Configure device proxy and Internet connectivity settings

Applies to:

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The Defender for Endpoint sensor requires Microsoft Windows HTTP (WinHTTP) to report sensor data and communicate with the Defender for Endpoint service. The embedded Defender for Endpoint sensor runs in system context using the LocalSystem account.

Tip

For organizations that use forward proxies as a gateway to the Internet, you can use network protection to investigate connection events that occur behind forward proxies.

The WinHTTP configuration setting is independent of the Windows Internet (WinINet) browsing proxy settings (see, WinINet vs. WinHTTP). It can only discover a proxy server by using the following discovery methods:

  • Autodiscovery methods:

  • Manual static proxy configuration:

    • Registry-based configuration

    • WinHTTP configured using netsh command: Suitable only for desktops in a stable topology (for example: a desktop in a corporate network behind the same proxy)

Note

Defender antivirus and EDR proxies can be set independently. In the sections that follow, be aware of those distinctions.

Configure the proxy server manually using a registry-based static proxy

Configure a registry-based static proxy for Defender for Endpoint detection and response (EDR) sensor to report diagnostic data and communicate with Defender for Endpoint services if a computer isn't permitted to connect to the Internet.

Note

When using this option on Windows 10, or Windows 11, or Windows Server 2019, or Windows Server 2022, it is recommended to have the following (or later) build and cumulative update rollup:

These updates improve the connectivity and reliability of the CnC (Command and Control) channel.

The static proxy is configurable through group policy (GP), both the settings under group policy values should be configured to the proxy server for using EDR. The group policy is available in Administrative Templates.

  • Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection and Preview Builds > Configure Authenticated Proxy usage for the Connected User Experience and Telemetry Service.

    Set it to Enabled and select Disable Authenticated Proxy usage.

    The Group Policy setting1 status pane

  • Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection and Preview Builds > Configure connected user experiences and telemetry:

    Configure the proxy.

    The Group Policy setting2 status pane

Group Policy Registry key Registry entry Value
Configure authenticated proxy usage for the connected user experience and the telemetry service HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DataCollection DisableEnterpriseAuthProxy 1 (REG_DWORD)
Configure connected user experiences and telemetry HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DataCollection TelemetryProxyServer servername:port or ip:port

For example: 10.0.0.6:8080 (REG_SZ)

Note

If you are using 'TelemetryProxyServer' setting on devices that are otherwise completely offline, meaning the operating system is unable to connect for the online certificate revocation list or Windows Update, then it is recommended to add the additional registry setting PreferStaticProxyForHttpRequest with a value of 1.
Parent registry path location for "PreferStaticProxyForHttpRequest" is "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Advanced Threat Protection"
The following command can be used to insert the registry value in the correct location:
reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Advanced Threat Protection" /v PreferStaticProxyForHttpRequest /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
The above registry value is applicable only starting with MsSense.exe version 10.8210.* and later, or version 10.8049.* and later (on Windows Server 2012R2/2016 with the unified agent)

Configure a static proxy for Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Microsoft Defender Antivirus cloud-delivered protection provides near-instant, automated protection against new and emerging threats. Note, the connectivity is required for custom indicators when Defender Antivirus is your active anti-malware solution. For EDR in block mode has primary anti-malware solution when using a non-Microsoft solution.

Configure the static proxy using the Group Policy available in Administrative Templates:

  1. Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Defender Antivirus > Define proxy server for connecting to the network.

  2. Set it to Enabled and define the proxy server. Note, the URL must have either http:// or https://. For supported versions for https://, see Manage Microsoft Defender Antivirus updates.

    The proxy server for Microsoft Defender Antivirus

  3. Under the registry key HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender, the policy sets the registry value ProxyServer as REG_SZ.

    The registry value ProxyServer takes the following string format:

    <server name or ip>:<port>
    
    For example: http://10.0.0.6:8080
    

Note

For resiliency purposes and the real-time nature of cloud-delivered protection, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will cache the last known working proxy. Ensure your proxy solution does not perform SSL inspection. This will break the secure cloud connection.

Microsoft Defender Antivirus will not use the static proxy to connect to Windows Update or Microsoft Update for downloading updates. Instead, it will use a system-wide proxy if configured to use Windows Update, or the configured internal update source according to the configured fallback order.

If required, you can use Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Defender Antivirus > Define proxy auto-config (.pac) for connecting to the network. If you need to set up advanced configurations with multiple proxies, use Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Defender Antivirus > Define addresses to bypass proxy server and prevent Microsoft Defender Antivirus from using a proxy server for those destinations.

You can use PowerShell with the Set-MpPreference cmdlet to configure these options:

  • ProxyBypass
  • ProxyPacUrl
  • ProxyServer

Note

To use the proxy correctly, configure these three different proxy settings:

  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MDE)
  • AV (Antivirus)
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

Configure the proxy server manually using netsh command

Use netsh to configure a system-wide static proxy.

Note

  • This will affect all applications including Windows services which use WinHTTP with default proxy.
  1. Open an elevated command line:

    1. Go to Start and type cmd.
    2. Right-click Command prompt and select Run as administrator.
  2. Enter the following command and press Enter:

    netsh winhttp set proxy <proxy>:<port>
    

    For example: netsh winhttp set proxy 10.0.0.6:8080

To reset the winhttp proxy, enter the following command and press Enter:

netsh winhttp reset proxy

See Netsh Command Syntax, Contexts, and Formatting to learn more.

Enable access to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint service URLs in the proxy server

By default, if a proxy or firewall is blocking all traffic by default and allowing only specific domains, then add the domains listed in the downloadable sheet to the allowed domains list.

The following downloadable spreadsheet lists the services and their associated URLs that your network must be able to connect. Ensure there are no firewall or network filtering rules to deny access for these URLs. Optional, you may need to create an allow rule specifically for them.


Spreadsheet of domains list Description
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint URL list for commercial customers Spreadsheet of specific DNS records for service locations, geographic locations, and OS for commercial customers.

Download the spreadsheet here.

Note that Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 and Plan 2 share the same proxy service URLs.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint URL list for Gov/GCC/DoD Spreadsheet of specific DNS records for service locations, geographic locations, and OS for Gov/GCC/DoD customers.

Download the spreadsheet here.

If a proxy or firewall has HTTPS scanning (SSL inspection) enabled, exclude the domains listed in the above table from HTTPS scanning. In your firewall, open all the URLs where the geography column is WW. For rows where the geography column isn't WW, open the URLs to your specific data location. To verify your data location setting, see Verify data storage location and update data retention settings for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

Note

Windows devices running with version 1803 or earlier needs settings-win.data.microsoft.com.

URLs that include v20 in them are only needed if you have Windows devices running version 1803 or later. For example, us-v20.events.data.microsoft.com is needed for a Windows device running version 1803 or later and onboarded to US Data Storage region.

If a proxy or firewall is blocking anonymous traffic as Defender for Endpoint sensor, and it's connecting from system context to make sure anonymous traffic is permitted in the previously listed URLs.

Note

Microsoft does not provide a proxy server. These URLs are accessible via the proxy server that you configure.

Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) - proxy and firewall requirements for older versions of Windows client or Windows Server

The information in the list of proxy and firewall configuration information is required to communicate with Log Analytics agent (often referred to as Microsoft Monitoring Agent) for previous versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2008 R2*.



Agent Resource Ports Direction Bypass HTTPS inspection
*.ods.opinsights.azure.com Port 443 Outbound Yes
*.oms.opinsights.azure.com Port 443 Outbound Yes
*.blob.core.windows.net Port 443 Outbound Yes
*.azure-automation.net Port 443 Outbound Yes

Note

*These connectivity requirements apply to the previous Microsoft Defender for Endpoint of Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2012 R2 that requires MMA. Instructions to onboard these operating systems with the new unified solution are at Onboard Windows servers, or migrate to the new unified solution at Server migration scenarios in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

Note

As a cloud-based solution, the IP range can change. It's recommended, you move to DNS resolving setting.

Confirm Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) Service URL Requirements

See the following guidance to eliminate the wildcard (*) requirement for your specific environment when using the Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) for previous versions of Windows.

  1. Onboard a previous operating system with the Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) into Defender for Endpoint (for more information, see Onboard previous versions of Windows on Defender for Endpoint and Onboard Windows servers).

  2. Ensure the machine is successfully reporting into the Microsoft 365 Defender portal.

  3. Run the TestCloudConnection.exe tool from "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Monitoring Agent\Agent" to validate the connectivity, and to get the required URLs for your specific workspace.

  4. Check the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint URLs list for the complete list of requirements for your region (refer to the Service URLs Spreadsheet).

    The administrator in Windows PowerShell

The wildcards (*) used in *.ods.opinsights.azure.com, *.oms.opinsights.azure.com, and *.agentsvc.azure-automation.net URL endpoints can be replaced with your specific Workspace ID. The Workspace ID is specific to your environment and workspace. It can be found in the Onboarding section of your tenant within the Microsoft 365 Defender portal.

The *.blob.core.windows.net URL endpoint can be replaced with the URLs shown in the "Firewall Rule: *.blob.core.windows.net" section of the test results.

Note

In the case of onboarding via Microsoft Defender for Cloud, multiple workspaces can be used. You will need to perform the TestCloudConnection.exe procedure on the onboarded machine from each workspace (to determine, if there are any changes to the *.blob.core.windows.net URLs between the workspaces).

Verify client connectivity to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint service URLs

Verify, the proxy configuration is completed successfully. The WinHTTP can then discover and communicate through the proxy server in your environment, and then the proxy server will allow traffic to the Defender for Endpoint service URLs.

  1. Download the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Client Analyzer tool to the PC, where Defender for Endpoint sensor is running on. For downlevel servers, use the latest preview edition is available for download Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Client Analyzer tool Beta.

  2. Extract the contents of MDEClientAnalyzer.zip on the device.

  3. Open an elevated command line:

    1. Go to Start and type cmd.
    2. Right-click Command prompt and select Run as administrator.
  4. Enter the following command and press Enter:

    HardDrivePath\MDEClientAnalyzer.cmd
    

    Replace HardDrivePath with the path, where the MDEClientAnalyzer tool was downloaded. For example:

    C:\Work\tools\MDEClientAnalyzer\MDEClientAnalyzer.cmd
    
  5. The tool creates and extracts the MDEClientAnalyzerResult.zip file in the folder to use in the HardDrivePath.

  6. Open MDEClientAnalyzerResult.txt and verify that you've performed the proxy configuration steps to enable server discovery and access to the service URLs.

    The tool checks the connectivity of Defender for Endpoint service URLs. Ensure the Defender for Endpoint client is configured to interact. The tool will print the results in the MDEClientAnalyzerResult.txt file for each URL that can potentially be used to communicate with the Defender for Endpoint services. For example:

    Testing URL : https://xxx.microsoft.com/xxx
    1 - Default proxy: Succeeded (200)
    2 - Proxy auto discovery (WPAD): Succeeded (200)
    3 - Proxy disabled: Succeeded (200)
    4 - Named proxy: Doesn't exist
    5 - Command line proxy: Doesn't exist
    

If any one of the connectivity options returns a (200) status, then the Defender for Endpoint client can communicate with the tested URL properly using this connectivity method.

However, if the connectivity check results indicate a failure, an HTTP error is displayed (see HTTP Status Codes). You can then use the URLs in the table shown in Enable access to Defender for Endpoint service URLs in the proxy server. The URLs available for use will depend on the region selected during the onboarding procedure.

Note

The Connectivity Analyzer tool's cloud connectivity checks are not compatible with Attack Surface Reduction rule Block process creations originating from PSExec and WMI commands. You will need to temporarily disable this rule, to run the connectivity tool. Alternatively, you can temporarily add ASR exclusions when running the analyzer.

When the TelemetryProxyServer is set in Registry or via Group Policy, Defender for Endpoint will fall back, it fails to access the defined proxy.