BitLocker Group Policy settings

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This topic for IT professionals describes the function, location, and effect of each Group Policy setting that is used to manage BitLocker Drive Encryption. To control what drive encryption tasks the user can perform from the Windows Control Panel or to bitlocker options other configuration options, you can use Group Policy administrative templates or local computer policy settings. How you configure these policy settings depends on how you implement BitLocker and what level of user interaction will be allowed.

If a computer is not compliant with existing Group Policy settings, BitLocker may not be turned on or modified until the computer is in a compliant state. When bitlocker options drive is out of compliance with Group Policy settings for example, if a Group Policy setting was changed after the initial BitLocker deployment in your organization, and then the setting was applied to previously encrypted drivesno change can be made to the BitLocker configuration of that drive except a change that will bring it bitlocker options compliance.

If multiple changes are necessary to bring the drive bitlocker options compliance, you must suspend BitLocker protection, make the necessary changes, and then resume protection. This situation could occur, for example, if a removable drive was initially configured to be unlocked with a password and then Group Policy settings are changed to disallow passwords and require smart cards.

In this situation, you need to suspend BitLocker protection by using the Manage-bde command-line tool, delete the password unlock method, and add the smart card method. After this is complete, BitLocker is compliant with the Group Policy setting and BitLocker protection on the drive can be resumed. The following sections provide a comprehensive list of BitLocker Group Policy settings that are organized by usage.

BitLocker Group Policy settings include settings for specific drive types operating system drives, fixed data drives, and removable data drives and settings that are applied to all drives. The following policy settings can be used to determine how a BitLocker-protected drive can be unlocked. The following policy settings are used to control bitlocker options users can access drives and how they can use BitLocker on their computers.

The following policy settings determine the encryption methods and encryption types that are used with BitLocker. The following policy settings define the recovery methods that can be used to restore access to a BitLocker-protected drive if an authentication method fails or is unable to be used. The options of the Require additional authentication at startup policy apply.

The bitlocker options authentication option Require startup PIN with TPM of the Require additional authentication at startup policy is bitlocker options enabled to help ensure security for bitlocker options devices that do not support Modern Standby.

But visually impaired users have no audible way to know when to enter a PIN. This setting enables an exception to the PIN-required policy on secure hardware. This policy controls a portion of the behavior of the Network Unlock feature in BitLocker.

This policy is required to enable BitLocker Network Unlock on a network because it allows clients running BitLocker to create the necessary network key protector during encryption. This policy is used in addition bitlocker options the BitLocker Drive Encryption Network Unlock Certificate security policy located in the Public Key Policies folder of Local Computer Policy to allow bitlocker options that are connected to a trusted network to properly utilize the Network Unlock feature.

With this policy setting, you can control whether a BitLocker-protected computer that is connected to a trusted local area network and joined to a domain can create and use network key protectors on TPM-enabled computers to automatically unlock the operating system drive when bitlocker options computer is started. Bitlocker options use a network key protector to unlock the computer, the computer and the server that hosts BitLocker Drive Bitlocker options Network Unlock must be provisioned with a Network Unlock certificate.

The Network Unlock certificate is used to create a network key protector and to protect the information exchange with the server to unlock the computer. This unlock method uses the TPM bitlocker options the computer, so bitlocker options that do not have a TPM cannot create network key protectors to automatically unlock by using Network Unlock. For reliability and security, computers should also have a TPM startup PIN that can be used when the computer is disconnected from the wired network or cannot connect bitlocker options the domain controller at startup.

For more information about Network Unlock, see BitLocker: How to enable Network Unlock. This policy setting is used to control which unlock options are available for operating system drives. With bitlocker options policy setting, you can configure whether BitLocker requires additional authentication each time the computer starts and whether you are using BitLocker with a Trusted Platform Module TPM.

This policy setting is applied when you turn on BitLocker. Only one of the additional authentication options can be required at startup; otherwise, a policy error occurs. In this mode, a USB drive is required for startup. When the USB key is inserted, access to the drive is authenticated and the drive is accessible. If the USB key is lost or unavailable, you bitlocker options to use one of the BitLocker recovery options bitlocker options access the drive.

On a computer with a compatible TPM, four types of authentication methods can be used at startup to provide added protection for encrypted data. When the computer starts, it can use:. Existing drives that were protected by using standard startup PINs are not affected. Enhanced startup PINs permit the use of characters including uppercase and bitlocker options letters, symbols, numbers, and spaces.

Not all computers support enhanced PIN characters in the preboot environment. It is strongly recommended that users perform a system check during the BitLocker setup to verify that enhanced PIN characters can be used.

The startup PIN must bitlocker options a minimum length of 4 digits, and it can have a maximum length of 20 digits. By default, the minimum PIN length is 6. You can require that startup PINs set by users must have a minimum length you choose that is between 4 and 20 digits. The startup PIN must have bitlocker options minimum length of 4 digits and can have a maximum length of 20 bitlocker options. Windows Hello has its own PIN for logon, which can be 4 to characters.

The TPM can be configured to use Dictionary Attack Prevention parameters lockout threshold and lockout duration to control how many failed authorizations attempts are allowed before the TPM is locked out, and how much time must bitlocker options before another attempt can be made.

The Dictionary Attack Prevention Parameters provide bitlocker options way to balance security needs with usability. This totals a maximum of about guesses bitlocker options year. Increasing the PIN length requires a greater number of guesses for an attacker. In that case, the lockout duration between each guess can be shortened to allow legitimate users to bitlocker options a failed attempt sooner, while maintaining a similar bitlocker options of protection.

To help organizations with the transition, beginning with Windows 10, version and Windows 10, version with the October cumulative update installed, the BitLocker PIN length is 6 characters by default, but it can be reduced to 4 characters. This policy setting allows you to configure whether standard users are allowed to change the PIN or password that is used bitlocker options protect the operating system drive. With this policy setting, you can configure whether standard users are allowed to change the PIN or password used to protect the operating system drive.

This policy controls how non-TPM based systems utilize the password protector. Used in conjunction with the Password must meet complexity requirements policy, this policy allows administrators to require password length and complexity for using the password protector.

By default, passwords must be eight characters in length. Complexity configuration options determine how important domain connectivity is for the client. For bitlocker options strongest password security, administrators should choose Require password complexity because it requires domain connectivity, and it requires that the BitLocker password meets the same password complexity requirements as domain sign-in passwords.

Bitlocker options this policy setting, you can specify the constraints for passwords that are used to unlock operating system drives that are protected with BitLocker.

Users can configure a password that bitlocker options the requirements you define. To enforce complexity requirements for the password, select Require complexity. The default length constraint of 8 characters will apply to operating system drive passwords and no complexity checks will occur. If non-TPM protectors are allowed on operating system drives, you can provision a password, enforce complexity requirements on the password, and configure a minimum length for bitlocker options password.

Bitlocker options settings are enforced when turning on BitLocker, not when unlocking a volume. BitLocker allows unlocking a drive with any of the protectors that are available on the drive. When set bitlocker options Require complexitya connection to a domain controller is necessary when BitLocker is enabled to validate the complexity the password.

When set to Allow complexitya connection to a domain controller is attempted to validate that the complexity adheres to the rules set by the policy. If no domain controllers are found, the password will be accepted regardless of actual password complexity, and the drive will be encrypted by using that password as a protector. When set to Do not allow complexitythere is no password complexity validation.

Passwords bitlocker options be at least 8 characters. To configure a greater minimum length for the password, enter the desired number of characters in the Minimum password length box. When this policy setting is enabled, you can set the option Configure password complexity for operating system drives to:.

This policy setting is used to control what unlock options are available for computers running Windows Bitlocker options or Windows Vista. With this policy setting, you can control whether the BitLocker Setup Wizard on computers running Windows Vista or Windows Server bitlocker options set up an additional authentication method that is required each time the computer starts.

If you choose to require an additional authentication method, other authentication methods cannot be allowed. The BitLocker Setup Wizard displays the page that allows the user to configure advanced startup options for BitLocker. You can further configure setting bitlocker options for computers with or bitlocker options a TPM.

In this basic wizard, no additional startup key or startup PIN can be configured. On a bitlocker options with a compatible TPM, two authentication methods can be used at startup bitlocker options provide added protection for encrypted data. When the computer starts, it can require users to insert a USB drive that contains a startup key. It can also require users to enter a 6-digit to digit startup PIN. Bitlocker options options are mutually exclusive. If you require the startup key, you must not allow the startup PIN.

If you require the startup PIN, you must not allow the startup key. Otherwise, a policy error will occur. To hide the advanced page on a TPM-enabled computer or bitlocker options, set these options bitlocker options Do not allow for the startup key and for the startup PIN. This policy setting is used to require, allow, or deny the use of smart cards with fixed data drives. With this policy setting, you can specify whether smart cards can be used to authenticate user access to the BitLocker-protected fixed data drives on a computer.

Smart cards can be used to authenticate user access to the drive. You can require smart card authentication by selecting the Require use of smart cards on fixed data drives bitlocker options box. Users cannot use smart cards to authenticate their access to BitLocker-protected fixed data drives. These bitlocker options are bitlocker options when turning on BitLocker, not when unlocking a drive. BitLocker allows unlocking a drive by using any of the protectors that are available on the drive.

This policy setting is used to require, allow, or deny the use of passwords with fixed bitlocker options drives. With this policy setting, you can specify whether a password is required to unlock BitLocker-protected fixed data drives. To require the use bitlocker options a password, select Require password for fixed data drive. To enforce complexity requirements on the password, select Require complexity.

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Previously, we reviewed the basic features of BitLocker To Go. In this tip, we will explore specific BitLocker You forgot to provide an Email Address. This email address is already registered. You have exceeded the maximum character limit. Please provide a Corporate E-mail Address. Please check the box if you want to proceed. Active Directory policy options that will help you prevent accidental data loss. It is important to note that the configurations discussed here are controlled via Active Directory Group Policy, and thus are set and maintained by your organization's Group Policy administrators.

They are not configured or controlled by the end user. For the sake of space, we will only look at the portion of the policy tree that applies to removable drives "Removable Data Drives" as they are referred to in BitLocker , but you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the other BitLocker policies as well.

For each of the policy settings, we'll cover their functions, and then I'll give you my recommendation for how you should configure the setting and why assuming you have decided that using BTG for data loss protection will be required.

Enabled control; Allow users to apply protection, and do not allow users to "suspend and decrypt. Not configured, as I assume most SMBs do not have ubiquitous use of smart cards deployed. If you have smart cards in your organization, enable the option. By requiring the use of corporate-supplied USB drives, which have been vetted before distribution, a significant threat vector is reduced although not completely eliminated.

This should be dictated by corporate policy. If there is no policy addressing this situation, I would recommend you keep it as "Not configured.

Enable password use, require complexity, and set the minimum length to be consistent with your corporate password policy. Two quick notes on this setting: First, you will need access to a domain controller when enabling the protection, because that is where the complexity is validated. If you won't have access, then set it to "allow complexity.

BTG will unlock a drive with any of the protectors available on the drive once it is enabled. Enable the policy, and use the default settings. This allows users to configure recovery if they desire. One assumption is that there is nothing on removable drives that is irreplaceable. If you have an environment where there is an expectation that you can recover data that is on a removable drive, you should "require" the password and recovery key.

BitLocker To Go is an effective means to protect data on removable media such as thumb drives from accidental loss, if you have Windows 7. It is integrated into the Windows 7 operating system, it is easy to implement, reasonable to manage, and likely to be used. It is worth your time to investigate. Send comments on this technical tip: Join our IT Knowledge Exchange discussion forum; please use the midmarket security tag.

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