icrosoft is pleased to announce the draft release of the
security configuration baseline settings for Windows 10 version 1809
(a.k.a., “Redstone 5” or “RS5”), and for Windows Server 2019. Please
evaluate these proposed baselines and send us your feedback via blog
Download the content here: Windows-10-1809-Security-Baseline-DRAFT.zip
The downloadable attachment to this blog post includes importable
GPOs, a PowerShell script for applying the GPOs to local policy, custom
ADMX files for Group Policy settings, documentation in spreadsheet form
and as a Policy Analyzer file
(MSFT-Win10-v1809-RS5-WS2019-DRAFT.PolicyRules). In this release, we
have changed the documentation layout in a few ways:
- MS Security Baseline Windows 10 v1809 and Server 2019.xlsx –
multi-tabbed workbook listing all Group Policy settings that ship
in-box with Windows 10 v1809 or Windows Server 2019. Columns for
“Windows 10 v1809,” “WS2019 Member Server,” and “WS2019 DC” show the
recommended settings for those three scenarios. A small number of cells
are color-coded to indicate that the settings should not be applied to
systems that are not joined to an Active Directory domain. Cells in the
“WS2019 DC” columns are also highlighted when they differ from the
corresponding cells in the “WS2019 Member Server” column. Another change
from past spreadsheets is that we have combined tabs that used to be
separate. Specifically, we are no longer breaking out Internet Explorer
and Windows Defender AV settings into separate tabs, nor the settings
for LAPS, MS Security Guide, and MSS (Legacy). All these settings are
now in the Computer and User tabs.
- BaselineDiffs-to-v1809-RS5-DRAFT.xlsx – This Policy
Analyzer-generated workbook lists the differences in Microsoft security
configuration baselines between the new baselines and the corresponding
previous baselines. The Windows 10 v1809 settings are compared against
those for Windows 10 v1803, and the Windows Server 2019 baselines are
compared against those for Windows Server 2016.
- Windows 10 1803 to 1809 New Settings.xlsx – Lists all the
settings that are available in Windows 10 v1809 that were added since
Windows 10 v1803. (We used to highlight these settings in the big
- Server 2016 to 2019 New Settings.xlsx – Lists all the
settings that are available in Windows Server 2019 that were added since
Windows Server 2016. (We used to highlight these settings in the big
Highlights of the differences from past baselines, which are listed in BaselineDiffs-to-v1809-RS5-DRAFT.xlsx:
- The MS Security Guide custom setting protecting against potentially
unwanted applications (PUA) has been deprecated, and is now implemented
with a new setting under Computer Configuration…Windows Defender
- We have enabled the “Encryption Oracle Remediation” setting we had considered for v1803.
At the time we were concerned that enabling the newly-introduced
setting would break too many not-yet-patched systems. We assume that
systems have since been brought up to date. (You can read information
about the setting hereand here.)
- Changes to Virtualization-Based Security settings (used by Credential Guard and Code Integrity):
- “Platform Security Level” changed from “Secure Boot and DMA
Protection” to “Secure Boot.” If system hardware doesn’t support DMA
protection, selecting “Secure Boot and DMA Protection” prevents
Credential Guard from operating. If you can affirm that your systems
support the DMA protection feature, choose the stronger option. We have
opted for “Secure Boot” (only) in the baseline to reduce the likelihood
that Credential Guard fails to run.
- Enabled the new System Guard Secure Launch setting which will enable
Secure Launch on new capable hardware. Secure Launch changes the way
windows boots to use Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) and
Runtime BIOS Resilience features to prevent firmware exploits from being
able to impact the security of the Windows Virtualization Based
- Enabled the “Require UEFI Memory Attributes Table” option.
- “Platform Security Level” changed from “Secure Boot and DMA
- Enabled the new Kernel DMA Protection feature described here.
The “External device enumeration” policy controls whether to enumerate
external devices that are not compatible with DMA-remapping. Devices
that are compatible with DMA-remapping are always enumerated.
- Removed the BitLocker setting, “Allow Secure Boot for integrity
validation,” as it merely enforced a default that was unlikely to be
modified even by a misguided administrator.
- Removed the BitLocker setting, “Configure minimum PIN length for
startup,” as new hardware features reduce the need for a startup PIN,
and the setting increased Windows’ minimum by only one character.
- Enabled the new Microsoft Edge setting to prevent users from
bypassing certificate error messages, bringing Edge in line with a
similar setting for Internet Explorer.
- Removed the block against handling PKU2U authentication requests, as the feature is increasingly necessary.
- Removed the configuration of the “Create symbolic links” user rights
assignment, as it merely enforced a default, was unlikely to be
modified by a misguided administrator or for malicious purposes, and
needs to be changed to a different value when Hyper-V is enabled.
- Removed the deny-logon restrictions against the Guests group as
unnecessary: by default, the Guest account is the only member of the
Guests group, and the Guest account is disabled. Only an administrator
can enable the Guest account or add members to the Guests group.
- Removed the disabling of the xbgm (“Xbox Game Monitoring”) service,
as it is not present in Windows 10 v1809. (By the way, consumer services
such as the Xbox services have been removed from Windows Server 2019
with Desktop Experience!)
- Removed Credential Guard from the Domain Controller baseline.
(Credential Guard is not useful on domain controllers and is not
- Created and enabled a new custom MS Security Guide setting for the
domain controller baseline, “Extended Protection for LDAP Authentication
(Domain Controllers only),” which configures the
LdapEnforceChannelBinding registry value described here.
- The Server 2019 baselines pick up all the changes accumulated in the four Windows 10 releases since Windows Server 2016.
See the rest of the changes here