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01: Open required firewall ports

Use this tip to open the required ports in the client machines’ firewalls, so the PP GP Compliance Reporter can pull data from your endpoints.

PPGPCR: firewall ports

Hi. In this video we’re going to learn how to open up the required ports on your target machines so that the group policy compliance reporter can get to the group policy results data. This is a very common thing that happens when using the group policy compliance reporter. I’ll show you an example. You can have a computer set; you just create a new set and then if you create a snapshot, okay, what happens is that all your machines, and we’re using a standalone mode here – all your machines are being queried right now to see what their current group policy data is. Now, if the computer is on and responding or the firewall holes are correctly enabled, then you’ll get data. But if you don’t have the required holes, then your computer could be on but it’s going to respond as if it’s not on, okay. So, you can see all these computers have connection errors.

Most of these computers are not really live on my network but I know these two guys are – Win7Computer32, Win7Computer64, and I have Win10Computer over here. The only one that is responding is this Windows 8 machine and I don’t even know why. So, these three other machines should be responding but they’re not so we need to open up the required hole in the firewall in order to make that happen, okay. So, you can see the only two computers that have responded are, well, Win8Computer 32 and a computer I’m on that happens to be in a main controller. What we want to do is use group policy, okay, and I’m going to show you how to do this. I’m going to do this for the whole domain. You could do it for a gaggle of computers if you wanted to. So, I’m just going to open up required ports through a firewall. Okay?

I’m doing it at the domain level, okay. You might also want to enforce the setting so that if there is a block inheritance that it’s guaranteed through. So, I’ll go ahead and click edit here and the setting you’re after is going to be on the computer side, Policies, Admin templates, and under Network you’re looking for Network Connections, Windows Firewall, Domain Profile. So, Domain Profile means that when you’re here in a domain. Standard Profile means if you’re out and about traveling. So, when you’re here on Domain Profile you want to allow inbound remote admin exception – this guy. Allow inbound remote admin exceptions. Now, there are a couple ways to use this. You can see this policy has been around for a long time. It works with XP Service Pack 2 and later. If you click Enabled here, what you can do if you want to is you can put an IP address here from your machine or a range of computers that your admin stations are on.

If you don’t do that it opens up our required ports, which are 135 and 445 for remote administration from anybody. So, it’s up to you if you want to kind of tie it down to allow incoming messages from these IP ranges. I’m not going to do that. Now, you will have to either wait for group policy to apply or get group policy to forcefully update on these. There is a way to remote GP Update but I don’t want to show that because it can take up to ten minutes and I just kind of want to get this demo to work here. Once you know that you’ve enabled the firewall holes, as I just showed you Port 135 and 445, at that point you’re kind of ready to go. So, if you just go back to the Group Policy Compliance Reporter, okay. Before you saw that when we ran our snapshot we only had two computers that responded. This time I expect better results. I’m going to right-click and create a snapshot and now I’m, boom, scrolling through my entire active directory and I’m hoping to get the four computers that I actually have on to really be on here. I have two Windows 7 computers, a Windows 8, and a Windows 10 computer here. There’s the Win10 computer. There’s the Win8 computer and let’s see if I scroll down a little bit. Oh, there we go. There’s the two other computers. So, this gives you the opportunity to use the Group Policy Compliance Reporter and if you want to tie down which IP addresses will allow this inbound remote admin exception and once you do that, you are able to get started with the Compliance Reporter and see what’s going on there. Use the other videos to figure out how to create tests and to perform results but, hopefully, that gets you off the starting line to get going. Thanks so much and we’ll talk to you soon.

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  • 11-Nov-2019