Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Folder Permission Nightmare (CJWDEV's NTFS Permissions Reporter)

This post focuses around a nightmare of a week I had with Technology team and file servers.

The day was Tuesday March 3rd, 2015, the day was seeming to start of slow as we were wrapping up some issues with our aging Exchange server (2007 on 2k8 platform).  We began to get calls that staff could no longer access the StaffShare folders and files.  As we began to receive the calls and research we soon discovered for whatever reason (have not had time to research more) our file server had dropped all but local admin on the staffshare.  

Some background our staffshare consists of 800 GB some 58,000 folders to be shared across 12 buildings with over 1000 users.  You would think something like this would be documented but I soon found out it was not.  For the past week we have been slowly restoring access as users request and are vetted.  We are trying to hold meetings with departments to become proactive and create groups before someone reports the issue but that process is slow.

Out of all this we have learned that NTFS permissions must be documented and audited now and then, we believe a student / teacher may have some how changed the permissions.  To complete this task we thought about using just your standard spreadsheet but realized quickly the hours to complete would a) far out way the benefit b) never be available to complete.  It was only when one of the admins asked me if only there was a software to do this for us do my somewhat mushy brain recall such a program.  This is when we rushed out and purchased CJWDEV's NTFS Permissions Reporter.
CJWDEV's NTFS Permissions Reporter - Full Version

Installation was quick and easy.  Setting up to scan and report on a drive or even specific folder is simple.  But the greatest power lies in the export ability the reports into multiple formats.  We choose to use the NTPR format native to the program.  This allows for you to compare between either recent scan or other saved reports.  Our plan is to create baselines and audit changes quarterly via comparison.

Going forward in my career I will always purchase a copy of CJWDEV's NTFS Permissions Reporter - Full Version.  It will be the best $150-$600 dollar system software investment.

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