Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hardening Windows Virtual Machine OS Clients

This is just a running list of how I harden my Microsoft virtual OS's.

1. Stand up a Windows 2012 R2 domain controller that is on a internal network only vnic. 
2. Stand up a Windows 8.1 OS client on a internal network only vnic. Inside the OS set up Microsoft security compliance manager. Once you download all security baselines. Upload the following baselines to the domain controller or use RSAT and import the baselines in group policy management.

Some important policies to import. 

Windows 8.1 computer security compliance
Windows 8.1 user security compliance
Windows 8.1 bitlocker policies
IE 11 Security policies. 

Change the bitlocker policy around where it supports clients without TPM chips. Since your virtual machine doesn't have a TPM chip it's not necessary to have. All virtual OS's should be encrypted. Even the domain controller you set up. 

3. Encrypt all your virtual OS's with pre-boot authentication. 
4. Setup another Windows 8.1 client and move it to an area in active directory that has your computer and IE 11 policies. 
5. Create a standard user in your domain and give them the user security compliance to Win 8.1. 
6. Your standard user should not have admin rights to your Windows 8.1 client. 
7. Make sure EMET is set up as well. Enable the defaults and test all your applications to ensure they work properly after words. 
8. Disconnect your Windows 8.1 client from the internal network and set it to NAT or Bridge so its gets an IP to the internet. 
9. Fully patch your Windows 8.1 device. 
10. Install an AV client on it. I recommend panda av cloud. It has some excellent ratings in av-test.org website. 

This is pretty much my process when I make a Microsoft based virtual os in my lab environments.

Some may ask why Windows 8.1 and not Windows 10. Until an official security compliance guide is out for that OS I'd avoid hardening one on your own without some guidance. 

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