Access this computer from the network

 

Applies To: Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8

This security policy reference topic for the IT professional describes the best practices, location, values, policy management, and security considerations for this policy setting.

Reference

The Access this computer from the network policy setting determines which users can connect to the computer from the network. This capability is required by a number of network protocols, including Server Message Block (SMB)-based protocols, NetBIOS, Common Internet File System (CIFS), and Component Object Model Plus (COM+).

Users, computers, and service accounts gain or lose the Access this computer from network user right by being explicitly or implicitly added or removed from a security group that has been granted this user right. For example, a user account or a computer account may be explicitly added to a custom security group or a built-in security group by an administrator, or it may be implicitly added by the operating system to a computed security group such as Domain Users, Authenticated Users, or Enterprise Domain Controllers.

By default, user accounts and computer accounts are granted the Access this computer from network user right when computed groups such as Authenticated Users, and for domain controllers, the Enterprise Domain Controllers group, are defined in the default domain controllers Group Policy Object (GPO).

This policy setting is supported on versions of Windows that are designated in the Applies To list at the beginning of this topic.

Constant: SeNetworkLogonRight

Possible values

  • User-defined list of accounts

  • Not defined

Best practices

  • On desktop computers or member servers, grant this right only to users and administrators.

  • On domain controllers, grant this right only to authenticated users, enterprise domain controllers, and administrators.

  • This setting includes the Everyone group to ensure backward compatibility. Upon Windows upgrade, after you have verified that all users and groups are correctly migrated, you should remove the Everyone group and use the Authenticated Users group instead.

Location

\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\User Rights Assignment

Default values

The following table lists the actual and effective default policy values for the most recent supported versions of Windows. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.

Server type or GPO

Default value

Default domain policy

Not defined

Default domain controller policy

Everyone, Administrators, Authenticated Users, Enterprise Domain Controllers, Pre-Windows 2000 Compatible Access

Stand-alone server default settings

Everyone, Administrators, Users, Backup Operators

Domain controller effective default settings

Everyone, Administrators, Authenticated Users, Enterprise Domain Controllers, Pre-Windows 2000 Compatible Access

Member server effective default settings

Everyone, Administrators, Users, Backup Operators

Client computer effective default settings

Everyone, Administrators, Users, Backup Operators

Operating system version differences

This policy setting was introduced in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP with Service Pack 2. This setting has not changed, and it includes the Everyone group to ensure backward compatibility. After you have verified that all users and groups are correctly migrated, you should remove the Everyone group and use the Authenticated Users group instead.

Policy management

When modifying this user right, the following actions might cause users and services to experience network access issues:

  • Removing the Enterprise Domain Controllers security group

  • Removing the Authenticated Users group or an explicit group that allows users, computers, and service accounts the user right to connect to computers over the network

  • Removing all users and computers

A restart of the computer is not required for this policy setting to be effective.

Any change to the user rights assignment for an account becomes effective the next time the owner of the account logs on.

Group Policy

Settings are applied in the following order through a Group Policy Object (GPO), which will overwrite settings on the local computer at the next Group Policy update:

  1. Local policy settings

  2. Site policy settings

  3. Domain policy settings

  4. OU policy settings

When a local setting is greyed out, it indicates that a GPO currently controls that setting.

Security considerations

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.

Vulnerability

Users who can connect from their computer to the network can access resources on target computers for which they have permission. For example, the Access this computer from the network user right is required for users to connect to shared printers and folders. If this user right is assigned to the Everyone group, anyone in the group can read the files in those shared folders. This situation is unlikely because the groups created by a default installation of Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows 7 do not include the Everyone group. However, if a computer is upgraded and the original computer includes the Everyone group as part of its defined users and groups, that group is transitioned as part of the upgrade process and is present on the computer.

Countermeasure

Restrict the Access this computer from the network user right to only those users and groups who require access to the computer. For example, if you configure this policy setting to the Administrators and Users groups, users who log on to the domain can access resources that are shared from servers in the domain if members of the Domain Users group are included in the local Users group.

Note

If you are using IPsec to help secure network communications in your organization, ensure that a group that includes computer accounts is given this right. This right is required for successful computer authentication. Assigning this right to Authenticated Users or Domain Computers meets this requirement.

Potential impact

If you remove the Access this computer from the network user right on domain controllers for all users, no one can log on to the domain or use network resources. If you remove this user right on member servers, users cannot connect to those servers through the network. If you have installed optional components such as ASP.NET or Internet Information Services (IIS), you may need to assign this user right to additional accounts that are required by those components. It is important to verify that authorized users are assigned this user right for the computers that they need to access the network.

See Also

User Rights Assignment