Device Control

Protect your Windows endpoints from connecting to malicious USD-connected removable devices.
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.
For example, with 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.
Before you start applying device control policy rules, ensure you meet the following requirements and refer to these known limitations:
  • Windows
    —Ensure the endpoint is running a Cortex XDR agent 7.0 or later release.
    You cannot enforce device control on VDI endpoints.
  • Mac
    —Ensure the endpoint is running a Cortex XDR agent 7.2 or later release.
  • Linux
    —Cortex XDR device control is not supported on Linux endpoints.
To apply device control in your organization, you 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
Cortex XDR relies on the device class assigned by the operating system.
The Cortex XDR agent relies on the device class assigned by the operating system. For Windows endpoints only, you can configure additional device classes.
Exceptions Profile
Allow specific devices according to device types and vendor. You can further specify a specific product and/or product serial number.
Device Configuration and Device Exceptions profiles are set for each operating system separately. After you configure a device control profile, Apply Device Control Profiles to Your Endpoints.
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.

Add a New Configuration Profile

  1. Log in to Cortex XDR.
    Go to
    Endpoints
    Policy management
    Extension Profiles
    and select
    + New Profile
    . Select
    Platform
    and click
    Device Configuration
    Next
    .
  2. Fill in the General Information.
    Assign the profile
    Name
    and add an optional
    Description
    . The profile Type and Platform are set by Cortex XDR.
  3. Configure the Device Configuration.
    For each group of device types, select whether to allow or block them on the endpoints. To use the default option defined by Palo Alto Networks, leave
    Use Default
    selected.
    Currently, the default is set to Use Default (Allow) however Palo Alto Networks may change the default definition at any time.
  4. Save your profile.
    When you’re done,
    Create
    your device profile definitions.
    If needed, you can edit, delete, or duplicate your profiles.
    You cannot edit or delete the default profiles pre-defined in Cortex XDR.
  5. (
    Optional
    ) To define exceptions to your Device Configuration profile, Add a New Exceptions Profile.

Add a New Exceptions Profile

  1. Log in to Cortex XDR.
    Go to
    Endpoints
    Policy management
    Extension Profiles
    and select
    + New Profile
    . Select
    Platform
    and click
    Device Exceptions
    Next
  2. Fill in the General Information.
    Assign the profile
    Name
    and add an optional
    Description
    . The profile
    Type
    and
    Platform
    are set by the system.
  3. 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
      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.
  4. Save your profile.
    When you’re done,
    Create
    your device exceptions profile.
    If needed, you can later edit, delete, or duplicate your profiles.
    You cannot edit or delete the predefined profiles in Cortex XDR.

Apply Device Control Profiles to Your Endpoints

After you defined 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 top to bottom, 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. Log in to Cortex XDR.
    Go to
    Endpoints
    Policy management
    Extension Policy Rules
    and select
    + New Policy
    .
  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. If desired, assign an Device Exceptions profile.
    4. Click
      Next
      .
    5. 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.
    6. 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
      .
  6. Monitor device control violations.
    After you apply Device Control rules in your environment, use the
    Endpoints
    Device 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.
    • 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.
    • Allow device to a profile exception
      —Select this option to allow the device within an existing Device Exceptions profile.
  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.
    Permanent exceptions apply across platforms, allowing the deceives on all operating systems.
    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.
    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.
    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
          Endpoints
          Policy Management
          Extensions
          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. Click
        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 Management
    Settings
    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, supply a valid and unique GUID
    Identifier
    . For each GUID value you can define one class type only.
    custom-device-class.png
  3. Save.
    The new device class is now available in Cortex XDR as all other device classes.

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