Back up files and directories - security policy setting
- Windows 10
Describes the best practices, location, values, policy management, and security considerations for the Back up files and directories security policy setting.
This user right determines which users can bypass file and directory, registry, and other persistent object permissions for the purposes of backing up the system. This user right is effective only when an application attempts access through the NTFS backup application programming interface (API) through a backup tool such as NTBACKUP.EXE. Otherwise, standard file and directory permissions apply.
This user right is similar to granting the following permissions to the user or group you have selected on all files and folders on the system:
- Traverse Folder/Execute File
- List Folder/Read Data
- Read Attributes
- Read Extended Attributes
- Read Permissions
Default on workstations and servers:
- Backup Operators
Default on domain controllers:
- Backup Operators
- Server Operators
- User-defined list of accounts
- Not Defined
- Restrict the Back up files and directories user right to members of the IT team who must back up organizational data as part of their daily job responsibilities. Because there is no way to be sure that a user is backing up data, stealing data, or copying data to be distributed, only assign this user right to trusted users.
- If you are using backup software that runs under specific service accounts, only these accounts (and not the IT staff) should have the Back up files and directories user right.
Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\User Rights Assignment
By default, this right is granted to Administrators and Backup Operators on workstations and servers. On domain controllers, Administrators, Backup Operators, and Server Operators have this right.
The following table lists the actual and effective default policy values. 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||Administrators
|Stand-Alone Server Default Settings||Administrators
|Domain Controller Effective Default Settings||Administrators
|Member Server Effective Default Settings||Administrators
|Client Computer Effective Default Settings||Administrators
A restart of the device 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.
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:
- Local policy settings
- Site policy settings
- Domain policy settings
- OU policy settings
When a local setting is greyed out, it indicates that a GPO currently controls that setting.
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.
Users who can back up data from a device could take the backup media to a non-domain computer on which they have administrative privileges, and then restore the data. They could take ownership of the files and view any unencrypted data that is contained within the backup set.
Restrict the Back up files and directories user right to members of the IT team who must back up organizational data as part of their daily job responsibilities. If you are using backup software that runs under specific service accounts, only these accounts (and not the IT staff) should have the Back up files and directories user right.
Changes in the membership of the groups that have the Back up files and directories user right could limit the abilities of users who are assigned to specific administrative roles in your environment. You should confirm that authorized backup administrators can still perform backup operations.