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Secure Networking Using Windows 2000 Distributed
Security Services
Security is part of Windows 2000’s distributed services, and is tightly integrated with Active Directory. This
chapter includes:
• Introduction
• Windows 2000 Distributed Security Services
• Active Directory and Security
• Multiple Security Protocols
• Enterprise and Internet Single Sign-on
• Internet Security
• Interbusiness Access: Distributed Partnership
Security concerns are relatively new to the PC world. In the early days of personal computing, most systems
were stand-alone units that could be protected simply by locking an office door. Mainframe computers have
long used high-level security technology to protect sensitive business data, but only as PCs began to be
networked to one another—first within the organization, and then later connected to other networks and the
global Internet—did businesses start to worry about protecting the data on their hard drives from prying eyes.
Microsoft’s NT server software has made it easy for companies to join their PCs together and share all the
benefits, in convenience and cost-saving, of networking. And as those networks have grown, so have
concerns over the security of the data that resides on them.

Microsoft responded to those concerns by increasing its attention to security issues in the NT operating
system as the product matured (in fact, many of its service packs have addressed just that issue), but security
has always been considered by many to be one of NT’s less-than-strong points when compared to alternative
network operating systems. The NTLM security protocol used in NT, although providing a reasonable level
of security for most purposes, has several drawbacks:
• It is proprietary, not an industry-wide standard and not popular outside Microsoft networking.
• It does not provide mutual authentication; that is, although the server authenticates the client, there is
no reciprocal authentication on the part of the client. It is just assumed that the server’s credentials are
valid. This has been a weak spot, leaving NT networks vulnerable to hackers and crackers whose
programs, by masquerading as servers, could gain access to the system.
A Whole New World: Distributed Security in Windows 2000
Windows 2000’s security protocols (note the plural; the new operating system’s support for multiple
protocols is one of its strongest features) are different; they are part of what is known as the distributed
services. Distributed services is a term that pops up frequently when we discuss network operating systems,
and it seems to be mentioned even more often as we familiarize ourselves with the Windows 2000 Server
family. Most network administrators have a vague idea of what it means, but probably have never really sat
down and tried to define it, especially in terms of security.
Configuring Windows 2000 Server Security:Secure Networking Using Windows 2000 Distributed Security Services
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