Onboarding Windows 10 devices to Microsoft Defender for Business using Endpoint Security

You can onboard Windows 10 devices to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint in a few ways:

1. Local script

2. Using Intune device configuration profiles

and what will be covered here:

3. Using Endpoint Manager Endpoint security policies

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Navigate to:

https://endpoint.microsoft.com

and select Endpoint security from the menu on the left. Then select Endpoint detection and response. Finally, select the option + Create policy as shown above on the right.

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Select the Platform as Windows 10 and later and for Profile, Endpoint detection and response as shown above.

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In the next dialog, give the policy a suitable Name and Description.

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As with the article on the onboarding process using Intune, I’d recommend setting the Expedite telemetry reporting frequency to Yes as shown above before proceeding.

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As with any Endpoint policy, select the devices and/or users this policy will apply to. Generally, it is recommended that you apply these types of policies to device groups.

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Proceed through the remaining screens until you end up on the Review + create as shown above. As with the Intune device configuration profile policy, if you look closely you will an option displayed which wasn’t shown during the policy creation process, Auto populate Microsoft Defender for Endpoint onboarding blob set to Yes. This is what will actually configure the targeted devices to connect to the Defender for Endpoint cloud service.

Press the Create button to complete the policy creation process.

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If you now view the newly created policy, and unlike the Intune device configuration profile policy, you don’t see any mention of the Auto populate setting mentioned above. Makes it somewhat hard to troubleshoot for the uninitiated.

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We can now monitor the deployment of the policy to devices via the Device status option in the policy options, as shown above. After a short wait, we see the policy has successfully been deployed to the machine in question.

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Looking the Device inventory in the Microsoft 365 security center we now see the devices in question has been onboarded to Defender for Endpoint.

Both the Intune and Endpoint security approach are easy to implement with an almost identical policy, so which is better? There doesn’t appear to be any guidance from Microsoft on which policy to use, however Microsoft’s own wizards for Defender for Business implement onboarding via the Endpoint security approach shown here. In my brief experience, the Endpoint security approach also seems to be deployed faster to devices. I would also point out that Endpoint security is the more modern approach to device management and what Microsoft seems to be investing in currently. The only major draw back I can see is that Endpoint security policies currently only apply to the Windows platform.

Intune and Endpoint security approach are an indication of one of things Microsoft needs to fix I believe, because having two ways of doing the same thing in the same portal, without any warning of a potential clash makes things hard for those who have to maintain these environments. Given that the Endpoint security approach is the more modern, I expect it to be the winner in the long and suggest you only implement that policy for onboarding your Windows 10 devices for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

Two easy methods of onboarding Windows 10 devices to defender for Business

I recently detailed a way to use Endpoint Manager and Intune to onboard Windows 10 devices to Microsoft Defender for Business:

Onboarding Windows 10 devices to Microsoft Defender for Business

I’ve now extended that to include this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM-WZjHgy88

that shows that method plus using a local script. Using a local script is a good backup method to use if you are in a hurry or have issues with a device in your environment not receiving the policy.

Onboarding Windows 10 devices to Microsoft Defender for Business

One of the big benefits of Windows 10 devices when it comes to onboarding them to Microsoft Defender for Business is that they already have the ‘client’ software installed. That being Windows Defender. All the onboarding process needs to do is connect up the ‘backend plumbing’ so that Windows 10 also sends security information to the Microsoft 365 Security portal.

The first step in this onboarding process is to ensure that your Windows 10 devices are already Azure AD joined. You’ll also need to have a license for Intune/Endpoint Manager to enable this process from a centralised location.

Next, visit the Microsoft Endpoint Manager portal at:

https://endpoint.microsoft.com

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As shown above, here, navigate to Endpoint Security, then Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Ensure that the option Connection status is enabled. If it isn’t then open a new browser tab and navigate to:

https://security.microsoft.com

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You should see the screen above. Scroll down this page.

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Select Settings as shown above and then Endpoints from the options that appear on the right.

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Scroll through the options presented and select Advanced features as shown. Location the Microsoft Intune connection option and set it to On. You may also want to have a look through the list of all the other available settings and also turn these on if desired.

You may need to wait a little while until connection status back in Endpoint Manager reports as being enabled.

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You can always use the Refresh button at the top of the page, but be prepared for a short wait while the connection is made.

While you are on this Endpoint Manager page you will also probably want to turn all the settings available here.

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Still in Endpoint Manager, you’ll now need to select Devices, then Configuration Policies, then Create profile as shown above.

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Select Windows 10 and later for the Platform and Templates from the Profile type.

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Scroll through the list of templates and select Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (desktop devices running Windows 10 or later).

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Give this new policy a meaningful name and select the Next button at the bottom of the page to continue.

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You don’t have to make any changes on the Configuration settings page but I like to Enable the option for Expedite telemetry reporting frequency. Select the Next button at bottom of the page to continue.

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On the Assignments page you need to configure which groups this policy will include and exclude. Generally, you want to select All devices as shown above, but you can select whatever suits your configuration needs.

Continue through the remaining policy configuration pages and Create the new policy.

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If you go back and look at the properties of the policy as shown above, you note an additional Configuration setting that wasn’t displayed when the policy was created – Microsoft Defender for configuration package type is set to Onboard. This is what effectively will onboard the Windows 10 devices for you automatically.

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You can now use the Device Status option to monitor when this policy is applied to each device. Note that this status may take a while to change and the policy to be applied as it is dependent on when the devices ‘check in’ for policy updates.

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Once the devices ‘check in’ and receive the policy, their status should be displayed as shown above with the Deployment status field now reporting as Succeeded.

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You can see which devices have been successfully onboarded to Defender for Endpoint by selecting the Device inventory option in the Microsoft 365 Security Center as shown above. Until machines have their ‘plumbing’ connected back to this console via the onboarding process they will not appear.

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Once that onboarding process is complete on the device, it should appear in the Device inventory as shown above.

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If you return to Endpoint Manager and scroll to the bottom of the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint screen, as shown above, you’ll see a summary of the devices onboarded.

The great thing is that you only need to do all this once, because once the Intune connection and Device configuration policy is in place, all Windows 10 machines will automatically be onboarded to Defender for Endpoint and all the options the Microsoft Security Center.

How to remove a Win32 application using Intune

This video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xilp56PVltI

will show you the steps to remove an Win32app from a Windows 10 desktop. It will utilise an existing Intune Application deployment policy to achieve this. It is able to do so because part of creating the initial deployment policy was the requirement to specify how to uninstall that same application. Thus, when you create an Application deployment policy in Intune you can use to add and remove that application from your environment.

Verify Endpoint Manager Service release

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To verify the release you are on with your Microsoft Endpoint Manager environment, navigate to:

https://endpoint.microsoft.com

1. Select, Tenant administration from the menu on the left.

2. Ensure that Tenant details is selected as shown above.

3. Look for the Service release heading on the right as shown above.

The version number here is also linked to:

What’s new in Microsoft Intune

which provides more granular information about what capabilities have been added to the environment.

Remember, these service updates occur regularly, so ensure you check the updates regularly.

Basics of deploying AppLocker using Intune

One of the great things about deploying Windows AppLocker via Microsoft Intune is that it supports both Windows 10 Enterprise and Professional. It is also quite straight forward to deploy as I hope the video conveys.

Once you have your base policies, you create a custom Windows 10 device Configuration policy with Intune and deploy it to your device fleet. Once that process is complete you’ll have the same application control you had on a single device but now across as many machines as you wish.

Remember, that Windows AppLocker is free with Windows 10 and easily deployed to machined from the cloud using Microsoft Intune.

CIAOPS Need to Know Microsoft 365 Webinar – June

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I think we should  try something a little different this month for the session. I’m going to attempt to use the new Microsoft Teams Webinars feature. For anyone who has attended a previous session this means the registration process will look a little different, but in the end it should achieve the same result but with less manual work by me. To start with you need to navigate to:

http://bit.ly/n2k2106

and submit your registration details. Shortly after this you should receive an automated email from Microsoft Teams confirming your registration, including all the event details as well as a calendar invite!

How this all works come webinar time I’m still working out, but hopefully I should be across it all before the webinar starts. However, I’m sure there will be things that I’ll learn during the process, so if you want to see what unfolds then you best register to find and be part of the inaugural CIAOPS Teams webinar!

The topic for this month will be Device Management. I’ll dive into how you connect and manage devices in Microsoft 365 including iOS, Android and Windows devices. You’ll see how Microsoft 365 Device Management is a great way to improve the security of your information environment. As always, I’ll also share the latest news and events from Microsoft and as always, there’ll be plenty of time for your questions, so I hope you’ll join me at the event.

You can register for the regular monthly webinar here:

June Webinar Registrations

The details are:

CIAOPS Need to Know Webinar – June 2021
Friday 25th of June 2021
11.00am – 12.00am Sydney Time

All sessions are recorded and posted to the CIAOPS Academy.

The CIAOPS Need to Know Webinars are free to attend but if you want to receive the recording of the session you need to sign up as a CIAOPS patron which you can do here:

http://www.ciaopspatron.com

or purchase them individually at:

http://www.ciaopsacademy.com/

Also feel free at any stage to email me directly via director@ciaops.com with your webinar topic suggestions.

I’d also appreciate you sharing information about this webinar with anyone you feel may benefit from the session and I look forward to seeing you there.