Network access: Shares that can be accessed anonymously
Updated: November 15, 2012
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP, 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.
This policy setting determines which shared folders can be accessed by anonymous users.
User-defined list of shared folders
Set this policy to a null value. There should be little impact because this is the default value. All users will have to be authenticated before they can access shared resources on the server.
GPO_name\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options
The following table lists the actual and effective default values for this policy. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.
Server type or GPO
Default Domain Policy
Default Domain Controller Policy
Stand-Alone Server Default Settings
DC Effective Default Settings
Member Server Effective Default Settings
Client Computer Effective Default Settings
In Windows Server 2003, the default setting for stand-alone servers, member servers, and client computers was COMCFG, DFS$. In later versions of the Windows operating system, the default setting for these server types of GPOs is not defined (null).
This section describes features and tools that are available to help you manage this policy.
None. Changes to this policy become effective without a computer restart when they are saved locally or distributed through Group Policy.
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.
Any shared folders that are listed can be accessed by any network user, which could lead to the exposure or corruption of sensitive data.
Configure the Network access: Shares that can be accessed anonymously setting to a null value.
There should be little impact because this is the default configuration. Only authenticated users have access to shared resources on the server.