Threat & Vulnerability Management scenarios

Applies to:

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Important

Some information relates to prereleased product which may be substantially modified before it's commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here.

Before you begin

Ensure that your machines:

  • Are onboarded to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection
  • Run with Windows 10 1709 (Fall Creators Update) or later

Note

Threat & Vulnerability Management can also scan machines that run on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2019 operating systems and detects vulnerabilities addressed in patch Tuesday.

  • Have the following mandatory updates installed and deployed in your network to boost your vulnerability assessment detection rates:
Release Security update KB number and link
RS3 customers KB4493441 and KB 4516071
RS4 customers KB4493464 and KB 4516045
RS5 customers KB 4516077
19H1 customers KB 4512941
  • Are onboarded to Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). If you are use SCCM, update your console to the latest May version 1905
  • Have at least one security recommendation that can be viewed in the machine page
  • Are tagged or marked as co-managed

Reduce your threat and vulnerability exposure

Threat & Vulnerability Management introduces a new exposure score metric, which visually represents how exposed your machines are to imminent threats.

The exposure score is continuously calculated on each device in the organization and influenced by the following factors:

  • Weaknesses, such as vulnerabilities discovered on the device
  • External and internal threats such as public exploit code and security alerts
  • Likelihood of the device to get breached given its current security posture
  • Value of the device to the organization given its role and content

The exposure score is broken down into the following levels:

  • 0–29: low exposure score
  • 30–69: medium exposure score
  • 70–100: high exposure score

You can remediate the issues based on prioritized security recommendations to reduce the exposure score. Each software has weaknesses that are transformed into recommendations and prioritized based on risk to the organization.

To lower down your threat and vulnerability exposure:

  1. Review the Top security recommendations from your Threat & Vulnerability Management dashboard, and select the first item on the list. The Security recommendation page opens.

    Top security recommendations

    Note

    There are two types of recommendations:

    • Security update which refers to recommendations that require a package installation
    • Configuration change which refers to recommendations that require a registry or GPO modification Always prioritize recommendations that are associated with ongoing threats. These recommendations are marked with the threat insight Threat insight icon and possible active alert Possible active alert icon.
  2. The Security recommendations page shows the list of items to remediate. Select the security recommendation that you need to investigate. When you select a recommendation from the list, a fly-out panel will display a description of what you need to remediate, number of vulnerabilities, associated exploits in machines, number of exposed machines and their machine names, business impact, and a list of CVEs. Click Open software page option from the flyout panel. Details in security recommendations page

  3. Click Installed machines and select the affected machine from the list to open the flyout panel with the relevant machine details, exposure and risk levels, alert and incident activities. Details in software page

  4. Click Open machine page to connect to the machine and apply the selected recommendation. See Investigate machines in the Microsoft Defender ATP Machines list for details. Details in machine page

  5. Allow a few hours for the changes to propagate in the system.

  6. Review the machine Security recommendation tab again. The recommendation you've chosen to remediate is removed from the security recommendation list, and the exposure score decreases.

Improve your security configuration

Note

Secure score is now part of Threat & Vulnerability Management as configuration score. The secure score page is available for a few weeks. View the secure score page.

You can improve your security configuration when you remediate issues from the security recommendations list. As you do so, your configuration score improves, which means your organization becomes more resilient against cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities.

  1. From the Configuration score widget, select Security controls. The Security recommendations page opens and shows the list of issues related to security controls.

    Configuration score widget

  2. Select the first item on the list. The flyout panel will open with a description of the security controls issue, a short description of the potential risk, insights, configuration ID, exposed machines, and business impact. Click Remediation options. Security controls related security recommendations

  3. Read the description to understand the context of the issue and what to do next. Select a due date, add notes, and select Export all remediation activity data to CSV so you can attach it to the email that you can send to your IT Administrator for follow-up.

    Request remediation.

    You will see a confirmation message that the remediation task has been created. Remediation task creation confirmation

  4. Save your CSV file. Save csv file

  5. Send a follow-up email to your IT Administrator and allow the time that you have allotted for the remediation to propagate in the system.

  6. Review the machine Configuration score widget again. The number of the security controls issues will decrease. When you click Security controls to go back to the Security recommendations page, the item that you have addressed will not be listed there anymore, and your configuration score should increase.

Request a remediation

Note

To use this capability, enable your Microsoft Intune connections. Navigate to Settings > General > Advanced features. Scroll down and look for Microsoft Intune connection. By default, the toggle is turned off. Turn your Microsoft Intune connection toggle on.

The Threat & Vulnerability Management capability in Microsoft Defender ATP bridges the gap between Security and IT Administrators through the remediation request workflow.

Security Administrators like you can request for the IT Administrator to remediate a vulnerability from the Security recommendation pages to Intune.

  1. Click a security recommendation you would like to request remediation for, and then click Remediation options.

  2. Select Open a ticket in Intune (for AAD joined devices), select a due date, and add optional notes for the IT Administrator. Click Submit request.

  3. Notify your IT Administrator about the new request and have them log into Intune to approve or reject the request and start a package deployment.

  4. Go to the Remediation page to view the status of your remediation request.

See Use Intune to remediate vulnerabilities identified by Microsoft Defender ATP for details.

Note

If your request involves remediating more than 10,000 machines, we can only send 10,000 machines for remediation to Intune.

File for exception

With Threat & Vulnerability Management, you can create exceptions for recommendations, as an alternative to a remediation request.

There are many reasons why organizations create exceptions for a recommendation. For example, if there's a business justification that prevents the company from applying the recommendation, the existence of a compensating or alternative control that provides as much protection than the recommendation would, a false positive, among other reasons.

Exceptions can be created for both Security update and Configuration change recommendations.

When an exception is created for a recommendation, the recommendation is no longer active. The recommendation state changes to Exception, and it no longer shows up in the security recommendations list.

  1. Navigate to the Security recommendations page under the Threat & Vulnerability Management section menu.

  2. Click the top-most recommendation. A flyout panel opens with the recommendation details.

  3. Click Exception options. Screenshot of the exception option in the remediation flyout pane

  4. Select your justification for the exception you need to file instead of remediating the security recommendation in question. Fill out the justification context, then set the exception duration.

Screenshot of exception flyout page which details justification and context

  1. Click Submit. A confirmation message at the top of the page indicates that the exception has been created. Screenshot of exception confirmation message

  2. Navigate to the Remediation page under the Threat & Vulnerability Management menu and click the Exceptions tab to view all your exceptions (current and past). Screenshot of exception list of exceptions in the Remediation page

Use Advanced hunting query to search for machines with High active alerts or critical CVE public exploit

  1. Go to Advanced hunting from the left-hand navigation pane.

  2. Scroll down to the TVM advanced hunting schemas to familiarize yourself with the column names.

  3. Enter the following queries:

// Search for machines with High active alerts or Critical CVE public exploit 
DeviceTvmSoftwareInventoryVulnerabilities 
| join kind=inner(DeviceTvmSoftwareVulnerabilitiesKB) on CveId 
| where IsExploitAvailable == 1 and CvssScore >= 7
| summarize NumOfVulnerabilities=dcount(CveId), 
ComputerName=any(ComputerName) by MachineId 
| join kind =inner(AlertEvents) on MachineId  
| summarize NumOfVulnerabilities=any(NumOfVulnerabilities), 
ComputerName=any(ComputerName) by MachineId, AlertId 
| project ComputerName, NumOfVulnerabilities, AlertId  
| order by NumOfVulnerabilities desc