A popular target of attackers, Microsoft Active Directory will receive an extra measure of protection under a new offering announced Thursday by Attivo Networks. The company's ADSecure-DC solution expands its Active Directory protection to non-Windows endpoints.About a year ago Attivo introduced an endpoint product that could detect suspicious attempts to query Active Directory, intercept the queries, and steer them off course. "That was done on every Windows machine on the endpoint," says Attivo Chief Security Advocate and CMO Carolyn Crandall, "but there are situations where you have Linux, Mac devices, or IoT devices that you can't load the Windows agent onto, or where you don't want to load an agent on a Windows endpoint. Now, with AD Secure Domain Controller, attacks can be detected from unmanaged devices.""With ADSecure-DC, the agent is on the Domain Controller itself," adds Lead Architect for Active Directory Products Steve Griffiths. "When the endpoint queries the Domain Controller, the same activity goes on but it happens at the Domain Controller."In addition to identifying enumeration and attacks targeting Active Directory, ADSecure-DC also detects suspicious user behaviors using deep packet inspection and behavior analytics, as well as delivering high-fidelity alerts.Wide usage makes Active Directory an attractive targetActive Directory is used by 90% of enterprises worldwide, which contributes to its popularity as an attack vector for digital raiders. It also contains a treasure trove of data attractive to attackers. "As a database that maps and controls user profiles, network resources, and services, it contains not only a wealth of information about all users but also all the resources that they can access," says Tony Anscombe, chief security evangelist at ESET, an information technology security company.Once attackers compromise Active Directory, they can elevate privileges, change security and group policies, and encrypt domain controllers. "Domain controllers provide the intelligence to know what users get to access and controls their authorization to be able to get to those things," Crandall says.