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How to ensure PCs in workgroups are patched and have AV protection in our enterprise?

Posted on 2009-05-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
here is our scenario,
we use GPO/WSUS to enforce patching on all corporate machines on our production domain.
The issue we have, is that many of our users create instances of VMware workstation on their corporate PC's and these VMware images are setup in "workgroups" and not joined to our domain.
As a result, we cannot enforce patching on these VM's
We also have no idea what admin credentials they setup on these VM's

What is happening is that virus outbreaks / patch vulnerabilities are breaking out on these VM's.

Does anyone know of a way that we can secure our entire environment and ensure the all PC's and VM's [even ones in workgroups] are compliant on the patches and A/V software?

thx - M
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Question by:siber1
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lockjaw2005 earned 1500 total points
ID: 24336994
Well you may not want to hear this, but letting users setup unsecured vms on your network is a very bad idea.  Your best defense in this less than ideal situation would be something like an IPS either host based or network based would help, but not remove the threat this activity introduces.  IT should be the only entity installing VMs on a users system if not directly perhaps having users use cloned copies of secured templates would be a start.  Good luck!
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by:siber1
ID: 24337108
Yes, I agree.
but how can you monitor / stop users from spinning up instances of VM's?
we do enforce the MAC limit lock on ports, but many of the users have a higher limit and have the potential to setup VM's in workgroups.

thx
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Expert Comment

by:CoccoBill
ID: 24345214
I'm not familiar enough with vmware to know if it's possible to restrict who can install new VMs, but you should at least have a policy that disallows users to do it themselves. lockjaw2005's suggestion about only allowing preconfigured VM images is very good. It may be difficult to impose technical controls to enforce the policy, but then the users would be knowingly breaking it, and it would be justified to for example block unauthorized machines on the routers/switches and delete them from the machines if detected.
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