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Latest Posts

Restricting printing to specific devices or device types

Katy Nicholson, 13 October, 2023

Device Control Printer Restriction has been around for a while and can be configured using a couple of CSP entries to block the use of "non-corporate printers", and a list of USB hardware IDs can be specified to be allowed through the block. This has been a good solution for locking down printing on devices which leave the office, however the definition of "corporate printers" does not include Universal Print. Luckily there is a new version of this policy, confusingly it's got the same name but uses Defender's device restriction mechanism. Using this new method we can define groups of devices and create a list of rules to apply.

Silently enable BitLocker with PIN during Autopilot

Katy Nicholson, 24 September, 2022

BitLocker is Microsoft's disk encryption system and the only supported silent configuration involves the TPM only. There are other options such as also requiring a start-up PIN or a physical key (USB drive containing the key), or both - whether you think you need the extra security at the risk of PIN re-use/being written down is an exercise left to the reader. However I wanted to find a way to enable BitLocker with a PIN required at start-up on a device deployed through Autopilot, without the user having to do anything to enable the protection. While there are configuration profiles which can configure BitLocker to require a PIN and to require the device encryption, this won't actually prompt the user to encrypt the device if you're requiring additional authentication to unlock the drive. Looking forward it would be nice to see this supported - as a step in the OOBE process or on the Enrolment Status Page, asking the user for a PIN and enabling the encryption. But for now, we have to come up with our own solutions - my solution involves a PowerShell script which enables the encryption using the device serial as the key. The user can then be given instructions to change this once logged on.

Windows Autopatch

Katy Nicholson, 12 August, 2022

Windows Autopatch is a service which takes care of updates to Windows, Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Teams across your devices. It is marketed as taking the mundane tasks of managing updates away from IT staff, leaving them free to work on other things. Autopatch uses various policies and profiles through Intune to set the update configuration on the client devices, Windows Update for Business to deliver the updates, and reporting is also done through Intune (or the Update Compliance Log Analytics solution). Autopatch uses four rings to phase updates across your devices - test, first, fast and broad - where test gets the updates as soon as they become available, broad gets them with a 9 day delay, so that any issues are caught in the test or first rings and further deployment can be paused.

App Protection Policies

Katy Nicholson, 31 July, 2022

Corporate devices can be fully managed and secured using Mobile Device Management (MDM) such as Intune. But what about securing personally owned devices? This is where Mobile Application Management (MAM) steps in. For iOS and Android devices, MAM in Intune is implemented through App Protection Policies. With these policies, we can segregate corporate data on personal devices and also put restrictions in place - for example, don't allow copy/paste between the corporate apps and the rest of the device, or requiring PIN or biometric unlock before the data can be accessed. In this post I'm going to go through how to create an App Protection Policy and cover the differences between iOS and Android.

Azure AD Terms of Use

Katy Nicholson, 23 July, 2022

Azure AD's terms of use feature allows us to present information to users which they need to accept/acknowledge before being permitted access to a service. The feature supports multiple languages and essentially you upload a PDF for each supported language for your Terms of Use policy. You can create multiple policies if needed. Possible use cases for this include for users enrolling their personal Windows device through Access work or school, where they can be presented with some rules before their device will give them access, or even when accessing specific services such as Microsoft Forms in the browser, if you wanted to display some usage guidance for using Forms in your organisation.

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