Device Control - Administrator Guide - Cortex XDR - Cortex - Security Operations

Cortex XDR Pro Administrator Guide

Product
Cortex XDR
License
Pro
Creation date
2023-07-31
Last date published
2023-11-28
Category
Administrator Guide

By default, all external USB devices are allowed to connect to your Cortex XDR endpoints. To protect endpoints from connecting USB-connected removable devices—such as disk drives, CD-ROM drives, floppy disk drives, and other portable devices—that can contain malicious files, Cortex XDR provides device control.

Using device control, you can:

  • Block all supported USB-connected devices for an endpoint group.

  • Block a USB device type but add to your allow list a specific vendor from that list that will be accessible from the endpoint.

  • Temporarily block only some USB device types on an endpoint.

Note

Depending on your defined user scope permissions, creating device profiles, policies, exceptions, and violations may be disabled.

The following are prerequisites to enforce device control policy rules on your endpoints:

Platform

Requirements and Limitations

Windows

Cortex XDR agent 7.0 or later.

For VDI—

  • Cortex XDR agent 7.3 or later.

  • Virtual environments leverage different stacks that might not be subject to the Device Control policy rules that are enforced by the Cortex XDR agent and, therefore, could lead to USB devices that are allowed to connect to the VDI instance in contrast to the configured policy rules.

  • The Cortex XDR agent provides best-effort enforcement of the Device Control policy rules on VDI instances that are running on physical endpoints where a Cortex XDR agent is not deployed.

  • For Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Cortex XDR Device Control is supported on generic virtual channels only.

  • For VMWare Horizon, you must disable SharingAllow access to removable storage in your VMWare horizon client settings.

Mac

  • Cortex XDR agent 7.2 or a later release.

  • Device Control policy rules do not take effect on Android devices.

Linux

Not supported.

Note

If you are running Cortex XDR agents 7.3 or earlier releases, device control rules take effect on your endpoint only after the Cortex XDR agent deploys the policy. If you already had a USB device connected to the endpoint, you have to disconnect it and connect it again for the policy to take effect.

Device Control Profiles

To apply device control in your organization, define device control profiles that determine which device types Cortex XDR blocks and which it permits. There are two types of profiles:

Profile

Description

Configuration Profile

Allow or block these USB-connected device type groups:

  • Disk Drives

  • CD-Rom Drives

  • Floppy Disk Drives

  • (Windows only) Windows Portable Devices

Note

Cortex XDR relies on the device class assigned by the operating system.

Add a New Configuration Profile.

The Cortex XDR agent relies on the device class assigned by the operating system. For Windows endpoints only, you can configure additional device classes.

Add a Custom Device Class.

Exceptions Profile

Allow specific devices according to device types and vendor. You can further specify a specific product and/or product serial number.

Add a New Exceptions Profile.

Device Configuration and Device Exceptions profiles are configured for each operating system separately. After you configure a device control profile, Apply Device Control Profiles to Your Endpoints.

Add a New Configuration Profile
  1. In EndpointsPolicy managementExtensionProfiles, select + New Profile or Import from File.

  2. Select Platform and click Device ConfigurationNext.

  3. Fill in the General Information.

    Assign the profile Name and add an optional Description. The profile Type and Platform are set by Cortex XDR.

  4. Configure the Device Configuration.

    For each group of device types, select whether to Allow or Block them on the endpoints. For Disk Drives only, you can also allow connecting in Read-only mode. To use the default option defined by Palo Alto Networks, leave Use Default selected.

    Note

    Currently, the default is set to Use Default (Allow), however, Palo Alto Networks may change the default definition at any time.

    Note

    In XQL Search, to view connect and disconnect events of USB devices that are reported by the agent, the Device Configuration must be set to Block. Otherwise, the USB events are not captured. The events are also captured when a group of device types are blocked on the endpoints with a permanent or temporary exception in place. For more information, see Ingest Connect and Disconnect Events of USB Devices.

  5. Save your profile.

    When you’re done, Create your device profile definitions.

    If needed, you can edit, delete, or duplicate your profiles.

    Note

    You cannot edit or delete the default profiles pre-defined in Cortex XDR.

  6. (Optional) To define exceptions to your Device Configuration profile, Add a New Exceptions Profile.

  7. Apply Device Control Profiles to Your Endpoints.

Add a New Exceptions Profile
  1. In EndpointsPolicy managementExtensionProfiles, select + New Profile or Import from File.

  2. Select Platform and click Device ExceptionsNext.

  3. Fill in the General Information.

    Assign the profile Name and add an optional Description. The profile Type and Platform are set by the system.

  4. Configure Device Exceptions.

    You can add devices to your allow list according to different sets of identifiers-vendor, product, and serial numbers.

    • (Disk Drives only) Permission—Select the permissions you want to grant: Read only or Read/Write.

    • Type—Select the Device Type you want to add to the Allow List (Disk Drives, CD-Rom, Portable, or Floppy Disk).

    • Vendor—Select a specific vendor from the list or enter the vendor ID in hexadecimal code.

    • (Optional) Product—Select a specific product (filtered by the selected vendor) to add to your allow list, or add your product ID in hexadecimal code.

    • (Optional) Serial Number—Enter a specific serial number (pertaining to the selected product) to add to your allow list. Only devices with this serial number are included in the allow list.

  5. Save your profile.

    When you’re done, Create your device exceptions profile.

    If needed, you can later edit, delete, or duplicate your profiles.

    Note

    You cannot edit or delete the predefined profiles in Cortex XDR.

  6. Apply Device Control Profiles to Your Endpoints.

Apply Device Control Profiles to Your Endpoints

After you define the required profiles for Device Configuration and Exceptions, you must configure Device Control Policies and enforce them on your endpoints. Cortex XDR applies Device Control policies on endpoints from beginning to end, as you’ve ordered them on the page. The first policy that matches the endpoint is applied. If no policies match, the default policy that enables all devices is applied.

  1. In EndpointsPolicy managementExtensionPolicy Rules , select + New Policy or Import from File.

    Note

    When importing a policy, select whether to enable the associated policy targets. Rules within the imported policy are managed as follows:

    • New rules are added to the top of the list.

    • Default rules override the default rule in the target tenant.

    • Rules without a defined target are disabled until the target is specified.

  2. Configure settings for the Device Control policy.

    1. Assign a policy name and select the platform. You can add a description.

      The platform will automatically be assigned to Windows.

    2. Assign the Device Type profile you want to use in this rule.

    3. Click Next.

    4. Select the target endpoints on which to enforce the policy.

      Use filters or manual endpoint selection to define the exact target endpoints of the policy rules. If exists, the Group Name is filtered according to the groups within your defined user scope.

    5. Click Done.

  3. Configure policy hierarchy.

    Drag and drop the policies in the desired order of execution. The default policy that enables all devices on all endpoints is always the last one on the page and is applied to endpoints that don’t match the criteria in the other policies.

  4. Save the policy hierarchy.

    After the policy is saved and applied to the agents, Cortex XDR enforces the device control policies on your environment.

  5. (Optional) Manage your policy rules.

    In the Protection Policy Rules table, you can view and edit the policy you created and the policy hierarchy.

    1. View your policy hierarchy.

    2. Right-click to View Policy Details, Edit, Save as New, Disable, and Delete.

    3. Select one or more policies, right-click and select Export Policies. You can choose to include the associated Policy Targets, Global Exceptions, and endpoint groups.

  6. Monitor device control violations.

    After you apply Device Control rules in your environment, use the EndpointsDevice Control Violations page to monitor all instances where end users attempted to connect restricted USB-connected devices and Cortex XDR blocked them on the endpoint. All violation logs are displayed on the page. You can sort the results and use the filters menu to narrow down the results. For each violation event, Cortex XDR logs the event details, the platform, and the device details that are available.

    If you see a violation for which you’d like to define an exception on the device that triggered it, right-click the violation and select one of the following options:

    • Add device to permanent exceptions—To ensure this device is always allowed in your network, select this option to add the device to the Device Permanent Exceptions list, the type of Permissions , and an optional comment.

    • Add device to temporary exceptions—To allow this device only temporarily on the selected endpoint or on all endpoints, select this option and set the allowed time frame for the device, the type of Permissions , and an optional comment.

    • Add device to a profile exception—Select this option to allow the device within an existing Device Exceptions profile, the type of Permissions, and an optional comment.

  7. Tune your device control exceptions.

    To better deploy device control in your network and allow further granularity, you can add devices on your network to your allow list and grant them access to your endpoints. Device control exceptions are configured per device and you must select the device category, vendor, and type of permission that you want to allow on the endpoint. Optionally, to limit the exception to a specific device, you can also include the product and/or serial number.

    Cortex XDR enables you to configure the following exceptions:

    Exception Name

    Description

    Permanent Exceptions

    Permanent exceptions approve the device in your network across all Device Control policies and profiles. You can create them directly from the violation event that blocked the device, or through the Permanent Exceptions list.

    Note

    Permanent exceptions apply across platforms, allowing the devices on all operating systems.

    Create a Permanent Exception.

    Temporary Exceptions

    Temporary exceptions approve the device for a specific time period up to 30 days. You create a temporary exception directly from the violation event that blocked the device.

    Create a Temporary Exception.

    Profile Exceptions

    Profile exceptions approve the device in an existing exceptions profile. You create a profile exception directly from the violation event that blocked the device.

    Create an Exception within a Profile.

    1. Create a Permanent Exception.

      Permanent device control exceptions are managed in the Permanent Exception list and are applied to all devices regardless of the endpoint platform.

      • If you know in advance which device you’d like to allow throughout your network, create a general exception from the list:

        1. Go to EndpointsPolicy ManagementExtensions and select Device Permanent Exceptions on the left menu. The list of existing Permanent Exceptions is displayed.

        2. Select Type, Permission, and Vendor.

        3. (Optional) Select a specific product and/or enter a specific serial number for the device.

        4. Click the adjacent arrow and Save. The exception is added to the Permanent Exceptions list and will be applied in the next heartbeat.

      • Otherwise, you can create a permanent exception directly from the violation event that blocked the device in your network:

        1. On the Device Control Violations page, right-click the violation event triggered by the device you want to permanently allow.

        2. Select Add device to permanent exceptions. Review the exception data and change the defaults if necessary.

        3. Click Save.

    2. Create a Temporary Exception.

      1. On the Device Control Violations page, right-click the violation event triggered by the device you want to temporarily allow.

      2. Select Add device to temporary exceptions. Review the exception data and change the defaults if necessary. For example, you can configure the exception to this endpoint only or to all endpoints in your network, or set which device identifiers will be included in the exception.

      3. Configure the exception TIME FRAME by defining the number of days or number of hours during which the exception will be applied, up to 30 days.

      4. Click Save. The exception is added to the Device Temporary Exceptions list and will be applied in the next heartbeat.

    3. Create an Exception within a Profile.

      1. On the Device Control Violations page, right-click the violation event triggered by the device you want to add to a Device Exceptions profile.

      2. Select the PROFILE from the list.

      3. Save. The exception is added to the Exceptions Profile and will be applied in the next heartbeat.

Add a Custom Device Class

(Windows only) You can include custom USB-connected device classes beyond Disk Drive, CD-ROM, Windows Portable Devices, and Floppy Disk Drives, such as USB connected network adapters. When you create a custom device class, you must supply Cortex XDR the official ClassGuid identifier used by Microsoft. Alternatively, if you configured a GUID value to a specific USB connected device, you must use this value for the new device class. After you add a custom device class, you can view it in Device Management and enforce any device control rules and exceptions on this device class.

To create a custom USB-connected device class:

  1. Go to Endpoints Policy ManagementSettings Device Management.

    This is the list of all your custom USB-connected devices.

  2. Create the new device class.

    Select +New Device. Set a Name for the new device class, and supply a valid and unique GUID Identifier. For each GUID value, you can define one class type only.

  3. Save.

    The new device class is now available in Cortex XDR as all other device classes.

Add a Custom User Notification

(Requires a Cortex XDR agent 7.5 or a later release for Windows) You can personalize the Cortex XDR notification pop-up on the endpoint when the user attempts to connect a USB device that is either blocked on the endpoint or allowed in read-only mode. To edit the notifications, refer to the Agent Settings Profile.

Ingest Connect and Disconnect Events of USB Devices

The Cortex Query Language (XQL) supports the ingestion of connect and disconnect events of USB devices that are reported by the agent. To view these USB device events in XQL Search, you must set the Device Configuration of the endpoint profile to Block. Otherwise, the USB events are not captured. The events are also captured when a group of device types are blocked on the endpoints with a permanent or temporary exception in place. For more information, see Add a New Configuration Profile.

You can use XQL Search to query for this data and build widgets based on the xdr_data dataset, where the following use cases are supported:

  • Displaying devices by Vendor ID, Vendor Name, Product ID, and Product Name.

  • Displaying hosts that a specific device, based on the serial number, is connected.

  • Query for USB devices that are connected to specific hosts or groups of hosts.

Examples of XQL queries that query the USB device data.

  • This query returns the action_device_usb_product_name field from all xdr_data records, where the event_type is DEVICE and the event_sub_type is DEVICE_PLUG.

    dataset = xdr_data
    | filter event_type = DEVICE and event_sub_type = DEVICE_PLUG
    | fields action_device_usb_product_name
  • This query returns the action_device_usb_vendor_name field from all device_control records (preset of the xdr_data dataset) where the event_type is DEVICE.

    preset = device_control
    | filter event_type = DEVICE
    | fields action_device_usb_vendor_name