2 Free Tools for Access Monitoring You Should Know

The best things they say come free. As much as I agree, I also have to admit that this does not apply in all situations. In the case of access monitoring, and depending on our goal, we could get pretty great things for free, but if we want the best, our “best” bet will be to get it at a cost. That however, shouldn’t stop us from exploring the free tools available for access monitoring that can be used to your advantage, which we will be covering in this writeup.

A quick definition:

Access monitoring is the art of monitoring and tracking who has access to what, and what they do with it. Access monitoring tools help to detect and stop insider threats, whether unintentional or with malicious intent. It’s also important to note that the range of monitoring and methods utilized for access monitoring depends on the objectives of the organisation.

Now, we dive into the two SolarWinds that make access monitoring easier, and are free for you to use.

First up is Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory, which gives you instant visibility into user and group permissions across your I.T. infrastructure. With this tool, you’re able to discover permissions for Active Directory, network shares, folders, and files for users and groups. 

What you get: 

  • Quickly identify how a user’s permissions are inherited 
  • Browse permissions by group or individual user 
  • Analyze user permissions based on group membership and permissions 

Price: Completely free. 

Get Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory. 

Our next tool is Access Rights Auditor, which enables you to gain insights on Active Directory and File Server risk areas. With this tool, you’re able to conduct a scan on your Active Directory domain to discover if by not following best practices, your AD is potentially at risk. 

What you get: 

  • A quick and deep scan of Active Directory permissions 
  • Risk report of seven areas of potentially unsafe configurations 
  • Identify over-privileged users 
  • Detect and visualize nested group structures 
  • Generate a PDF report of the findings 

Price: Completely free. 

Get Access Rights Auditor. 

Both Permissions Analyzer and Access Rights Auditor are core components of SolarWinds Access Rights Manager, which is a more comprehensive tool for monitoring and managing access rights within an organisation. As such, if you’re looking for something more robust for identity monitoring and management, you might want to consider SolarWinds ARM which does the work. 

My two cents: If user access monitoring and management is something you’ve considered, but you’re not sure of how to request funds for its purchase in the middle of a global pandemic, I suggest you get started with the free Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory and Access Rights Auditor, show how much value you are deriving from these tools through reports, then crown your effort with a SolarWinds ARM trial to demonstrate how much more value you will be able to derive from its purchase.

So yeah, in life-related situations, you may find that the best things do come free. However, as it relates to access monitoring and management, you can get amazing tools for free, but, the “best” you need to get at a cost.

Feel free to reach out to us to learn more about SolarWinds Access Rights Manager.

P.S.: I’ll be sharing more free I.T. useful tools in subsequent writeups. Keep your eyes peeled for them 🙂 

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