How to manage Chrome extensions?

While some Chrome extensions are installed by users merely to make their browser look better, some are mission critical for users to get their work done. So IT admins have to manage Chrome extensions effectively, making sure only trusted extensions are present in their network. This requires proper visibility into what extensions are present in the network. Based on the insights, IT admins can scrutinize their reliability and take a call on which extensions can be trusted and which cannot.

What do they do now that they have weeded out the unnecessary extensions? The next step in managing Chrome extensions would be to remove these unnecessary extensions from the network. IT admins can use Browser Security Plus to remove Chrome extensions present in their network. It's add-on management feature provides a simple and effective way to remove Chrome extensions in a single go, from a central console.

Manage permissions used by Chrome extensions

Extensions require certain permissions to access various aspects of the browser to render its functionality. Some of these permissions when granted to the extension, are capable of causing data breaches for the organization. Browser Security Plus discovers and displays extensions that use such permissions, making these extensions potentially harmful. IT admins need to remove Chrome extensions that use such dangerous permissions. Browser Security Plus makes it easy by allowing IT admins to blacklist these permissions directly. This will ensure that all Chrome extensions that make use of the blacklisted permissions will in turn be removed.

How to remove/disable Chrome extensions based on the permissions they use

  • Navigate to policies and click on Add-on Management.
  • Click on Search Permissions corresponding to Blacklist Permissions.
  • Select the permissions you want to blacklist.
  • Save and publish the policy.
  • Deploy the policy to computers that you want to apply the changes to.

How to remove/disable Chrome extensions from your network

  • Navigate to policies and click on Add-on Management.
  • Check No corresponding to Allow users to install extensions checkbox.
  • Select the extensions that you want to whitelist from the Whitelist extensions drop down list.
  • Save and publish the policy.
  • Deploy the policy to computers that you want to apply the changes to.

Why should IT admins manage Chrome extensions

Google Chrome stands tall with market share of 64.62%. Most people prefer using Chrome browser to browse through the web. To enhance their browsing experience, users depend on add-ons. Chrome hosts a store online from where users can install extensions on their browsers. Each of these extensions are aimed to fulfill a functionality that is not built-in within the browser. To render the intended functionality, these extensions require permissions to interact with the browser. For example, an extension that is aimed at correcting grammar, would require "read and write" permission to read the contents present in the web page and to make changes when necessary. These permissions would be listed to the users at the time of installation, however users grant permissions without properly investigating what permissions are being granted. Some of these permissions provide access to the extensions even to interact with the Operating System (OS). Cybercriminals can use extensions, to gain access to users' browsing patterns, account credentials and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that users provide across websites. With businesses increasingly being carried out on the browsers, these extensions are being granted access to business data well. IT admins have no way of ensuring the security of sensitive enterprise data.

Currently, IT admins have no visibility of what extensions are present in their network. They have no way of knowing what permissions have been granted to these extensions and hence no clarity over which extensions are privy to which sensitive data. This makes it imperative for IT admins to manage Chrome extensions.

To manage Chrome extensions and secure your network from data breaches, download a free, 30-day trial of Browser Security Plus and try out these features for yourself.