Recently, I wrote an article to make offboard from Microsoft Defender for Business easier:
Offboarding devices from Microsoft Defender for Business using an API with PowerShell
Because this offboarding process utilises an API we can use that with other services such as Power Automate.
Before devices can be offboarded, a list needs to be created that can be accessed by Power Automate. Refer to this article:
Get a list of devices from Defender for Business into a SharePoint list
for details about creating an inventory of devices saved to a SharePoint Online list.
The summary of the Flow to do this device offboarding process is shown above.
Once the Flow has been triggered I grab the Azure AD application credentials from the Azure Key Vault. I’ve covered off how to create an Azure AD application here:
and using a PowerShell script I wrote here:
Getting the Azure AD application credentials into an Azure Key Vault can be done manually or by using this scripted process I’ve covered previously:
Uploading Graph credentials to Azure Key Vault
Once they are in the Azure Key Vault they are easy to access securely using the Flow action Get secret as shown above.
Next comes the Get items action as shown above. This filters the list of devices using a column called Offboard and returns items that have this as Yes (or = 1 for Power Automate).
A new variable is then created and the initial API offboarding URL is saved into it. This will later be appended with the actual device number that is being offboarded which is required by the API.
For each item that was returned from the filtered list of devices (i.e. those that been selected to offboard),
the offboarding API URL needed to be extended to include the unique Device ID from the returned results and the string /offboard.
Thus URL now needs to be ingested by the HTTP action as shown above. It is important that the body contain the following JSON:
“Comment”: “Offboard machine by automation”
This was taken from the documentation:
The other access parameters come from Azure AD application that were extracted from Azure Key Vault earlier on in the Flow.
Because the return from the HTTP action can vary, we now need to have a Switch action as shown above.
In the top right hand corner of the Switch action, select the ellipse (three dots) and then Configure run after from the menu that appears.
Because the result from the HTTP action could be 400 (i.e. failure or BadRequest) we still want the Flow to proceed. If the Switch action is not used the Flow will fail like so:
Using the Switch action and selecting both the is successful and has failed options shown above, will allow the Flow to continue on.
If the HTTP action does return a BadRequest, the left hand side Case condition is met. For any other return, the right hand side Case condition will be executed.
In the case of a return status code = 400, the body of the returned JSON will be parsed and the field Result will updated in the device list for that item with the Message information taken from the JSON results.
In the case of any other return code the following will be executed:
Once again, there could a variety of different returned status codes from the HTTP action, however here I’ll just have a single condition to see if it is successful (status code = 201) and for anything else the results will be updated to the Result field for the device in question.
The last action required, after the Switch, is to reset the URL variable back to the original string in case there are other devices that have been selected to offboard. Failing to do this will result in an incorrect API URL for every device after the first match.
What this offboarding process looks like in practice would therefore be to select which devices to offboard from the SharePoint list, by setting the Offboard column to be Yes, as shown above.
Once the offboard Flow has been run, the results for those selected devices are found in the Result column and Offboard column has been reset to be No for each of these, as shown above.
If you set the Offboard column to Yes again for this device and re-rerun the offboarding Flow,
the Flow runs successfully, even though a base request resulted during the HTTP action and the information from that is captured and stored in the Result field as shown above.
There are edge case conditions this Flows doesn’t accommodate. This is normally due to the correct information not being fully populated in the portal. This typically happens in the short period you create or add add a device to Defender for Endpoint. It is simple enough to add these checks in the Flow, but for the sake of simplicity that are not included here.
This whole process again demonstrates the flexibility and capability combining APIs with Power Automate can provide. Remember, you can set this whole process up to work across multiple tenants, it doesn’t have to be restricted to just the tenant you are on. Using Power Automate allows you to easily extend a solution to maybe include email notifications, updates into a Microsoft Team and more.
So these are some ways you can offboard devices from Microsoft Defender for Business:
Using Endpoint Manager and Intune
and using Power Automate as detailed here.
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