What are the recommended Audit Policy settings for Windows when implementing logging for the PCI DSS or other security standard?

Recommended Windows Audit Policy settings for PCI DSS and other compliance standards – Advanced Audit Policy templates for 2008R2, 2012R2, Server 2016 and Windows 10

Use of the audit policy to generate audit logs is an essential best practice for compliance and security. Its vital to get expert advice, not just to make sure you are getting all the audit events needed, but also to know where to stop to avoid an event log tsunami. Simply enabling all audit policy subcategories for all categories in the Advanced Audit Policy Configuration will burn up disk space and normalization resources on your SIEM system quicker than you can say 'How many Terabytes?!'

NNT have put together the following audit policies, based on expert guidance from Microsoft, Center for Internet Security and our experienced PCI QSA/Security Auditor partners.

To enable logging of all relevant Windows security events to underpin your security policy, it is necessary to configure the Local Security Policy for the Server/Workstation. This can be done either directly using the Local Security Policy console or applied globally using Group Policy.

The Easy Route: Audit Policy GPO Downloads for Compliance

Download the GPO template file for direct import and deployment via Active Directory

group policy icon

For a full overview on using any of these Audit Policy GPO files or the other NNT Remediation Kit content available, take a look at the notes and recorded demo HERE»

IMPORTANT! Make sure that the Advanced Audit Policy Subcategory Settings are not over-written by the application of Standard Audit Policy settings by configuring the 'Audit: Force Audit Policy Subcategory Settings (Windows Vista or later) to Override Audit Policy Category Settings' to 'Enable'

Security Options

Note: This article serves as a Quick Start Guide. For a more comprehensive guide that makes full use of the Windows Advanced Audit Policy see this article HERE »

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