They collect the logs and forward them to the central Content Pack for Windows Dashboards and Reports indexers. This topic shows you how to create individual Group Policy objects (GPOs) for both sets of settings. You can combine both the PowerShell and audit settings into a single GPO. Create and deploy these GPOs separately from other GPOs.

Important information on security event auditing and indexing volume

When you enable auditing of the Security Event Log on your domain controllers, the DCs generate a lot of data. These events significantly increase indexing volume and might cause indexing license violations. You might also see decreased performance on your domain controllers based on how much additional data the servers generate.

If you are concerned about the impact that enabling security event auditing might have on your indexing volume, you can tweak policy settings to generate only the data that is important to you. Refer to the table below to learn about which policy settings generate which event types, and how the Content Pack for Windows Dashboards and Reports uses those events to populate its dashboards, reports, and lookups.

If you choose to disable certain policy settings in an effort to curb indexing volume, you directly affect how much data gets sent to the Content Pack for Windows Dashboards and Reports. The table below lists what data you do not collect if you decide not to enable a particular policy setting. This is not an all-inclusive list - the app correlates some lookups across various policy settings, as multiple events often derive a single knowledge object. Failure to enable all of the policy settings might cause the Content Pack for Windows Dashboards and Reports to display incomplete or incorrect knowledge objects in its dashboards and reports.

Policy setting Required Uses
Audit Account Logon Events Yes
  • Administrator Audit dashboards
  • Security > Logon dashboards
  • Security > Reports > New (Computer or Domain) Accounts
  • Session ID-to-User (tSessions) lookup
  • Computer-to-IP Address (tHostinfo) lookup
Audit Account Management No
  • Administrator Audit dashboards
  • Change Management dashboards
Audit Logon Events No
  • Administrator Audit dashboards
  • Logon and access information
Audit Object Access No
  • Administrator Audit dashboards
  • Information on who changed a GPO and when
Audit Policy Change No
  • Security > Reports > Group Policy Reports
  • GPO Change Management dashboard
Audit System Events No Directory Services replication events

Advanced Audit Policy settings

You might alternatively want to use the Advanced Audit Policy (AAP) configuration settings to control which events your domain controllers send to the content pack.

Review eventtypes.conf for the event codes that the app looks for. With this information, you can create a GPO that enables AAP and generates audit events for only those specific event codes.

If you need more granularity in the types of audit events you want generated, review eventtypes.conf to identify the event codes. You can use the event codes to create a GPO that enables AAP and generates audit events for only the event codes that you specify.

When you enable AAP, Windows disables configurations for standard Audit Policy.

Enable auditing on Windows server

Create a new GPO

  1. From the Windows Start menu, click Start > Administrative Tools > Group Policy Management.
  2. In the left pane, under Group Policy Management, expand the forest and domain for which you want to set group policy.
  3. Right-click Group Policy objects and select New.
  4. In the dialog window that opens, enter a unique name for your new GPO that you will remember in the Name field, and select None for the Source Starter GPO field.

Edit the GPO to change audit policy

  1. Open the GPO for editing by right-clicking the newly created GPO In the Group Policy Objects window and selecting Edit.
  2. In the GPO editor, select Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policy > Audit Policy.
  3. Enable both Success and Failure auditing of the following policy settings:
    • Audit account logon events
    • Audit account management
    • Audit directory service access
    • Audit logon events
    • Audit object access
    • Audit policy change
    • Audit privilege use
    • Audit system events
  4. Close the Group Policy Object Editor window to save your changes.

Deploy the GPO

  1. In Group Policy Management, in the left pane of the window, right-click on the Domain Controllers item and click Link an existing GPO.
  2. In the window that appears, select the GPO you created.
  3. Click OK. The GPMC refreshes to show that your GPO is now linked to the Domain Controllers organizational unit.
Last modified on 17 August, 2021
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This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Content Packs for ITSI and IT Essentials Work: current


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