Enabling BitLocker with Microsoft Endpoint Manager - Microsoft Intune

Published 02-19-2021 01:50 PM 10.4K Views

By Luke Ramsdale – Service Engineer | Microsoft Endpoint Manager – Intune

 

This is the first in a five-part series about using BitLocker with Intune. The series will review basic concepts and recommended approaches to deploying BitLocker using Intune. Upcoming posts will describe simple and advanced troubleshooting techniques.

 

This post covers the concepts, requirements, and configurations needed for a successful deployment.

 

Intune basics

Intune is a cloud-based service that focuses on mobile device management (MDM) and app protection policies (APP also known as MAM). It helps administrators manage enrolled devices through policies. You use a policy to enable and configure BitLocker on Windows 10 devices.

 

Intune uses the Windows configuration service provider (CSP) to read, set, modify, or delete configuration settings on Windows devices enrolled into Intune using Synchronization Markup Language (SyncML) or Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) protocols. BitLocker Intune uses the BitLocker CSP.

 

BitLocker basics

BitLocker is a built-in Windows data protection feature. It encrypts, drives, and prevents the theft of data from lost, stolen, or decommissioned computers. BitLocker provides the most protection when used with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), version 1.2 or later.

 

Hardware requirements for BitLocker

It is important to understand that BitLocker has specific hardware requirements and that some methods of enabling BitLocker are dependent on those conditions. Silent encryption, for example, requires TPM on a device.

 

Hardware requirements include:

  • For TPM 2.0 devices, you must have native Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) configured. (Secure boot is not required but adds another layer of security.)
  • BIOS or UEFI firmware must support USB mass storage.
  • You must partition the hard disk into an operating system drive formatted with NTFS and a system drive with at least 350 MB formatted as FAT32 for UEFI and NTFS for BIOS.

 

Note

We highly recommended that the device you are encrypting has a supported TPM chip (version 1.2 and higher).

 

BitLocker recovery

If BitLocker enters recovery mode when starting the operating system, there are ways to restore access. Choose one of the following options to restore access to the protected drive:

  • Manual option: Retrieve the 48-digit recovery password from a stored location (printed or USB).
  • Automated option: An administrator can obtain the recovery password from Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) or Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS).

 

Note

A data recovery agent (DRA) is someone authorized to decrypt data on a Windows operating system. The agent can use their credentials to unlock the drive. However, Intune doesn’t support DRA certificates so the process would have to occur outside the Intune environment.

 

Intune BitLocker configuration processes

Before you configure a BitLocker encryption policy, consider the following options:

  • How much do you want users involved in the BitLocker configuration process? Do you want them to interact with the process, be silent, or both?

    If you have multiple requirements, you might need to configure multiple policies.

  • Do all your devices meet the hardware prerequisites? Do you have a subset of devices that do not have a TPM?

    If you have older devices without TPM, you will not be able to encrypt them silently. This might mean configuring multiple policies.

    The Microsoft Intune encryption report, located in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center, can help you understand the TPM status and encryption readiness of your enrolled devices. To view the report, select Devices > Monitor > Encryption report.

    BitLocker Encryption Report in the MEM admin consoleBitLocker Encryption Report in the MEM admin console
  • Where do you want to store the recovery key?

    You can store the recovery key in on-premises Active Directory (if hybrid joined), in Azure AD, or manually. Most administrators store the key in Azure AD, which works for both Azure hybrid services and Azure AD joined devices.

  • Do you want to enable recovery password rotation?

    This option will refresh the recovery password after it is used and prevent further use of the same password, enhancing security. Prerequisites include Windows 10 1909, having Intune enrolled, Azure AD, or Azure hybrid services joined. Additional licenses may be required for certain Microsoft BitLocker settings.

  • What algorithm strength do you want to use?

    For OS volumes and fixed drives: XTS-AES 128-bit is the Windows default encryption method and the recommended value.

    For removable drives: Use AES-CBC 128-bit or AES-CBC 256-bit if the drive will be used in other devices that are not running Windows 10, version 1510 or earlier.


    Note: For Autopilot devices, please read Setting the BitLocker encryption algorithm for Autopilot devices | Microsoft Docs to avoid devices from automatically encrypting when Azure AD joining with a different encryption algorithm to the one configured in the policy.

Best practices for configuring BitLocker for Intune

Here are best practices and recommended processes for using BitLocker with Intune.

  • Use a device with TPM for maximum security.
  • Create the BitLocker policy using an Endpoint security policy. This workflow is the most recent method of deploying BitLocker settings. If you are currently using a device configuration profile, consider migrating to an Endpoint security policy.
    • Sign into the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.

    • Select Endpoint security > Disk encryption > Create Policy.

    • In the Platform list, choose Windows 10 and later.

    • Under Profile, select BitLocker.

    • Select Create.

Note
To avoid conflicts, avoid assigning more than one BitLocker profile to a device and consolidate settings into this new profile.

 

  • Use the encryption report to inventory your enrolled devices (Devices > Monitor > Encryption report). It reveals the encryption status and helps you understand the TPM presence and version distribution among your enrolled devices.
  • If BitLocker is not enabled on a device after deploying a policy, check the encryption report to see if the device meets the prerequisites.

 

More info and feedback

For further resources on this subject, please see the links below.

BitLocker Overview and Requirements FAQ

BitLocker recovery guide (Windows 10)

Manage BitLocker policy for Windows 10 in Intune

Encryption report for encrypted devices in Microsoft Intune

Configure endpoint protection settings in Microsoft Intune

 

The next post in this series will describe troubleshooting approaches for BitLocker encryption. Stay tuned!

 

Let us know if you have any additional questions by replying to this post or reaching out to @IntuneSuppTeam on Twitter.

 

Blog post updates:

2/22: Updated post that additional licenses may be required for certain Microsoft BitLocker settings.

17 Comments
Senior Member

Right in time for my Windows 10 Intune POC. :)

Contributor

Amazing post, thanks

Senior Member

Nicely explained. Will be waiting for the follow-up posts of this series.

Occasional Visitor

Explained very well

Regular Visitor

Hey Luke,

 

Great article. You say "You can store the recovery key in on-premises Active Directory (if hybrid joined), in Azure AD, or manually" - where can you find this option please to choose the location?

 

We have configured in our Endpoint policies to save the recovery information to AAD (as shown below), but can't see a specific option to store in on-prem AD?

 

Capture.PNG

Our recovery keys however do not appear in AAD, they are instead storing to on-prem AD (we are hybrid joined). 

 

Thank you, Michelle

Occasional Visitor

@HeyHey16K 

 

Hi Michelle,

 

From memory I think it stores it in both locations from Win 10 1903 onwards. There is no option to configure one or the other that I'm aware of.

 

Cheers,

 

Ben 

Microsoft

@HeyHey16K  We are planning to cover this in the 4th blog in the series in detail, are the affected Hybrid devices enrolled via Autopilot and do you enable BitLocker during autopilot? There is a scenario where the device is not present in AAD (i.e. has not synced via AD connect yet) but is in AD that the key will only be backed up there when encryption is enabled during Autopilot, if this is the case you should see an error in the BitLocker-API event logs during that timeframe. You can try rotating the keys from the console to recreate the key and add it into AAD.

 

If this happening for existing HAADJ machines that have a BitLocker policy deployed after they have been deployed then investigating the BitLocker-API event log would be required to understand why the key has not been stored in AAD.

Regular Visitor

@Luker1 

Thank you for the reply, sounds logical. We configure BitLocker encryption in our device policies, which apply during AP. I looked in the local BitLocker-API Management log and there is error "Failed to backup BitLocker Drive Encryption recovery information to Active Directory Domain Services", then, three minutes later, another "BitLocker Drive Encryption recovery information was backed up to successfully to Active Directory Domain Services" (with a similar timestamp on the device object BitLocker Recovery tab in AD). Both seem to confirm AD instead of AAD? No other errors in the log (which only has 14 entries as it's a new build). Thank you, Michelle

Regular Visitor

And yes, the affected Hybrid devices are enrolled via Autopilot :smile:

Regular Visitor

The key rotation trigger did the trick... key is now showing in AD and AAD - thank you for that. 

Microsoft

@HeyHey16K Good to hear, to understand if it simply a timing issue during Autopilot try comparing the error timestamp in the BitLocker-API logs to the device registration timestamp in AAD and see if the error occurred prior to the device being added to AAD. If this is the issue then you can either use PowerShell (I think the cmdlet Backup-BitLockerKeyProtector should work) to store the key in AAD after the device has enrolled or simply rotate the keys manually via the console.

Regular Visitor

@Luker1 Thank you so much for your help Luke. Look forward to the future instalments on your articles.

Visitor

@Luker1 Hey Luke,

 

For my customer we have apply this best practice : 

 

Create the BitLocker policy using an Endpoint security policy. This workflow is the most recent method of deploying BitLocker settings

 

But  now we have an issue on 25% of devices that don't apply the bitlocker strategy because they enforce Windows 10 default strategy encryption (configuration profile with Require Device encryption and Allow Standard user Encryption) before having the intune bitlocker strategy ... This devices are encrypted in Sha-128 instead 256 and recovery key backed up to AD instead AAD...

 

rollback = decryption > recryption

 

So how can we remediate at this problem of orchestration, and be sure devices will not start encryption before receiving our bitlocker strategy?

 

Thank you in advance !

 

 

Microsoft

HSTI or modern standby devices will automatically encrypt during OOBE if they conform to certain pre-reqs BitLocker drive encryption in Windows 10 for OEMs | Microsoft Docs. If you are using Autopilot then it is possible to use this method: Setting the BitLocker encryption algorithm for Autopilot devices | Microsoft Docs more details here: BitLocker, ESP, and Windows Autopilot: Working in harmony – Out of Office Hours (oofhours.com)

Microsoft

@mjlab reply above - forgot to @ you.

Visitor

@Luker1 Thank you for your reply !

 

It's about a migration project (from Symantec to Bitlocker) for existing co-managed devices, and if we use only Configuration profile (for bitlocker Strategy + Allow Standard User Encryption) no issue but if we use one Configuration Profile (Enforce Device Encryption + Allow Standard User Encryption) + Endpoint Security Bitlocker Strategy we have several issue...

And if we use only Endpoint Security Bitlocker Strategy we can't encrypt device in silently mode...

 

No automatic encryption initially

No autopilot devices for moment.

 

 

 

 

Microsoft

@mjlab It might be worth raising a case with support, I don't think I am going to be able to investigate in this forum effectively. We would initially need to get the MDM diagnostics mentioned in Troubleshooting BitLocker policies from the client side - Microsoft Tech Community from a couple of example devices.

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‎Feb 22 2021 05:23 PM
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