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Securing Web Browsers Through Group Policy


When developing a workflow to manage shared credentials, it’s important to take into account certain environmental factors that may cache credentials on their own. These factors can decrease security around shared credentials.

This week, we’ll focus on securing your web browsers through group policy.

Disable Password Caching for IE

Note: these instructions are specific to Windows Server 2012, however may be similarly applied in Windows Server 2008.

Caching of passwords and auto-completion of usernames and passwords used in IE can be disabled from the Group Policy Management Editor under:

  • User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer

Here, you can disable “Turn on the auto-complete feature for user names and passwords.”

Group Policy Management Editor - Disable Password Caching for IE

This will also prevent users from re-enabling the setting:

Prevent Users from enabling Auto Complete

Restriction of password caching in Mozilla Firefox

Locking down settings in Firefox requires use of a third-party extension. One extension that we tested is called FirefoxADM, which provides adm files that add the ability to configure Firefox settings through Windows Group Policy. However, this only seemed to work with older versions of Firefox. Other extensions and tools exist, however are not officially supported by Microsoft for use in a Windows environment.

Disable Password Caching in Google Chrome for Business

Google Chrome for Business allows for policies relating to Google Chrome to be defined at either user or device level.

The Google Chrome Password Manager can be disabled at the user level by logging into the Google Admin console and navigating to the Settings menu. After selecting the “User Settings” menu, select an OU and under the Security settings disable Password Manager.

The Google Chrome Password Manager can be disabled at the device level through Windows GPO by adding two REG_DWORD values to the Windows registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesChrome called PasswordManagerEnabled and PasswordManagerAllowShowPasswords, each with a value of 0x00000000.

Disable Password Caching in Google Chrome - Google Chrome Password Manager can be disabled through Windows GPO

Disabling the Password Manager takes away the users’ ability to enable the “Offer to save passwords I enter on the web” setting in Chrome.

Offer to save passwords I enter on the web is now disabled

Controlling credential caching in Mac OS X

Safari cannot be easily managed in a Windows environment, however Mac OS X Server provides a tool called Server Admin that may facilitate control of Safari settings in the OS X environment. Third-party tools are also available for this purpose.

Web Password Filler

Once you’ve secured your browsers, you can still utilize the credentials stored in Secret Server by using the Web Password Filler. For more information, see this blog post.

Try Thycotic Secret Server Free for 30 Days

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