Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM)

As most of you know that I have been heavily focused with the deployment and management of Windows 7 and peripheral products and how customer have an opportunity to review their current practices for image management, deployment and use of new capabilities natively available today. One topic which continues to be brought up in numerous discussions is around the use of Bitlocker but as customers tend to review it in detail and look at an enterprise deployment they soon realize some challenges with central way to provision, manage and deployments.

Well with Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM), this is all about to change, and for better, offcourse!! MBAM will build on BitLocker in Windows 7 and help simplify BitLocker provisioning and deployment, reduce costs while improving compliance and reporting of BitLocker. MBAM builds on BitLocker in Windows 7 and offers an enterprise solution for BitLocker provisioning, monitoring and key recovery.  MBAM will help simplify BitLocker provisioning and deployments, improve compliance and reporting, and reduce support costs.

Simplify Provisioning and Deployment

  • Integrates into existing Windows 7 deployment process: Organizations can integrate the MBAM client into their task sequence setup in System Center Configuration Manager/ Microsoft Deployment Toolkit or their other Windows 7 deployment tools.  The client then automates the encryption process as part of the deployment.
  • End Users Can Start the Encryption Process: For organizations that deploy MBAM after they have deployed Windows 7, the MBAM agent provides a standard user the ability to start the encryption process.   This enhances the BitLocker out of box experience where the end user must have administrative rights to accomplish this.
  • Target only the hardware you want to encrypt: IT Professionals can exclude hardware by make and model, making sure that only machines capable of meeting the encryption policy are encrypted.

Improve Compliance and Reporting

  • Know how compliant the organization is: Security administrators and IT Professionals can understand which machines are encrypted and meet the organizational policy through out of the box reports.
  • More secure recovery key storage: IT Professionals have an alternative to storing BitLocker recovery key information in Active Directory.  Machines with the MBAM client will send BitLocker recovery key information to an encrypted SQL database.

Reduce Support Costs

  • Streamline key recovery for the help desk:  MBAM provides a web page that allows the help desk to quickly get the user’s recovery key if they get into BitLocker recovery mode.  The help desk no longer needs access to Active Directory when the organization is using MBAM.
  • Use a recovery key only once: When a recovery key is retrieved and used, the MBAM client will automatically generate a new recovery key for that PC so that the original key cannot be used to gain access to the machine again
  • Empower end users to do the basics:  MBAM allows an end user with standard user rights to perform basic BitLocker tasks like changing their PIN or start the encryption process which saves them from calling the help desk.

The MBAM beta is expected to be available in March and you can sign up here (Windows Live ID required) to be notified when it is released. MBAM will available through the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) at a future date.

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