Finding unused user accounts in active directory

Periodically it is a good idea to audit/review your user accounts in Active Directory to find unused accounts. This helps find terminated employees you might not know about, or role accounts which aren’t being used anymore. Sometimes you’ll discover temporary accounts which were setup for testing and have been abandoned.

It is very easy to query active directory for this, simply open a command line on your domain controller and enter:
dsquery user -inactive

You’re all set.

Nessus Security Scanner

NessusLogoTool Thursday: Nessus Security Scanner

This is an excellent professional tool you should add to your toolbox if you’re serious about vulnerability scanning and auditing your own work. This tool is pretty pricey for the individual technician, but is free for personal (non commerical, non consulting) work. There is also volume licenising available. As always, please respect the legal restrictions – solo consultants, don’t use the free license key.

The primary difference between the professional and free version is the time interval at which they release updated definition files for specific vulnerabilities. The professional also adds some wonderful reporting tools not available in the free release. Download it today and check it out at:

This is a great tool to audit and check your network from both outside and inside of your network – also be sure you’re using to only scan networks your authorized to check as the activity from Nessus will certainly trigger a host of firewall alarms at the target site.


Financial Solvency

Did you find a CPA for your team yet? You probably have  a bookkeeper, but you want an independent CPA firm at your beck-and-call. The better off you think your company is during this economic situation, the more you might want to panic. So far I have seen two companies fall this year because their books were being cooked. Money was disappearing right from under the owners nose!

So what do you need to do – have your books audited by an external, independent CPA. A few reasons:

1) To ensure that things appear on the up-and-up with everyone who is involved with the finances at the company, from on-paper to actually having check authorization. Make sure all of the money is properly accounted for. Be prepared to dig-deeper as necessary;

2) To ensure that you’re doing everything properly. You simply don’t know about the things you don’t know. A CPA is paid to know these things.

3) A good honest look into your company. The CPA has seen it all before and can give you a good sounding board, or perhaps devil’s advocate with you. They can be a reality check on where your company “really is” – how bad things are effecting your company.

So, what are you waiting for, make that call now…


This is not intended to be specific legal advise, but general information and a guide to help you work with your professional team including lawyers to provide the correct amount of protection for your company. This is part of a 4 week series which came out of a luncheon discussion with several close business associates of mine.

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