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Block USB Flash Drives?

Posted on 2012-04-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-14
We have a smaller network of about 50 computers.

We have SBS 2011.

We also have Symantec Endpoint protection 12.1

I"m wanting to block USB flashsticks on our network.

But I want it to be allowed completely at all times for some certain users (Our department heads etc), and for other users I want it to be possible only if I enter in a password for them.

Is there a way to accomplish this?

Thanks
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Question by:Pancake_Effect
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Expert Comment

by:FarWest
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sure, there is
and it is implemented in our network,
you can configure Policies-Application and Device Control  that implemented on that group and  block all usb, and then make exceptions for other usb drivers that is in your network like printers & scanners

check this URL

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH104299&locale=en_US

and if you need more help  , I can provide you with screen shots from my environment
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Expert Comment

by:Gajendra Rathod
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There is one more option

http://www.netwrix.com/usb_blocker_freeware.html

This product will allow you to control USB device on endpoint as per your requirement mention above ( per user, per computer and password basis).
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Author Comment

by:Pancake_Effect
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fryezz thanks for the link, it looks like I can simply block USB devices via group policy. That's a good start.. but sometimes users do need legit reasons for using a USB memory stick, so if that happens I'm hoping for a way that I can walk over to their office while they are on it, and I can simply type in a password and be good to go for them to have temporary access. Changing group policy settings every time to let them have access could be a pain otherwise.

Gajendra_Rathod that looks like what I want it to do exactly, but it has some pretty bad reviews saying it's buggy and is not free after 50 computers.

I'm hoping to use our resources between Group Policy and Symantec to make this work (if possible) I inherited this network here recently and it's for healthcare so it's quite important in my opinion to block USB ports...but like in most IT departments, it's always a problem of money hence why I'm hoping to utilize free solutions or what we have already(Symantec 12.1 endpoint manager or Group Policy.)
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Assisted Solution

by:Gajendra Rathod
Gajendra Rathod earned 500 total points
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Please contact Netwrix support for quotation above product and I am sure they will reply you as it is free ware product.

Please check for below solution,

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH106304





You can block USB device installation using GPO.


You can restrict or allow devices by Device IDs or Device Setup Classes
Computer Configuration
 Administrative Templates
 System
 Device Installation
 Prevent Installation of Devices that match any of these device IDs.

Computer Configuration
Administrative Templates
System
Device Installation
Prevent Installation of Devices using drivers that match
these device setup classes.
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Expert Comment

by:FarWest
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what I know that Symantec End Point client allows you to put the management password to have one time unlock (temporarily override)
but I could not verify that know,
you can give it a try on your environment and see what options are available
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Author Comment

by:Pancake_Effect
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I was able to successfully block USB via Symantec End Point, but I'm trying to figure out the one time unlock you spoke about. If I can get a one time unlock, that would work perfectly for all my dilemmas.
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Expert Comment

by:FarWest
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I think you can go on with this work arround, ( I did not try it but I hope it will work :) )

export the policy that enable the USB to a shared folder and when you go to manager office import it
after that just run update policy ( SEP Client Icon rignt click), and it well get back everything to normal

for exporting - importing ploicies check this

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH95478&locale=en_US
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Author Comment

by:Pancake_Effect
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I tried Netwrix and it doesn't allow you to specify gp objects, you have to apply it to the entire domain then set up the exclusions. I really didn't like the flexibility in that.

fryezz that could work, I tried it out, but it's not really user friendly..My goal is to allow HR to do this also for users. It surprises me that windows or Symantec doesn't have a built in password system for USB devices
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Accepted Solution

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Gajendra Rathod earned 500 total points
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Netwrix work at OU level.

Create OU based on department.

Netwrix server can be install on any machine in domain.

I think it is good application for USB blocking
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