Security Group Management Script

Over at eNow Consulting’s blog, I submitted an article and script on Exchange Group Management. It’s been working great for me, and hopefully will help others. I had a similar requirement around Security Groups, and this is the result.

The script itself is almost identical, but I wanted to share it anyway. I think it’s a great demonstration that you can really customise a script for whatever purpose you have. If you want to know how the script works generally, read my post at eNow, but¬†there’s only one line different.

Instead of creating a “New Distribution Group”, it’s creating a New AD Group. The whole command is a bit different in syntax, but it’s still doing the same thing – creating a group. If you only wanted to manage existing groups, and removed the line altogether, you could manage both email and security groups from the single script (assuming a since csv file contains everything you want).

Here’s the script:

# Script to populate members of Security Groups
Start-Transcript -path C:\Scripts\Admin\Logs\securitygroups.txt
$data = import-csv C:\Scripts\Admin\securitygroups.csv
foreach ($group in $data){
New-ADGroup -name $group.GroupName -GroupCategory Security -GroupScope Universal -Path “OU=Security Groups,DC=mydomain,DC=com,DC=au” -Description “Automatically Managed by ¬†@AdamFowler_IT’s Script”
$users = Get-ADUser -SearchBase “ou=Users,dc=mydomain,dc=com,dc=au” -Filter $group.filter
Get-ADGroup -Identity $group.groupname | Set-ADObject -clear member
Add-ADGroupMember -Identity $group.groupname -Members $users
}
Stop-Transcript

Ideally, you should intelligently create security groups based on criteria around how the business functions. For example, the Finance department can have their own security group, if their department is Finance. Makes sense right?

The catch though, is to NOT link any actual security to this group. You don’t want 30 different things (e.g. files, folders, sharepoint sites, anything you’d use a security group for) pointing to one group. What if the Finance folder needs to be accessed by the CEO of your company? You shouldn’t just add them to the group by adjusting the filter, because they’ll get access to the 29 OTHER things pointed at this group.

The way around this is to have a security group for every single separate thing you apply security to. Have a Finance drive? Then create an AD security group with a descriptive name, and then add the original Finance security group as a member. This way, if someone joins or leaves the Finance team, security will automatically apply. On top of that, if you need to give the CEO access to the Finance drive by this secondary group, knowing you’re only giving them access to that one thing.

One to one relationships on a security group and what it applies to, will make managing it in the future much easier. You could extend this even further, and have a security group for each job function – this would mean there is a CEO security group that contains the CEO, and you can then add that security group to anything they need. The biggest benefit of this is when your CEO quits and another one comes along, you can just add the new CEO to the CEO group and they’ll get the same access. Not sure what access the CEO gets? Check what the CEO security group is a member of, and all your smartly named security groups will be listed.

My last tip around security groups is to note down who’s in charge of the group in either the notes or description field. If a query comes up a year later, you may not remember who originally asked for the security. Having a person or a job title listed means you can quickly get approval for making membership changes to the group.

Thinking about how you’re going to manage things in the future and planning around it might be a bit more painful at the time, but it really pays off in the end.

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