Certificate-based isolation policy design

Applies to

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 11
  • Windows Server 2016 and above

In the certificate-based isolation policy design, you provide the same types of protections to your network traffic as described in the Domain Isolation Policy Design and Server Isolation Policy Design sections. The only difference is the method used to share identification credentials during the authentication of your network traffic.

Domain isolation and server isolation help provide security for the devices on the network that run Windows and that can be joined to an Active Directory domain. However, in most corporate environments there are typically some devices that must run another operating system. These devices cannot join an Active Directory domain, without a third-party package being installed. Also, some devices that do run Windows cannot join a domain for a variety of reasons. To rely on Kerberos V5 as the authentication protocol, the device needs to be joined to the Active Directory and (for non-Windows devices) support Kerberos as an authentication protocol.

To authenticate with non-domain member devices, IPsec supports using standards-based cryptographic certificates. Because this authentication method is also supported by many third-party operating systems, it can be used as a way to extend your isolated domain to devices that do not run Windows.

The same principles of the domain and server isolation designs apply to this design. Only devices that can authenticate (in this case, by providing a specified certificate) can communicate with the devices in your isolated domain.

For Windows devices that are part of an Active Directory domain, you can use Group Policy to deploy the certificates required to communicate with the devices that are trusted but are not part of the Active Directory domain. For other devices, you will have to either manually configure them with the required certificates, or use a third-party program to distribute the certificates in a secure manner.

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