Enforcing scan configurations

The list of available patches comes from scanning the endpoints in your network. The scan configuration determines a scanning technique and frequency. A scan configuration is enforced by targeting computer groups.

For Windows endpoints, the available scanning techniques include the offline CAB file, online Microsoft Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) Scan, and Tanium Scan.

For Windows scan configurations, you can enable isolated endpoints to download patch files directly from Microsoft instead of the Tanium Server to free network resources. An isolated endpoint is a Tanium Client that has no peer Tanium Clients. To download patches directly from Microsoft, an isolated endpoint must be connected to a user-configured list of Tanium Zone Servers or IP address ranges for split-tunnel VPN clients. For more information, see Enable direct patch downloads from Microsoft.

For Linux endpoints, the available scanning techniques include Repository Scan and Tanium Scan.

Windows scan techniques

Offline CAB File

The CAB file is stored locally by the Tanium Client and contains security updates, update rollups, and service packs for all products in the Microsoft Update Catalog, including Windows and Office. On the Patch Overview page, the latest status of the offline CAB file is available. The active CAB file is the most recent, verified file published by Microsoft. Patch uses only the active CAB file for scan configurations. A rejected CAB is not pushed to a computer group. Patch checks for an updated CAB file every hour. You can click Update CAB to force a new download outside of the normal schedule.

Figure  1:  Example CAB file status

If enabled in Configuration Settings, this scan technique supports direct download of patches from Microsoft to isolated endpoints. For more information, see Enable direct patch downloads from Microsoft.

Online Microsoft Windows Update

This option creates additional network traffic between the Tanium Client and Microsoft and is for Windows operating system updates only. The full range of patches are available for the Windows operating system:

  • Critical patches
  • Cumulative security and quality patches
  • Non-security and optional updates

Offline CAB File includes only Security Updates, Service Packs, and Update Rollups updates. Because other scan methods include more updates than Offline CAB File includes, if you change the scan configuration technique on an active deployment from Offline CAB File to another technique, additional patches might be installed on endpoints.

If enabled in Configuration Settings, this scan technique supports direct download of patches from Microsoft to isolated endpoints. For more information, see Enable direct patch downloads from Microsoft.

Tanium Scan

If you are using a WSUS server or other WSUS-like server to patch your Windows endpoints, Contact Tanium Support for best practices on implementing Tanium Scan for Windows.

Tanium Scan for Windows allows Patch to assess all Microsoft Products (excluding Microsoft Office 365 Client) and Update Classifications (excluding Drivers, Definition Updates, and Upgrades) on supported Windows 7 or later endpoints. The Patch service on the Module Server is configured to synchronize update metadata and detection rules from Microsoft Update or a Microsoft WSUS server.

After the update metadata and detection rules are synchronized, the Patch service distributes portions of this data (in a client database file) to applicable machines on the network. The Windows Update Agent performs the scan against selected products and classifications and return data in the form of applicable and not applicable patches.

Tanium Scan for Windows is much less resource intensive than the offline CAB file scan method and provides more robust scan results. Tanium Scan does not rely on each endpoint having network access to Microsoft Update or a local WSUS server. For more information about Tanium Client requirements, see Tanium dependencies.

If enabled in Configuration Settings, this scan technique supports direct download of patches from Microsoft to isolated endpoints. For more information, see Enable direct patch downloads from Microsoft.

WSUS

Using WSUS servers for patching activities gives the option for the full range of patch types for all products in the Microsoft Update Catalog, including Windows and Office. However, some additional configuration is required. The Tanium Client must be able to contact the WSUS server, and patches must be approved before they can be downloaded.

The guidelines about how many clients a WSUS server can support are similar to the Microsoft guidelines for SCCM: up to 150,000 clients per WSUS server. See Microsoft Docs: Size and scale numbers for System Center Configuration Manager.

If enabled in Configuration Settings, this scan technique supports direct download of patches from Microsoft to isolated endpoints. For more information, see Enable direct patch downloads from Microsoft.

Linux scan techniques

For best results, create separate scan configurations for each major operating system. For more information, see Red Hat Linux endpoints stuck in Waiting for Initial Scan status.

Repository Scan

Using Yum repositories for patching activities gives the option for the full range of patch types for all updates in the Yum repositories. However, you must configure one or more Yum repositories, and updates must be maintained in the Yum repositories. The Tanium Client must be able to contact the Yum repositories for scanning as well as patch downloads.

For the Repository Scan technique, you can use all repositories from which an endpoint can pull.

Tanium Scan

Tanium Scan for Linux can use both internal or external Yum repositories, and only the Tanium Server needs connectivity to the Yum repositories. The Tanium Client stores the repository scanning logic locally.

Tanium Scan supports Red Hat, CentOS, and Oracle Linux distributions. With Tanium Scan for Linux, you can create and use Yum repository snapshots for deployments. For more information, see Repository snapshots.

For the Tanium Scan technique, you must use Red Hat Content Delivery Network, Red Hat Satellite 6 or later, or custom repositories.

Create a scan configuration

You can create multiple scan configurations and add computer group enforcements as needed.

Any endpoint that is supported by Patch should be targeted by at least one scan configuration.

  1. From the Patch menu, go to Scan Management and then click Create Scan Configuration.
  2. Provide a name, and select an operating system.
  3. Choose the scan configuration options.
    1. Select a Configuration Technique and applicable options.
      (Windows) If you choose Offline CAB File, select Download and scan immediately upon new CAB release to ensure that the endpoints are scanned when a new CAB file is published. Similarly, if you choose Tanium Scan, select Scan when new patches are available to ensure that the endpoints are scanned when a new patch is released. Selecting either of these settings overrides the frequency settings, but scans still wait for the scan window, if configured.
      • (Windows endpoints) Choose Tanium Scan. If you use other products that use WSUS technology on the same endpoints, such as SCCM, select Enable Managed WSUS Compatibility to enable an additional scan to ensure compatibility.
      • (Red Hat, Oracle, or CentOS endpoints) To use repository snapshots for Linux deployments, choose Tanium Scan.
      • (Amazon endpoints) You must use Repository Scan.
    2. In the Frequency field, enter a number and a time parameter.

      Set this value to less than three days to improve the Patch coverage metric.

    3. (Optional) Enable Random Scan Delay and enter a time to distribute the network activity.

      The default is 120 minutes.

      For VDI environments, set a longer scan delay, such as 480 minutes or higher, depending on the density and hardware performance of your VDI environment, to reduce the impact of the scan on the host system.

    4. (Optional, Windows) To enable remote endpoints to download patches directly from Microsoft, select Enable Patch direct downloads from Microsoft. For more information, see Enable direct patch downloads from Microsoft.
    5. (Optional, Linux) To use repository snapshots for Linux deployments, select Deployment Snapshots and choose the repository name and the snapshot in the Repositories section.
  4. (Optional) Enable the option for Limit Scan Times to define the scan window options, such as browser time or local time on the endpoint, how often the window repeats, and override options. For more information, see Scan windows.

    The scan window specifies when a scan can start. If you enabled Random Scan Delay, scans can potentially start as late as the specified delay after the end of the scan window. For example, if a scan attempts to start one minute before the end of the scan window, but receives the full random scan delay of 120 minutes, the scan does not start until after that 120 minutes and continues to run until completion, even though the scan window is already closed.

  5. Click Create Scan Configuration.
  6. In the Targeting section, click Select Computer Groups to add one or more computer groups.
    Enabling the patch applicability results provides a refined aggregation for the specific computer group.

The list of available patches might appear within 15-30 minutes. Longer scan delays might result in patches appearing slowly. If no data appears after the scan delay, Contact Tanium Support. If an endpoint cannot be scanned, for example if it is offline, it is scanned at the earliest opportunity.

Scan windows

You can set a scan window to restrict scans to a certain time of day or day of the week. For example, you can create a scan configuration to scan your endpoints daily, but restrict the scans to run during non-business hours, such as from 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM. Additionally, if some of your endpoints are offline during the scan window, you can choose the Override option to scan any endpoints that have a scan age older than a specified amount of time, in hours or days.

Scan windows are optional. If you decide to use them, the Override option should be set to less than two days to increase the Patch coverage metric.

  1. In the Scan Window section, enable the option for Limit Scan Times.
  2. Configure your preferences:
    1. Choose whether to repeat the scan window daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
    2. Select between the local time on the endpoint or UTC time.
    3. Specify a start date and time for the scan window.
    4. (Optional) Select Scan immediately if scan age is older than defined threshold and specify how many hours or days can elapse before triggering an immediate scan.

      Set this value to less than two days.

View enforcement status

By reviewing a scan configuration, you can see which endpoints in the computer group contain the enforced configuration.

  1. From the Patch menu, go to Scan Management and then click the name of a scan configuration.
  2. In the Enforcements section, click the links for any of the enforcement statuses to open the question results for each endpoint.

    The Interact results grid shows the endpoint status and the reason, if it is not enforced.

    Investigate endpoints with scan errors that have scan results older than two days and resolve the errors for each endpoint. For more information, see Troubleshoot scan errors.

Prioritize scan configurations

You can create multiple scan configurations with multiple computer groups. The order of the configuration in the Scan Configurations list decides its priority. If an endpoint is in multiple computer groups with conflicting configurations, only the highest priority configuration in the list is applied to the endpoint.

The highest priority configuration has a Priority of 1.

  1. From the Patch menu, go to Scan Management.
  2. On the Scan Configurations tab, click Prioritize.
  3. Move the scan configuration by dragging and dropping it into the order that you want and then click Confirm.

Edit a scan configuration

  1. From the Patch menu, go to Scan Management and then click the name of a scan configuration.
  2. Click Edit and make your changes.

    You cannot edit a scan configuration if the Allow Scan Configuration Editing option is disabled in the Patch Settings.

  3. Click Update Scan Configuration.

Remove a scan enforcement

Removing a computer group from a scan configuration removes the enforcement.

  1. From the Patch menu, go to Scan Management and then click the name of a scan configuration.
  2. In the Targeting section, delete the computer group.

Delete a scan configuration

After the enforcements are removed, you can delete a scan configuration.

  1. From the Patch menu, go to Scan Management and then click the name of a scan configuration.
  2. If the scan configuration is enforced against Computer Groups, remove all groups.
  3. Click Delete .