Azure Windows Security Baseline

I was designing a deployment around Azure Virtual Desktop utilizing Azure Active Directory, not AADDS or ADDS and when checking a test deploy for compliance against the NIST 800-171 Azure Policy, it showed the Azure Baseline is not being met. In a domain, I wouldn’t worry since group policy will fix this right up, but what about non domain join? What about custom images? Yeah, I guess we could manually set everything then image it, but I prefer a clean base then apply configuration during my image build. Let’s take a look how to hit this compliance checkbox.

I recalled that Microsoft released STIG templates and found the blog post Announcing Azure STIG solution templates to accelerate compliance for DoD – Azure Government ( I was hoping their efforts would make my life a little bit easier, but after a test deploy, I saw 33 items still not in compliance.

Looking at the workflow, it is ideally how i’d like my image process to look in my pipeline.

Deploy a baseline image, apply some scripts and then I can generate a custom image to a shared gallery for use. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, so I started researching if anyone has done this already. I found a repo that looked promising, but it was a year old and I noticed some things incorrect with the script such as incorrect registry paths, commented out DSC snippets, etc. This did do a good bulk, but just needed cleaned up and things added. Looking at the commented code, it was around user rights assignments. Now, the DSC module for user right assessments is old and I haven’t seen a commit in there for years. Playing around, it seems that some settings can not be set. I didn’t want to hack together stuff using secedit, so I found a neat script that I could just pass in the required rights and move on. Everything worked except for SeDenyRemoteInteractiveLogonRight. When the right doesn’t exist in the exported config, it couldn’t add it. So, I just wrote the snippet to add the last right.

$tempFolderPath = Join-Path $Env:Temp $(New-Guid)
New-Item -Type Directory -Path $tempFolderPath | Out-Null
secedit.exe /export /cfg $tempFolderPath\security-policy.inf

#get line number
$file = gci -literalpath "$tempFolderPath\security-policy.inf" -rec | % {
$line = Select-String -literalpath $_.fullname -pattern "Privilege Rights" | select -ExpandProperty LineNumber

#add string
$fileContent = Get-Content "$tempFolderPath\security-policy.inf"
$fileContent[$line-1] += "`nSeDenyRemoteInteractiveLogonRight = *S-1-5-32-546"
$fileContent | out-file "$tempFolderPath\security-policy.inf" -Encoding unicode

secedit.exe /configure /db c:\windows\security\local.sdb /cfg "$tempFolderPath\security-policy.inf"
rm -force "$tempFolderPath\security-policy.inf" -confirm:$false

After running PowerShell DSC and script, the Azure baseline comes back fully compliant. I have tested this on Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10.

You can grab the files in my repo

AKS Double Encryption

I have been living in a world of compliance these past few weeks, specifically NIST 800-171. Azure provides an initiative for NIST and one of the checks is to make sure your disks have both a platform and customer managed key. I recently ran into a scenario where you have an application that is StatefulSet in Azure Kubernetes. Let’s talk a bit more around this and NIST.

The Azure Policy was in non compliance for my disks because they were just a managed platform key. Researching the AKS docs, I found an article for using a customer managed key, but this still is not what I need as I need double encryption to meet compliance. After some research in the Kubernetes SIGs repo, I found the Azure Disk CSI driver doc and check it out:

It looks like this document was modified back in May adding support for this feature, so recently new. Upgrade the driver to 1.18 or above and double encryption support should be there.

To implement, create a new storage class that references your disk encryption set id with double encryption.

kind: StorageClass
  name: byok-double-encrpytion
reclaimPolicy: Retain
allowVolumeExpansion: true
  skuname: Premium_LRS
  kind: managed
  diskEncryptionType: EncryptionAtRestWithPlatformAndCustomerKeys
  diskEncryptionSetID: "/subscriptions/<sub>/resourceGroups/<rg>/providers/Microsoft.Compute/diskEncryptionSets/<dek-name>"

Apply this snippet above and reference the storage class in your deployment yaml to have double encryption. This will tick that NIST compliance checkbox for AKS disks.