Built-in Group Policy auditing lacks many important features and capabilities needed to satisfy internal and external policies and regulations. In order to fully understand and document a Group Policy setting change, manual collection of event log details need to be compiled and further analyzed.
Audit information is stored locally and must be accessed across the network costing precious time in the event of a disaster or critical event. Audit logs are not formatted to be user-friendly and complex troubleshooting using this data requires a high level of skill. Only then, and presuming the data collection was complete and the analysis correct can it be used to make actionable decisions.
No version of Windows Server, including Windows Server 2008 offers before and after values for changes. Gathering this detail is a fully manual process and still requires additional skill and human accuracy to make it useful. Generating a report for management or to archive for compliance or change-management purposes will also be necessary and is not natively provided.
Netwrix Auditor tracks, reports and securely archives all changes made to Group Policy settings. The product gives administrators the ability to automatically track all Group Policy changes via e-mail and web-based reports with "who, what, when, and where" information regarding each change, as well as modified GPO setting names, the "before" and "after" values for every modification without having to access multiple resources, scour event logs or manually compose reports, routinely comparing what changed and how it was changed.
Complete insight is gained into every change by presenting both previous and current settings. The native auditing capabilities of Windows Server provide only basic information showing the fact that a GPO was modified, without detailing what settings were modified and how.
Netwrix Group Policy auditing solution extends this capability dramatically. For example, when the minimum password length policy for Domain users is changed or when the minimum/maximum password age policy is changed, the report shows previous and new values.
Anything less than this level of detail can risk data security, meeting compliance standards, and overall system reliability. This powerful and important feature of Netwrix Auditor quickly and easily provides the information needed to effectively manage these setting changes.
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