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Trying to control which devices are allowed to connect to our network

Posted on 2016-10-11
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Last Modified: 2016-10-21
We have 3 locations which comprise of Windows PCs/laptops, Servers, and some iPhones/iPads. We are constantly running into people connecting their personal phones or laptops to our wired and/or wireless network.

We really don't want to get into managing a local CA server, or Cisco ISE, or anything like that as we are a thin staffed IT Dept.. We do have SCCM 2012 R2 in place and I was looking into to seeing if I can manage this with a Hybrid InTune setup. Is it possible to prevent people from connecting to our network based on whether or not they are enrolled? And can we have enrollment be something we have to approve before they're given access?

Or if there are any other ideas that make more sense I'd love to hear them as well.
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Question by:rsgdmn
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by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 41838934
Have you considered restricting connections by MAC address?  It requires someone to go around to every device and record the MAC address, but relatively reliable if none of the employees know that this method is in use.  If anyone in IT lets the cat out of the bag, MAC address spoofing will run wild.

I do think it would be more effective to hold a whole-company meeting, attendance required (a meeting shows you're serious, memos are ignored) and state simply, "From now on, anyone connecting an unauthorized device to the company network will be terminated.  We will no longer tolerate endangering the security of our network.  Employees will immediately sign and return to Security the copy of this policy that you will find in your mailboxes, stating that you understand and will comply.  This policy is not open for discussion.  Thank you.  That is all for today."
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by:rsgdmn
ID: 41838946
Yeah, we did look at that and that may have to be the answer. But we were hoping for something simpler to roll out and manage using our existing SCCM environment. If I do have to go that route I'd probably create an Allow list in DHCP for the MACs we allow. But we have about 350 users and many of them travel between the 3 locations so there would be a lot of MAC addresses to manage at all 3 locations, as well as several places to add every new machine that comes on board to. But good idea.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41839050
Security and ease of use are diametrically opposed items. With company issued equipment it is easy for the mac address to be recorded and added to dhcp when issued to a user. with 3 sites and 3 dhcp servers you would need to periodically sync the allowed lists.
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Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 41839243
MAC address filtering is the simplest solution, as you basically want to only utilize existing infrastructure. But you should look into other solutions in the long run, such as the things you named not wanting to invest in. But do it as part of another project,

You also never mentioned whether there was a policy that banned unauthorized devices. If not, it's something you're going to want to look into and to work with management to get into place.
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Author Comment

by:rsgdmn
ID: 41839250
As I continue to look into InTune I'm seeing it's great for managing devices that are on the network but not seeing that it will be able to prevent devices form getting on the network. Agree? Disagree?

Also, what about the use of a Radius server? From what I understand I could use that for both wired and wireless, just not sure about printers and VoIP phones. Although if I went that route I would probably want one at each site. And I always thought multiple Radius servers can be troublesome. Thoughts?

As you can see, I'm really trying to avoid the MAC address whitelisting, although maybe it's not as bad as I'm imagining it.

I really appreciate all the input so far, thanks.
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masnrock earned 2000 total points
ID: 41839273
Since you're using a domain, you could have NPS in place, and restrict to machines that are already members of the domain... that would have a shot at working and frustrating users enough.

However, bear in mind you want to have a company policy in place BEFORE you do that so that you have something backing you up.
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Author Comment

by:rsgdmn
ID: 41846642
If I try using NPS would I need a CA in my environment? Or can it be done with either a self-signed certificate form the NPS server or a 3rd party CA?
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by:masnrock
ID: 41852225
You should be able to accomplish it in either manner.
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