The process of creating a list of applications and allowing only those to run is called as application whitelisting. Application Control Plus enables whitelist creation on the basis of policies like vendor, product name, file hash and executables with valid digital signatures. IT admins can easily manage the lists created as applications will automatically get added to them, as and when they are discovered, if they comply with the policies set.
Here are the best practices to be followed while creating application whitelists.
The process of creating a list of applications and prohibiting only those from running is called as application blacklisting. Application Control Plus enables blacklist creation on the basis of policies like vendor, product name, file hash and executables with valid digital signatures. IT admins can easily manage the lists created as applications will automatically get added to them, as and when they are discovered, if they comply with the policies set.
Greylisted applications are those that exist in a network without being a part of any of the whitelists or blacklists created. This essentially means that these applications are unmonitored, as they have no policies associated to them. They will run based on the mode of flexibility chosen, i.e they will run when in audit mode and will be prohibited in strict mode. Please note that it is ideal to minimize the number of greylisted applications to ensure maximum security.Learn more.
All the applications that are clustered together to build either a whitelist or a blacklist, will be considered as an application group. These groups will be automatically built based on the rules you set for each of them.
Users who require similar groups of applications can be clustered together to form Custom Groups. This grouping process can be based on roles, departments or any other criteria of your preference.
Any of the Windows computers in your network with the requirements mentioned here can be hosted as your Central server.
Application Control Plus offers same pricing plan for workstations and servers, with one free and one enterprise edition. For more details on the pricing, refer to our online store.
Application control requirements and approaches vary from enterprise to enterprise. Refer Application Control Best Practices to understand the recommended routine.
Refer Application whitelisting vs blacklisting to understand which is better.
The two flexibility modes available are audit mode and strict mode. It is recommended to initially deploy policies in the audit mode, where greylisted applications will be allowed to run along with the whitelisted ones. Once the admin has a clear picture of the applications their users actually require, they can move all of them to a whitelist and shift to the strict mode. In the strict mode none of the greylisted applications will be allowed to run. Note: By default blacklisted applications will not run in any of the modes.
This rule can be chosen when the application control requirements of the enterprise is not that stringent. All software vendors with valid certificates will be displayed to the admin. From this, only applications that belong to the vendors the admin chooses will be added to the whitelist/blacklist. This lets admins create lists based on broad parameters, hence minimizing admin queries based on inability to access essential applications.
If you want to whitelist/blacklist only certain products from the same vendor, this type of policy can be opted for instead of the vendor rule.
Applications are made of multiple executable files, with vendors assigning a digital certificate to each executable to vouch for its authenticity. Application Control Plus displays these verified executable files to you, from which you can select the EXE files to be whitelisted/blaclisted. This policy is critical when it comes to maintaining a secure network, as a file will not be allowed to execute if its digital certificate has been tampered with. Even EXEs added to applications in the form of updates will not be allowed to run if they aren't whitelisted.
This is the most secure policy, as it's based on the hash value of the executable file. All EXEs of the running processes, including those that don't have a valid digital certificate, will be displayed. You can choose all the files that you wish to whitelist/blacklist; after that, even the smallest change to the file, such as a revision of the file's version, will change its hash value, meaning the file will be removed from the list. This policy is perfect if you want to run only extremely specific executables.
In case you want to add an application which hasn't been run yet to a whitelist/blacklist, you can opt to manually add the files.
Endpoint Privilege Management is the process of allocating application-specific privileged access to users based on their requirements. You can easily adopt the principle of least privilege through out your network, without it affecting your productivity using this feature. It enables privileged access to applications without compromising the privileged credentials or any unnecessary privilege elevation. Please refer here for more information.
Using the Endpoint Privilege Management feature, you can elevate application specific privileges of certain users, without compromising the privileged credentials or elevating their entire organizational level privileges.
The 'Run as ManageEngine' option is displayed to users whose endpoints were added to Custom Groups that were associated with the Privileged Application List during policy deployment. By selecting this option, users can run said applications as administrators without entering any extra credentials, even while they remain as standard users with minimum privileges.
If the same application is present in different whitelist and blacklist policies deployed to the same target group, here is the order of precedence that will be followed:
Blacklisting using Filehash Rule > Whitelisting using Filehash Rule > Blacklisting using Verified EXE Rule > Whitelisting using Verified EXE Rule > Blacklisting using Product Name Rule > Whitelisting using Product Name Rule > Blacklisting using Vendor Rule > Whitelisting using Vendor Rule
All Windows functionality that comes in-built with the Operating System are automatically whitelisted. Application Control Plus will be enhanced with the option to block these apps in the future.
These are the suggested resolution techniques:
Endpoint Central and Application Control Plus, though seamlessly integrated, aim at giving different perspectives of the application data to its users.
As the name suggests, the Inventory module works on giving a granular view of the networks software repository, displaying even different versions of the same applications as separate entities. Whereas, Application Control's application discovery tool is meant to give its users application data in the most succinct and concise form, enabling them to arrive at easy but informed decisions regarding security policy creation. Instead of showing different versions separately, Application Control simply displays it as a single product.
The objectives of the data represented also vary. The Inventory module is meant to provide SysAdmins with management related data, while the Application Control module presents data that acts as a foundation for security policies. This is why Application Control also tracks all running processes and executables, satisfying the users need to achieve both application and process level control. While Inventory on the other hand, is an organized collection of the installed software with attention to granular details.
These differences in data representation is why there can be a mismatch in the count displayed.
Application Control Plus does an all-inclusive job when it comes to application whitelisting and blacklisting. Built-in with leading Endpoint Privilege Management capabilities, it ensures that it protects organizations from most application-related threats. Endpoint Central's Block Executable feature on the contrary is rudimentary and is aimed to help organizations with maintaining their levels of productivity.
Application Control Plus instantly discovers and displays all running applications and categorizes them based on their vendor, product name, folder path and digital certificates.Applications running specific to a group of users can also be filtered and viewed. Necessary apps can simply be selected and added into whitelists/blacklists from the list displayed. Endpoint Central's Block Executable feature has no options to filter and categorize applications, the IT administrator must manually enter the name of the application and executable that he wishes to block.
Whitelists and Blacklists can be created on both broad and granular levels by leveraging the predefined set of rules that Application Control Plus has to provide. Rules based on Vendor, Product Name and Folder Path can be opted for when organizations are just beginning with their control process, as they are flexible with the changes that occur during patching. The Verified Executable and File Hash rule can be chosen by experienced networks that prefer complete security. Endpoint Central's Block Executable feature, however, allows blacklisting based only on two rules, Path and Hash. With no added capabilities to manage patching changes, IT administrators will have to manually update these lists after every patching cycle.
Whitelisted applications that are added to the Privileged Application List, can be accessed with elevated privileges by the user-devices that are present in the custom groups associated with them. Even standard users can access applications as administrators using this feature, as it elevates the privileges specific to the application and not the user.
After selecting the rule of your choice, navigate to the Filters tab on the right. You can check if the Vendors/Product/EXE is verified or not by using the Publisher Credibility filter.
Blacklists will always take precedence over whitelist. In this case, all Products from the Vendor will remain blacklisted, including the one added to the whitelist.
Blacklists will always take precedence over whitelist. In this case the blacklisted product will remain blocked despite their Vendor being whitelisted.
Adding a single rule that is satisfied by the application is sufficient.
Yes, by whitelisting a Vendor you will whitelist all Products from them.
This rule can be used to whitelist/blacklist all files from a particular folder or folder path.
It is not recommended to deploy a policy with just blacklisted application groups in strict mode. This would end up blocking all running apps other than a few critical Windows applications.
No, they have to be whitelisted for them to executed.
Application Control Plus supports Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.