Application blacklisting

Application Blacklisting Software

On average, employees spend about five hours surfing on non-work-related sites every week. Ever wondered how this affects your enterprise's productivity? Studies in the United States reveal that a single social networking application can cause dips in productivity that can cost employers about $28 billion dollars every year. With the stakes so high, it's best to keep all such distractions far from your network. And what better way to do that than with application blacklisting? With the added advantage of threat circumvention, application blacklisting software ticks all the boxes when it comes to keeping applications under lockdown.

Application blacklisting is a technique used to prevent certain applications or executables from running in a network. If application whitelisting is a proactive threat prevention technique, then application blacklisting is more like damage control. ManageEngine Application Control Plus' application blacklisting software simplifies blacklisting by enabling policy-based list creation and updating.

Prioritize security and productivity.

Using application blacklisting, you can instantly block applications that might hamper either the security or productivity of your enterprise; top offenders include social media applications, games, and instant messaging apps. However, it's inadvisable to completely prohibit the use of such applications, as higher level employees may need some of these applications for work-related communications. To overcome this, Application Control Plus' application blacklisting feature enables you to associate an application blacklist with different custom groups while keeping in consideration a user’s role in the enterprise, giving you the liberty to choose who is impacted by the blacklist rule.

Advanced persistent threats (APTs), zero-day attacks, and known malware intrusions can also be effectively tackled by using the application blacklisting feature. Zero-day vulnerabilities and APTs usually come without a fix, making them the most dangerous. Using an application blacklisting software, you will no longer have to wait around for patches while the vulnerabilities still thrive in your network; you can instantly prohibit the applications from functioning by blacklisting them until a fix arises.

How to blacklist applications using Application Control Plus?

Application Control Plus has applied an unconventional twist to traditional application blacklisting by adding policy-based list generation, offering comprehensive yet granular control. The following policies can be configured in Application Control Plus:

  • Application-level blacklisting.

    This policy can be built based on the software owner, vendor, product name,folder path of the discovered applications installed in your network. You can choose all the entities you distrust or deem unnecessary while creating the blacklist, so all the applications associated with those entities will be blocked instantly.

    1. Vendor Rule

      Application blacklisting - Vendor rule

    2. Product Name Rule

      Application blacklisting - Product Name rule

    3. Folder Path Rule

      Application blacklisting - Folder Path rule

    4. StoreApps Rule

      This rule facilitates the discovery of all installed storeapss in Windows 10 systems, from which you can select and blacklist the applications of your choice in just a few clicks.

  • Executable-level blacklisting.

     For tighter security, you can enable executable-level blacklisting. Executables compromised by malware or any other threats can be identified individually and be blacklisted without affecting the application's other executables. This level of blacklisting occurs on the basis of policies like Verified executables and File hash.

    1. Verified Executable Rule

      Application blacklisting - Verified Executable Rule

    2. File Hash Rule

      Application blacklisting - File Hash Rule

  • Custom policies.

    If an application or executable isn’t currently installed, it will not be discovered during the agents' scan. Using a custom policy, the executables to be blacklisted can be uploaded in the form of a CSV file, and can immediately be included in the application blacklist.

Cutting-edge features like Policy analyzer and Just-in-time access  make application blacklisting seamless, enabling easy blacklist reversion and helping you provide need-based access to formerly blacklisted applications.

Try Application Control Plus free for 30 days to see the features yourself!