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For Unix/Linux shops, the security and compliance shortcomings of NIS and NIS+ have become evident in recent years. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) initially seemed a viable alternative that would also allow organizations to manage their Microsoft and Unix user populations in a standard way. So why are LDAP-based management systems now increasingly falling foul of auditors? And what can enterprises do to avoid this? When it was first introduced, NIS provided a handy mechanism for centrally managing user and host information in large networks. However, the protocol lacks any inherent support for authentication and authorization, and it is difficult to produce audit trails keeping track of changes to user and host definitions across the system.
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