Data protection and encryption

TcastroTcastro Member Posts: 4 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi, anyone knows if it is possible to create a rule or procedure with AD to encrypt files automatically if anyone tries to copy them to a usb drive? This is to prevent data exfiltration. 


Best Answer

  • JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 13,025 Admin
    Answer ✓
    GPT-4 sez:

    To prevent data exfiltration from Windows-based networks, you can combine multiple strategies and tools, including those provided by Microsoft as well as third-party solutions. Specifically regarding your question about encrypting files automatically when they are copied to a USB drive using Active Directory, here is an approach:

    Using Active Directory and BitLocker:

    1. BitLocker To Go: BitLocker is a drive encryption feature built into Windows. BitLocker To Go extends BitLocker drive encryption to removable drives, like USB drives.

    2. Use Group Policy to Enforce BitLocker:

      • Open the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC.msc).
      • Navigate to Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Public Key Policies.
      • Right-click BitLocker Drive Encryption and select Properties.
      • Configure settings for removable data drives under the “BitLocker To Go” section.
      • Here you can enforce encryption and set other policies like requiring a password or smart card to access encrypted drives.
    3. Audit & Control USB Access:

      • Under Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Advanced Audit Policy Configuration, you can configure object access to track when files are accessed or written.
      • You can also control USB access entirely by disabling USB ports using group policy. This way, users will not be able to use USB drives unless explicitly allowed.

    While this method enforces encryption when writing to USB drives, it may not “encrypt-on-copy.” That is, the drive must be BitLocker enabled first, then any file copied to it will be encrypted. If someone tries to copy a file to a non-BitLocker enabled USB, and if you’ve set up your policies correctly, the action should be denied.

    Third-Party Solutions:

    There are also third-party Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions tailored to prevent data exfiltration. These tools can monitor, control, and sometimes even encrypt data on the fly based on policies. Examples include Symantec DLP, McAfee Total Protection for Data Loss Prevention, and Digital Guardian.

    Implementing a combination of inbuilt features and third-party solutions can give a comprehensive approach to prevent data exfiltration.

    Lastly, always ensure that your users are educated about security best practices. Even the best technical controls can be bypassed by a user who is unaware of the risks. Regular training and awareness campaigns can make a significant difference.


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