How to block USB Thumb Drives and USB Hard Drives, but allow specific USB Drives in the Application and Device Control Policy in Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP).

Article:TECH106304  |  Created: 2008-01-20  |  Updated: 2014-02-25  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution



An Administrator wants to use Symantec Endpoint Protection Application and Device Control policy to block all USB Thumb Drives and USB Hard Drives on managed Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) clients, but may want to allow some USB Drives to work.



Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.x and 12.1


To block USB Drives (Thumb Drives, Hard Drives) while not blocking a specific USB drive in the Device Control policy, you must gather the Device ID for the specific device, add that device into the Hardware Devices list in the Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager (SEPM), then block Disk Drives and exclude the devices you want to still use in the Application and Device Control policy.

A) Gather the Device ID of device(s) to exclude using the DevViewer tool:
1. Find the DevViewer.exe tool on the SEP 11.0.X CD2 in the CD2\Tools\NoSupport\DevViewer folder.
2. Plug in the device you want to gather the Device ID from.
3. Run the DevViewer.exe tool and browse to find the device. (Example, for a thumb drive, look under Disk drives)
4. Select the device, and on the right you will see information about the device.
5. Right click the [device id] and select Copy Device ID.
6. Exit the DevViewer Tool.

Note: Alternative way to find Device ID in case DevViewer is not available:

1. On the Windows taskbar, click Start > Settings > Control Panel > System.
2. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.
3. In the Device Manager list, double-click the device.
4. In the device's Properties dialog box, on the Details tab, select the Device ID (on Windows XP) or Device Instance Path (Windows Vista or 7).
5. Press Control+C to copy the ID string.

In case of difficulties in finding the correct 'Device ID' for building the rule, please remember that in DevViewer you may change 'View Style' to "View devices by connection", which may help, particularly when troubleshooting USB exclusions.

B) Add the Hardware Device into SEPM policy:
1. In the SEPM, select the Policies view.
2. In the upper left corner of the console, under the View Policies section, click on Policy Components to expand the sub-list.
3. Under Policy Components, select Hardware Devices.
4. Under Tasks, select Add a Hardware Device
5. Type in the Name you wish to call your device (example: Administrator's Thumb drive).
6. Select the Device ID option, click in the text box and use CTRL-V to paste the Device ID you copied from the DevViewer tool.
7. Click OK.

C) Add Disk Drives and the Hardware Device to allow to the Devices Excluded From Blocking list:
1. In the SEPM, Under View Policies, select Application and Device Control
2. Right click your Application and Device Control Policy and select Edit.
3. There are 2 ways to correctly implement a block and exclusion.
a. Either accomplish the blocking and exclusion via Device Control or Application Control.
b. Do not use a mix of the 2 methods to block and exclude devices.

D) To use Device Control:
1. Select the Device Control view.
2. Under the Blocked Devices section, click Add, select Disk Drives and click OK. (If Disk Drives isn't listed, it is already added as a Blocked Device).
3. Under Devices Excluded From Blocking, click Add.
4. Select the device you added in the previous section and click OK.
5. Click OK to the Application and Device Control policy window.

E) To use Application Control:
1. Select the Application Control view.
2. Select (Check Mark) "Make all removable devices read-only" (For example) and select Edit.
3. Select "Block writing to all files and folders", under "Do not apply to the following files and folders", select Add...
4. Under "File or Folder Name To Match" enter a * (An Asterisk).
5. Select (Check mark) "Only match on the following device id type", press Select.
6. Select (Highlight) the device added to the hardware list (The unique USB device added previously.) and press OK.
7. Press OK to close windows until at the "Application and Device Control Policies" window of the SEPM.

Select "Assign the Policy"
Select the group to assign the edited policy to.
Press "Assign"

When the clients get the new policy, they may need to be rebooted for the policy to work correctly. If so, there will be a notification message on the client that a reboot is necessary for the new policy change, and the client will be listed in the Reboot Required logs in the SEPM.



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