Audit: Audit the use of Backup and Restore privilege
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, and security considerations for this policy setting.
The Audit: Audit the use of Backup and Restore privilege policy setting determines whether to audit the use of all user rights, including Backup and Restore, when the Audit privilege use policy setting is configured. Enabling both policy settings generates an audit event for every file that is backed up or restored.
Set Audit: Audit the use of Backup and Restore privilege to Disabled. Enabling this policy setting can generate a large number of security events, which might cause servers to respond slowly and force the security log to record numerous events of little significance.
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
There are no differences in this policy between operation systems beginning with Windows Server 2003.
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.
Enabling this policy setting in conjunction with the Audit privilege use policy setting records any instance of user rights that are being exercised in the security log. If Audit privilege use is enabled but Audit: Audit the use of Backup and Restore privilege is disabled, when users use backup or restore user rights, those events will not be audited.
Enabling this policy setting when the Audit privilege use policy setting is also enabled generates an audit event for every file that is backed up or restored. This can help you to track down an administrator who is accidentally or maliciously restoring data in an unauthorized manner.
Alternately, you can use the advanced audit policy, Audit Sensitive Privilege Use, which can help you manage the number of events generated. For information about this policy, see Audit Sensitive Privilege Use.
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.
When the backup and restore function is used, it creates a copy of the file system that is identical to the target of the backup. Making regular backup and restore volumes is an important part of your incident response plan. However, a malicious user could use a legitimate backup copy to gain access to information or to impersonate a legitimate network resource to compromise your enterprise.
Enable the Audit: Audit the use of Backup and Restore privilege setting. Alternatively, implement automatic log backup by configuring the AutoBackupLogFiles registry key. If you enable this option when the Audit privilege use setting is also enabled, an audit event is generated for every file that is backed up or restored. This information could help you to identify an account that was used to accidentally or maliciously restore data in an unauthorized manner.
For more information about configuring this key, see article 100879 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
If you enable this policy setting, a large number of security events could be generated, which could cause servers to respond slowly and force the Security event log to record numerous events of little significance. If you increase the Security log size to reduce the chances of a system shutdown, an excessively large log file may affect system performance.