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Managing UNIX Service Accounts Using Active Directory

11 April,19 at 11:49 AM


UNIX and Linux systems traditionally are configured with generically named accounts — the root account, operating system accounts, and application accounts — that have superuser privileges. Best practices for IT security and regulatory compliance, however, require users to log in using a personal account and to have only the privileges they need in order to do their jobs. Vice President of Technology Mike Patnode provides an overview of these accounts and the security risks they represent. He then describes Centrify's Active Directory-centric approach to locking down these accounts while applying role-based privilege management that is more secure, more granular and easier to manage than current alternatives.


Running Time: 15 minutes


Mike Patnode, Vice President of Technology



David McNeely, Director, Product Management


Topics Covered

  • Overview of the types of service accounts that exist on UNIX and Linux systems today and how they are used
  • Security risks associated with service account passwords being shared or embedded into scripts
  • Alternatives such as sudo that can provide a level of accountability for actions taken using service accounts
  • How Active Directory integration improves security through Kerberized authentication
  • Techniques for leveraging Kerberos for applications that don't have native Kerberos support, including managing keytab files
  • Locking down access to service accounts through centrally managed passwords in Active Directory
  • Using DirectControl Zones and account mapping to enable users to access service accounts across systems without having to know the password
  • How to enable booting machines in single user mode without the user needing the root password
  • Limitations in implementing delegation rights when managing sudo via Group Policy
  • How Zones and Centrify DirectAuthorize can create a delegation hierarchy
  • How leveraging Active Directory groups for role-based privilege management creates a tighter linkage between individuals and the rights they have
  • The ability to report on user privileges to enhance IT security and compliance reporting