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Favourite Windows Software #7 – Security Explorer.

August 9, 2012

Security Explorer is a product created by a company called ScriptLogic which was acquired by Quest in 2007.  ScriptLogic continued to run “at arms length” until January 2012 when it was announced the companies would be amalgamated.  Fast forward to July and Quest is acquired by Dell.

Now whatever name ScriptLogic/Quest Security Explorer goes by it is a cracking bit of software.

Do you have huge file shares on your Windows servers and need to properly report on the NTFS permissions?

Yes I know there are commands to do this built into Windows but the problem with NTFS is that it stamps security permissions on every single file and directory in a structure.  This is something about NTFS that I never really did understand.

You see I come from a Novell background and under NetWare permissions were stamped once on directories and access was inherited down without the need to stamp this everywhere.  This meant making changes to permission structures was fast.

Anyway, back to NTFS.  Run one of the built in commands on a few TB of data and you get pages and pages of permissions back.  It will be the same permissions reported over and over and over again.

Here is an example…you have a directory (called directory1) and in it is textfile1.txt and textfile2.txt.  You give Frank and Jane Full Control permissions to the directory.  How many NTFS permissions does this create?

The answer is 6. It looks like this.

directory1 – Frank – Full Control

directory1 – Jane – Full Control

textfile1 – Frank – Full Control

textfile1 – Jane – Full Control

textfile2 – Frank – Full Control

textfile2 – Jane – Full Control

Get the picture?  Imagine a few TB of data….

Using Security Explorer you can filter out all of the implied rights and report only on the actual direct rights assignments.  This makes it far easier to get a picture of what is going on.

You can also set a recursion level, so for example when scanning a home drive volume you can only report on the permissions on the top level folders.

Did I mention you can backup/restore and set permissions using this tool as well?

If you are unlucky enough to be managing large shared drives/home drives on Windows server and find your NTFS permissions are a nightmare, this is the tool you need.


Have fun…



From → Microsoft

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