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TDR and Windows Defender

Deployment Overview

Threat Detection and Response (TDR) is a collection of advanced malware defense tools that correlate threat indicators from Fireboxes and Host Sensors to enable real-time, automated response to stop known, unknown, and evasive threats.

As part of the TDR solution, you install TDR Host Sensors to provide endpoint protection. In some cases, the TDR Host Sensor might have conflicts with the antivirus software installed on your endpoints. To resolve this issue, you can configure exclusions in the antivirus software and in TDR.

This document includes information about the integration of a TDR Host Sensor with a host that runs Windows Defender. It does not describe the procedure to set up Threat Detection and Response. For information about how to set up your TDR account, how to enable TDR on a Firebox, and how to install a Host Sensor, see Quick Start — Set Up Threat Detection and Response.

Integration Summary

To avoid conflicts between the TDR Host Sensor and Windows Defender, add these exclusions:

  • Exclusions in TDR for Windows Defender:

    • C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\
    • C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Defender\
  • Exclusions in Windows Defender for the TDR Host Sensor:

    • 64-bit Windows — C:\Program Files (x86)\WatchGuard\Threat Detection and Response\
    • 64-bit Windows — C:\Program Files (x86)\WatchGuard\Threat Detection and Response\amd64\host_sensor.exe
    • 64-bit Windows — C:\Program Files (x86)\WatchGuard\Threat Detection and Response\amd64\TDRSensorStatus.exe
    • 32-bit Windows — C:\Program Files\WatchGuard\Threat Detection and Response\
    • 32-bit Windows — C:\Program Files\WatchGuard\Threat Detection and Response\x86\host_sensor.exe
    • 32-bit Windows — C:\Program Files\WatchGuard\Threat Detection and Response\x86\TDRSensorStatus.exe

If the Host Sensor and Windows Defender detect and respond to a threat at the same time, this can cause high utilization of system resources such as CPU, memory, and disk I/O.

Configuration Details

To complete this deployment, you must have:

  • An active Threat Detection and Response subscription with Host Sensor licenses
  • Windows Defender
    • Threat definition version — 1.291.1373.0

The TDR and Fireware versions tested for this deployment included:

  • TDR Host Sensor 5.6.3.8764
  • Firebox with Fireware v12.3 or higher

The Windows test environment for this deployment included:

  • Windows 7, 8.1, 10 Enterprise 64-bit Operating System
  • Memory (RAM) — 8 GB
  • Processor — 2 CPU Cores

Configure Exclusions in TDR

In your TDR account, you can add exclusions to manually identify paths for files and processes that you do not want Host Sensors to monitor. Before you deploy a Host Sensor on computers that have Windows Defender installed, add exclusions for the Windows Defender file paths as TDR Exclusions in your TDR account.

In your TDR account, add the TDR exclusions for the paths shown in the Integration Summary.

Unless otherwise noted, configure each TDR exclusion with these options, which are selected by default:

  • Also exclude subfolders
  • Entities to exclude: Files and Processes

To add an exclusion in TDR:

  1. Log in to your TDR account or managed account as a user with Operator privileges.
  2. Select Configuration > Exclusion.
  3. Click Add Exclusion.
    The Add Exclusion dialog box appears.
  4. In the Path text box, type the path to exclude. Folders specified in an exclusion must end with a backslash.
  5. To apply the exception to all hosts, in the Hosts / Groups text box, specify the group All Hosts.
  6. Click Save & Close.

Repeat these steps to add each exclusion.

Configure Exclusions in Windows Defender

In Windows Defender you add exclusions to identify the paths for files and locations to exclude. To prevent conflicts between the Host Sensor and Windows Defender, we recommend you add exclusions in Windows Defender for the paths used by the TDR Host Sensor.

To exclude directories used by the TDR Host Sensor, add the exclusions for the paths listed in the Integration Summary.

To add an exclusion in Windows Defender:

  1. Open Windows Defender Security Center.
  2. Select Virus & threat protection.
  3. Click Virus & threat protection settings.
  4. In the Exclusions section, select Add or remove exclusions.
    The Exclusions page appears.
  5. Click Add an exclusions to add file and folder.

For information about the integration testing methodology, see TDR Testing Methodology.

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