Deploy a forced installation of the Windows Defender Google Chrome extension using Configuration Manager

Introduction

A few days ago Microsoft released a new extension for the Google Chrome browser. More specifically, they released the Windows Defender Browser Protection extension, which leverages the same security technologies used by Microsoft’s own browser; Edge. Microsoft describes their new extension with following words:

The Windows Defender Browser Protection extension helps protect you against online threats, such as links in phishing emails and websites designed to trick you into downloading and installing malicious software that can harm your computer.

With that in mind, why not make that a permanent part of securing your environment and do so by forcing an automatic installation and thus render the users unable to disable or remove the extension. Read on, this is how you can do that using Configuration Manager.

Configuration Manager

As an initial note, this can of course be done with group policies as well (Google provides their own administrative templates for this purpose). But when speaking modern management and how we should consider moving workloads away from on-premise infrastructure, I actually think managing this through Configuration Manager is considered more modern than an old fashioned group policy. Another consideration is computers not joined to a domain. No domain, no centrally managed group policies. Also, ConfigMgr just rocks!  🙂

Configuration Item

  • Create a new Configuration Item. This is done in the Configuration Manager console, in the Assets and Compliance work space
    • Give it a suitable name and click Next

  • Select the appropriate platforms for where the Configuration Item is expected to run and click Next

  • Create a new settings configuration. Click New

  • Fill out the new settings configuration as shown below:
    • Name: ExtensionInstallForcelist
    • Description: Windows Defender Extension
    • Key Name: Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ExtensionInstallForcelist
    • Value Name: 1 (This number is unique. Are you planning on adding other extensions this way, these should be added as 2, 3 and so forth)

  • Create a new Compliance Rule

  • Fill out the Compliance Rule as shown below:
    • Name: Windows Defender Extension Compliance Rule
    • Description: Windows Defender Extension
    • Value: bkbeeeffjjeopflfhgeknacdieedcoml;https://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx
    • Tick ON Remediate noncompliant rules when supported and Report noncompliance if this setting instanse is not found

  • Click OK and finish the wizard

  • Close the usual completion window

Configuration Baseline

There is no deployment of a Configuration Item without a Configuration Baseline, so it goes without saying (almost) that we also need to create a baseline for the purpose (unless you have an existing you will rather use)

  • Create a new Configuration Baseline in the Configuration Manager console, in the Asset and Compliance work space.
    • Give it a suitable name and click Add > Configuration Item

  • Add your newly created Configuration Item and click OK

  • Complete the creation of the Configuration Baseline on OK

Deployment

Finally the Configuration Baseline consisting of your Configuration Item needs to be deployed. When deploying the baseline, remember to tick ON Remediate noncomliant rules when supported. Also, consider how often the compliance should be evaluated. For comparison group policies updates per default every 90 minutes. If this is replacing a GPO, consider to lower the schedule.

End user experience

Once the SCCM client has updated its policies (Machine policies) and the Configuration Baseline has run, you will notice the extension being installed automatically and without an option to remove or disable it.

Test it!

A friendly comment reminded me of the Windows Defender Demo site. Head over there and test your new extension: https://demo.wd.microsoft.com/

Please share and leave a comment, if this was useful 🙂

5 thoughts on “Deploy a forced installation of the Windows Defender Google Chrome extension using Configuration Manager

  1. The extension can be set to be turned off even though it is forcibly deployed (also via Chrome Enterprise GPO ADMX templates). Is there a way to ensure the “Safeguard against suspicious and malicious sites” On/Off option within the extension is forced on?

    The extension can also be tested here which is helpful: https://demo.smartscreen.msft.net/

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