Conditional access for PCs managed by ConfigMgr

This blog post is about a pre-release feature, which means that it’s included in the product for early testing in a production environment, but should not be considered production ready.

This week a blog post about the Conditional access for managed PCs feature that is introduced in ConfigMgr 1602. This feature is introduced as a pre-release feature. The requirements for using Conditional access for managed PCs are similar to the requirements of the blog series that I did a few months ago about Conditional access for PCs. Make sure that those requirements are in-place before starting with the configurations described in this post.

Introduction

Conditional access for managed PCs is basically an additional level of restricting access to Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. Before the only level of restricting access was that device had to be enrolled via Microsoft Intune, or that the device had to be domain joined. Now it’s also possible to create additional compliance policies for managed PCs. Managed PCs by ConfigMgr. Those compliance policies can contain the following rules:

  • Require registration in Azure Active Directory: This rule checks if the end-user device is workplace joined to Azure AD. If not, the device is automatically registered in Azure AD. Automatic registration is currently only supported on Windows 8.1.
  • All required updates installed with a deadline older than a certain number of days: This rule checks to see if the end-user device has all required updates within the configured deadline and grace period. If not, any pending required updates are automatically installed.
  • Require BitLocker drive encryption: This is a check to see if the primary drive on the device is BitLocker encrypted. If not, access to Exchange Online and SharePoint Online is blocked.
  • Require Antimalware: This is a check to see if the antimalware software is enabled and running. If not, access to Exchange Online and SharePoint Online is blocked. At this moment only supported for System Center Endpoint Protection and Windows Defender.

Configuration

Now lets have a look at the configuration. I will briefly mention the conditional access policy, because I’ve written a lot about those in my previous blog series about Conditional access for PCs. After that I’ll go through all the required steps for creating the compliance policy and I’ll end this configuration section with the effect on the client.

Pre-release feature

As Conditional access for managed PCs is a pre-release feature, it must be specifically turned on. This can be achieved by simply performing the following 2 steps.

1 In the Configuration Manager administration console, navigate to Administration > Overview > Cloud Services > Updates and Servicing > Features;
2 Right-click Pre-release – Conditional access for managed PCs and select Turn on.

Conditional access policy

The reason why I do have to mention the conditional access policy, is one specific configuration setting. That specific setting is that the setting Windows must meet the following requirements is selected and configured to Devices must be compliant. This is very important, as any other configuration would make a domain join enough to be compliant, while in this configuration I want to create an additional compliance policy. That setting can be configured as shown below for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.

Exchange Online Policy SharePoint Online Policy
CA_ConfigMgr_ExchangeOnline CA_ConfigMgr_SharePointOnline

Compliance policy

More interesting is the new compliance policy. Within the compliance policy it’s now possible to create a compliance policy specifically for devices managed with the ConfigMgr client. The following 9 steps will go through the creation of the compliance policy. After the creation of the compliancy policy, it can be deployed, like any other policy, to users.

1 In the Configuration Manager administration console, navigate to Assets and Compliance > Overview > Compliance Settings > Compliance Policies;
2 On the Home tab, click Create Compliance Policy to open the Create Compliance Policy Wizard;
3

On the General page, specify the following information and click Next;

  • CA_ConfigMgr_CP_GeneralName: [Specify a unique name for the compliance policy]
  • Description: [Specify details that help identifying the compliance policy]
  • Select Compliance rules for devices managed with the Configuration Manager client with Specify the type of compliance policy that you want to create
4

On the Supported Platforms page, select the following platforms and click Next;

  • CA_ConfigMgr_CP_PlatformAll Windows 7 (64-bit)
  • All Windows 7 (32-bit)
  • All Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
  • All Windows 8.1 (32-bit)
  • All Windows 10 (64-bit)
  • All Windows 10 (32-bit)
5 On the Rules page, click New… to open the Add Rule dialog box;
6

In the Add Rule dialog box, select the following rules one-by-one and click OK to return to the Rules page;

  • CA_ConfigMgr_CP_AddRuleRequire registration in Azure Active Directory
  • All required updates installed with a deadline older than X days
  • Require BitLocker drive encryption
  • Require Antimalware
7

CA_ConfigMgr_CP_RulesBack on the Rules page, verify the created configuration and click Next;

Note: As this screenshot shows, none of the rules require additional configuration except for the software updates rules. That rule requires the selection of the number of days that a deadline has been passed.

8 On the Summary page, click Next
9 On the Completion page, click Close.

Policy effect

A good place to look at the effect of the compliance policy, is to look at the reports. More specifically, the reports Compliance Access Compliance for Users and Compliance Access Compliance Report. However, I still like to think that the log files are the best place to look at the effect of the compliance policy. More specifically, the DcmWmiProvider.log. That log file provides detailed information about the compliance checks that are performed. Below is a log snippet about a successful compliance check.

CreateInstanceEnumAsync called for the provider
Class name CCM_SoftwareUpdateCompliance
Days 5
CCMSoftwareUpdateCompliance 20160313160716
CCMSoftwareUpdateCompliance Select * from CCM_UpdateCIAssignment
Determined 0 as not compliant with deadline exceeded by 5 days
CCMEncryptionCompliance: Get instance of CCM_EncryptionCompliance
Detected virtual machine: Drive encryption not applicable. Setting compliance to true
Setting Encryption Compliance to: 1
CheckWPJCert – Checking Machine\ cert store
Found WorkplaceJoin cert
   Status: 2
   Error: 0
CCMAntimalwareCompliance: Get instance of CCM_AntimalwareCompliance
Retrieved RealTimeProtectionEnabled property = 1
Retrieved AntivirusEnabled property = 1
Setting Antimalware Compliance to: 1

This log snippet provides clear information about the 4 rules, of the compliance policy, that are being checked. It clearly shows the software update check, the BitLocker encryption check, the workplace join check and the antimalware check. The log snippet even provides some details about how those checks are performed. For example, it shows that my test device was a virtual machine and that, because of that, the encryption check was skipped and that the compliance, for that check, was automatically set to true.

End-user experience

Now it’s time to look at the end-user experience. At this moment the end-user experience is as shown below. When a non-compliant managed PC tries to access Exchange Online, or SharePoint Online, it will get a message as shown below. A compliant managed PC will be able to simply access Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. To get the detailed information about the compliance of the managed PC, the end-user can use the Device compliance section in Software Center, as shown below.

Non compliant Compliant
CA_ConfigMgr Not applicable. A compliant managed PC will automatically have access. Meaning there is no special screen that the en-user will get.
CA_SoftwareCenter_01 CA_SoftwareCenter_02

More information

For more information about conditional access for PCs that are managed by ConfigMgr, please refer to this article about Manage access to O365 services for PCs managed by System Center Configuration Manager.

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4 thoughts on “Conditional access for PCs managed by ConfigMgr

  1. When I first read “conditional access” I just about flipped out thinking they were adding temporary access control mechanisms into the machines as in request/audit/approve temporary admin access. What a wonderful way to give helpdesk temporary elevated rights and keep it trackable…. but then that’s not traditionally a SCCM area of focus so I’m not sure why I read that much into it …

    This is pretty cool too, but with NAS/NPS support pulled it seems like maybe that engine is getting written in native now … so hey maybe not so far off afterall…

  2. Hi Peter, whenever Microsoft refer to “domain joined” for compliance, does this mean joined to the on-prem domain, or does it mean the device is registered in Azure AD? Thanks.

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