Windows 10 in cloud configuration

Microsoft has released a handy guide called

Windows 10 in cloud configuration

that walks you through a recommended best practice configuration of you Windows 10 devices using Endpoint Manager. what they are now doing, as highlighted by my video, is begin to roll this into a wizard inside the Endpoint Manager portal, allowing you to quickly and easily create and apply policies to protection your Windows 10 machines.

I believe this in only the beginning of what Microsoft plans to roll out and I expect to see lots more configuration coming very soon, not only for Windows 10 but also iOS and Android.

Watch this space.

Another Defender for Endpoint integration

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If you visit Microsoft Endpoint Manager | Endpoint Security | Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and scroll down the page on the right you see the new section App Policy Protection Settings as shown above. Turning this ON will basically allow the state of Microsoft Defender on both Android and iOS to feed into your compliance policies.

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Once you have enabled these settings visit Apps | App Protection policies and edit or create an policy. During this process you will find a Conditional launch section. If you then scroll down to the bottom of tat page you will the screen shown above where  you can add the setting for Max allowed device threat option. This basically is the threat level you would allow on your device. If the threat level on a device goes above this then the selected action will take place. That action can either be Wipe or Block. Wipe is rather drastic, especially to start with, so Block is probably the best starting point.

You can read more about this new capability here:

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint risk signals available for your App protection policies (preview)

It is a nice integration we are beginning to see more of between device management and Defender for Endpoints.

Reviewing Windows 10 Audit Policy Settings

I have spoken about things like Attack Surface Reduction (ASR) for Windows 10 and how easy they are to implement to improve the security of Windows 10:

Attack surface reduction for Windows 10

Another very important aspect of securing Windows 10 environments is to ensure that the audit policy settings are appropriate to capture the right information to help with any investigation. To that end, I have a free scripts available at:

https://github.com/directorcia/Office365/blob/master/win10-audit-get.ps1

which will show you the current audit policy settings in your environment like so:

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As you can see from the above screen gab, many audit settings are not enabled out of the box. Please note, you’ll need to run the script as an administrator for it be able to report the audit policy settings.

You’ll find the best practice recommendations for audit policy settings from Microsoft:

Audit Policy Recommendations

and government departments like the Australian Cyber Security Center:

Hardening Microsoft Windows 10 version 1909 Workstations

Look for the section heading – Audit Event management in the above page.

As always, there are number of different ways to enable these best practice audit policy settings on your Windows 10 devices. To my mind using Microsoft Endpoint Manager that comes with offerings like Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the easiest.

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And the quickest way to do this inside Microsoft Endpoint Manager is simply to apply the Windows 10 Security Baseline policies as shown above. To read more about this capability visit:

Use security baselines to configure Windows 10 devices in Intune

In fact, the results from my script are based on the settings found in the Windows 10 Security Baseline policy.

To read more about these security audit policies for Windows 10 I encourage you to take a look at:

Advanced security audit policy settings

and remember, you can configure these settings at the command line if you need to using the:

auditpol

command, which is exactly what I used in my script to extract the current settings. However, deploying them using Microsoft Manager for Endpoint and baseline policies is going to be far easier across a fleet of devices.

Issues creating Endpoint Security Policies using the Microsoft Graph

I swear it was all working and now BOOM, it doesn’t! Using PowerShell I had been creating Endpoint Security policies but now those same policies were still being created but WITHOUT the configuration settings I had configured.

You can try this for yourself if you wish, without needing to code. Firstly visit the Microsoft Graph Explorer and authenticate.

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Change the method to POST, set the API to beta and use the URL = https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/deviceManagement/templates/6cc38b89-6087-49c5-9fcf-a9b8c2eca81d/createInstance

Then in the Request body use the following:

https://gist.github.com/directorcia/6d8d2e5199c32b22b6fe782739447dc4

If you do you’ll find a new Endpoint Security Attack Surface Reduction – ASR rule has been created like so:

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If you look at settings for this policy you’ll see:

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all the settings are Not configured!

So, no errors during the POST but no settings! Strange.

SNAGHTMLbd6028e

If however you return to the Request body and change the word value to settingDelta as shown above and then run the same query.

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Now, the Endpoint Security policy is created and the settings are configured.

So in summary, don’t use value any more it seems with the request body, use settingsDelta.

PowerShell with Azure Conditional Access

Recently, I did a video demonstrating how PowerShell can be used to automate Endpoint Management:

PowerShell with Endpoint Manager

I’ve now also created a video demonstrating how to automate Azure Conditional Access using PowerShell. As before, I am only making these scripts available via the CIAOPS Paton program.

In this video you’ll see me automatically backup up both Conditional Access locations and policies, then apply best practices locations and policies, finally restore the original policies, all using scripting.

Again, these scripts are not free and part of the CIAOPS Paton program. You’ll find my free stuff at https://www.github.com/directorcia.

PowerShell with Endpoint Manager

Here is video demonstrating what I’ve been working of late. I am only making these scripts available via the CIAOPS Paton program.

The video will show you how I both create and erase policies via script, as well as generate a set of best practice policies and alternatively, importing them from previously saved policies. This saves a huge amount of time when compared creating and assigning policies manually.

Again, these scripts are not free and part of the CIAOPS Paton program. You’ll find my free stuff at https://www.github.com/directorcia.

End to End email protection with Microsoft 365–Part 6

This is part of a series of articles about email security in Microsoft 365. Please check out previous articles here:

End to End email protection with Microsoft 365 – Part 1

End to End email protection with Microsoft 365 – Part 2

End to End email protection with Microsoft 365 – Part 3

End to End email protection with Microsoft 365 – Part 4

End to End email protection with Microsoft 365 – Part 5

These articles are based on a model I have previously created, which you can read about here:

CIAOPS Cyber protection model

designed to help better explain expansive security included with Microsoft 365.


Email reporting and auditing

It’s now time to look at all the logging that occurs during even the simply process of receiving and viewing an email. For starters there is:

Message tracing

and

Message trace in the modern Exchange admin center

Message trace in the Security & Compliance Center follows email messages as they travel through your Exchange Online organization. You can determine if a message was received, rejected, deferred, or delivered by the service. It also shows what actions were taken on the message before it reached its final status.

There is also reporting options like:

Mail flow insights in the Security & Compliance Center

and

Mail flow reports in the Reports dashboard in Security & Compliance Center

as well as:

Microsoft 365 Reports in the admin center – Email activity

If you want to specifically look at email security there is:

Email security reports in the Security & Compliance Center

as well as:

Defender for Office 365 reports in the Reports dashboard in the Security & Compliance Center

and

Reports for data loss prevention (DLP)

I have also spoken about the importance of the Unified Audit Logs (UAL) in Microsoft 365:

Enable activity auditing in Office 365

Unified Audit Logs in Microsoft 365

and you need to ensure that these have been enabled so that you can:

View mailbox auditing

Starting in January 2019, Microsoft is turning on mailbox audit logging by default for all organizations. This means that certain actions performed by mailbox owners, delegates, and admins are automatically logged, and the corresponding mailbox audit records will be available when you search for them in the mailbox audit log.

Here are some benefits of mailbox auditing on by default:

  • Auditing is automatically enabled when you create a new mailbox. You don’t need to manually enable it for new users.

  • You don’t need to manage the mailbox actions that are audited. A predefined set of mailbox actions are audited by default for each logon type (Admin, Delegate, and Owner).

  • When Microsoft releases a new mailbox action, the action might be automatically added to the list of mailbox actions that are audited by default (subject to the user having the appropriate license). This means you don’t need to monitor add new actions on mailboxes.

  • You have a consistent mailbox auditing policy across your organization (because you’re auditing the same actions for all mailboxes).

With this auditing enabled you can do things like:

Reporting mailbox logins

and

Search the Office 365 activity log for failed logins

as well as

Audit Office 365 user logins via PowerShell

Many of the reports that you find in the Microsoft 365 Admin area can be scheduled to be sent via email per:

Scheduling compliance reports

Apart from auditing and security you can also do more typical things like:

Viewing mailbox usage

Viewing Email apps usage

The availability of all this data is covered here:

Reporting and message trace data availability and latency

typically being 90 days.


User reporting and auditing

For information more specifically about user logins into the service and the Identity container, the best place to look is in Azure Active Directory (AD).

What are Azure Active Directory reports?

Find activity reports in the Azure portal

Azure Active Directory sign-in activity reports – preview

Audit activity reports in the Azure Active Directory portal

and if you want use PowerShell

Azure AD PowerShell cmdlets for reporting

Device reporting and auditing

There are lots of options when it comes to monitoring and reporting on devices. Apart from what is offered locally you also have:

Intune report

Create diagnostic settings to send platform logs and metrics to different destinations

Manage devices with endpoint security in Microsoft Intune

You can even get telemetry data and analytics reports from your desktop applications via:

Windows Desktop Application Program


Aggregated data reporting and monitoring

As you can see with all the options above, it is easy to get to information overload trying to keep up with all those signals. Luckily Microsoft provides a range of services to aggregate all this for you to make monitoring and report easier.

The first is Microsoft Cloud App Security services:

Cloud App Discovery/Security

Microsoft Cloud App Security overview

Microsoft Cloud App Security data security and privacy

There are plenty of reasons why you really should have Microsoft Cloud App Security in your environment:

A great security add on for Microsoft 365

Office 365 Cloud App Discovery

Next, is Microsoft Defender for Endpoint that will aggregate security and threat information for devices in your environment and make it available in a single console.

Overview of Microsoft Defender Security Center

Microsoft Defender Security Center portal overview

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint evaluation lab

Finally for me, there is Azure Sentinel, which I see as really the ultimate hub for event reporting, monitoring and alrtign across the whole service.

Another great security add on for Microsoft 365

Introduction to Azure Sentinel

Azure Sentinel is a service that growing in features rapidly:

A couple of new additions to Azure Sentinel

Stay ahead of threats with new innovations from Azure Sentinel


Summary

Hopefully, all this gives you some insight into all the auditing and usage data that Microsoft 365 captures during any interaction within the service. One of the biggest benefits is also how this information is integrated between services, especially those that aggregate information lime Microsoft Cloud App Security and Azure Sentinel. This means you don’t have to crawl through individual log entries, you can use a dashboard and drill down from there. I also like the fact that all of these services and data are accessible using a scripting tool like PowerShell if you want to automate this further.

Remember, throughout this six part series I’ve just looked at what happens when a single email is delivered and view with Microsoft 365. If you expand that out to all the services and capabilities that Microsoft 365 provides you can hopefully get a better appreciate of the protection it provides in place for your data on many different levels.

The call to action for readers is to go away and implement all the security features that Microsoft 365 provides. This may of course vary by the license that you have. You should then consider what additional security offerings the Microsoft cloud stack can offer that makes sense for your business, then implement those. Remember, security is not a destination, it is journey.

Get Intune and Endpoint policies using PowerShell

Recently, I wrote an article about how to use PowerShell to connect to Intune and Microsoft Endpoint Manager. You’ll find it here:

Intune connection PowerShell script

Having a script that just connects to Intune doesn’t achieve a whole lot now does it? It’s now time to put that connection script to good use.

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I’ve created another script, that once connected to Intune will allow you to display all the policy names you have configure in both Intune and Endpoint Manager as shown above. You can find that script here:

https://github.com/directorcia/Office365/blob/master/intune-policy-get.ps1

You’ll need to use my script to connect to Intune first. Once you have you can run the second script.

Although these scripts don’t do a huge amount, they will help you hopefully more easily connect to Intune with PowerShell and understand how you can also use PowerShell to work with information in both Intune and Endpoint Manager.

I’ll work on more advanced scripts for Intune and Endpoint that I’ll share in the future. However, this should hopefully get you up and running with automating device management in Microsoft 365.