What’s new in Intune – Ignite announcements

So there’s been lots of announcements at Ignite this year and it doesn’t seem like Microsoft is  able to cover everything in their official blog.. Hence why I’m writing a blog to make sure you heard of the new features I find really important.

1. Geo-Fencing for Intune managed devices. Geo-Fencing defined on a map will be available in Public Preview from Q4 2017, with ability to set up alerts when a device leaves the perimeter. A location can also be based on known networks.

2. Full capabilities with Outlook Mobile for companies running Exchange Hybrid. Available for preview through Microsoft’s Technical Adoption. It uses Exchange Online functionality to synchronize On-Prem mailboxes in the cloud for 30 days, the mailboxes are protected equal to Office 365 mailboxes and the whole feature is based on communication between Exchange server and ExOnline. The announcement was made on Ignite and the Exchange blog which many EM+S admins don’t read. For more information: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/2017/09/27/tap-outlook-mobile-support-for-exchange-on-premises-with-microsoft-enterprise-mobility-security/  

3. Access Intranet resources through Application Proxy and Managed Browser. By publishing internal resources through Azure Application Proxy users can access those sites externally directly through Managed Browser, protected by the container technology built into the Managed Browser. Company Admins can easily enforce policies and revoke access.


To see additional features that Microsoft released at Ignite, check out this post: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/enterprisemobility/2017/10/03/enterprise-mobility-security-ignite-2017-wrap-up/

What do you think?

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Hands-on: Windows Defender Application Guard

Microsoft announced more than a year ago a new feature coming to Windows 10 allowing Microsoft Edge to run in Isolated User Mode. This needs to be configured before users can access the feature, this can be done through Group Policy. For more information: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/threat-protection/windows-defender-application-guard/configure-wd-app-guard

In the chart below you can see Microsoft’s comparison of Microsoft Edge and Edge with Windows Defender Application Guard:


I installed a Windows 10  Enterprise Insider Preview Build 16278 on a computer, enabled Application Guard and started experimenting.

I started out by enabling some useful Policies settings, that can be found here “Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Defender Application Guard”.

Allow data persistence for Windows Defender Application Guard: Saves user downloaded files and other items (such as, cookies, Favorites and so on) for use in future Application Guard Sessions. Enabled this feature to give end-users a smoother experience when using Application Guard. There will be some confusion on how to access files that were downloaded in an Application Guard session. A session can be reset by using “Reset-ApplicationGuard”, the command is not available in the current build I’m running.

Configure Windows Defender Application Guard Clipboard Settings: Enabling this settings give you several options. It is not recommended to enable copying data data from the host to the isolated session, enabling this might give a compromised Application Guard session access to the host’ clipboard. I enabled with “Enable clipboard operation from an isolated session to the host” and then specified the value 1: Allows text copying (2 = Allow image copying, 3 = Allows both text and image).

Configure Windows Defender Application Guard Print settings:

By default you can’t print from an Application Guard session. In this policy you can chose from 15 different options to allow printing from the session to local, XPS, PDF and network printers. In this scenario I only chose to allow printing to PDF for now.

I also had to configure settings in “Administrative Templates -> Network -> Network Isolation” in order to fully configure Windows Defender Application Guard-

I specified “Enterprise resource domains hosted in the cloud”, which are sites that I fully trust and allow to run in a normal browser session, for these testing purposes I specified 2 sites, pay close attention to the separation of the 2 sites I specified, instead of a comma-separation these sites are separated by a pipe (|)character. It also supports wildcard scenarios by specifying DOT character before domain name.


After a reboot I was ready to launch Microsoft Edge and give the feature a try. My first attempt to launch an Application Guard session (directly from Microsoft Edge, which was now an option):

It took 5 minutes for initial session to launch my first session, patience is a virtue:

When launching the first thing I notice is my Favorites are missing, just as expected:

I started browsing a site that’s on the list of Enterprise Resources and it launched just as expected in a normal session where I was able to interact with one of the sites I trust, screenshot:


The second I access a site that’s not on the list of Enterprise resources it opens in a new instance of Microsoft Edge that has another icon on the toolbar and is protected, as expected:

Trying to copy data from the host into the Application Guard session gives me a warning, also as expected:

Trying to paste data from the session to Notepad works just fine without any warning.

Overall, this feature is very secure and provides a way for users to browse the internet without risking that the host will be compromised, currently it’s not the most efficient way and Microsoft is looking into integrating add-ins and let Favorites work across the Isolated and Normal session.


Windows Defender Application Guard is set to release with the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update.

Securing Windows environments with baselines

I recently held a webcast in Norwegian related to securing Windows with baselines and the changes to managing baselines after Microsoft announced the retirement “Security Compliance Manager”. For more information: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/secguide/2017/06/15/security-compliance-manager-scm-retired-new-tools-and-procedures/

I promised to write a blog post containing the simple script I used to export the GPO’s from my lab environment and import to Production.

Recording of the full presentation can be seen here (Norwegian only):

A quick summary of how I manage the baselines:

  1. Dummy server containing all Group Policy objects x 2. 1 that’s unchanged from the baseline and 1 that has my customization’s configured. The reason behind having 2 is that it makes it easier to do a comparison of what differences there are between my customization and the default – using PolicyAnalyzer.
  2. Export the baseline containing a specific string from the dummy server
  3. Importing the baseline to the production environment, removing the specific string (“Test” in my case). If a policy with the name already exists, current policy will be merged.

The “Security Compliance Toolkit” can be downloaded here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=55319

I also promised to do some generalizations in my script prior to publishing but it’s almost been two weeks since my webcast and I haven’t had the time yet. The script is only intended for demonstration purposes and should not be used in production environments without adjusting the code.

That’s it.

WDATP – Isolating infected machines

Windows Defender ATP recently added a new feature allowing Administrators to isolate any computer from accessing the network. This is very useful in scenarios where a compromised machine is actively trying to spread throughout the network .

By responding to the alarm you can click to see possible actions for the compromised host, where you can take several actions:

When we click Isolate Machine we are prompted to enter a comment.
If we look at the client after running the Isolate Machine Action Continue reading “WDATP – Isolating infected machines”