GPO alternative for browser configurations

GPO alternative

Browsers are today's key tool to get work done anytime, anywhere. It has become an ubiquitous tool that businesses can't work without. Browser vendors today provide users with controls to most aspects of the browsers like autofill, third-party cookie management, save or delete browser history etc. Apart from these, browser vendors also provide security configurations to keep browser-based attacks at bay. Configurations such as phishing filter, password management, certificate verification, when configured centrally and deployed to computers in an organization, can protect the organization from web-based attacks. This can be achieved by making use of GPO provided by Microsoft for Edge and Internet Explorer and ADMX templates for Chrome and Firefox provided by the respective browser vendors.

What is a GPO and an ADMX template?

Group Policy Objects (GPO) provided by Microsoft is a collection of settings that system admins can configure and deploy to control operating system settings using Active Directory. ADMX templates are provided by application vendors to provide system admins with controls to configure user and computer settings in his organization, centrally. With these controls, the browser settings can be leveraged to deploy settings to users.

Why do you need an alternative to GPO for configuring browser settings?

  1. Configuring and deploying GPOs is a tedious process.
  2. IT admins will first have to create Group Policy Objects, which is a collection of settings configured as per their requirements. For Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox IT admins will have to first download Chrome and Firefox ADMX templates and configure it. They will then have to create an Organizational Unit which is basically a container with computers or users, to which the configured GPO is to be deployed. Finally, they will have to deploy the configured GPO to the OU. The problem with this is that the grouping of configurations is complex, making it hard for system admins to find the configurations they are looking for.

  3. Lack of visibility.
  4. When a GPO is applied to an OU, system admins can not determine if all the configurations are successfully applied. System admins will not be able to know when configurations failed to be applied on users/computers in the OU.

  5. No control to manage website groups
  6. When system admins want to configure a setting that requires website groups to be entered, GPO can be a nightmare. For instance, if a system admin wants to restrict users from accessing certain websites, GPO has a provision. But it requires him to enter each website manually, one at a time. In case he wants to create different sets of such restrictions for different departments in your organization, or if he wants to apply the same restrictions on to the different browsers, it can be a laborious task.

Why Browser Security Plus is the best option as an alternative to GPO for configuring browser settings.

Browsers are quickly rising as an attack vector with most of cyberattacks being propagated through these inevitable tools. Organizations need to take all possible means to seal these loopholes and controlling browser configurations to maximum security, is the first step. To achieve this system admins need a tool that can help achieve what GPO can, without the the hassle that comes with GPO. Here's why Browser Security Plus is the best alternative for GPO to configure browser settings.

  1. Simple and efficient.
  2. Browser Security Plus provides a consolidation of configurations provided by GPO and ADMX templates in an easy-to-use UI. System admins need not look for ADMX templates for browsers that are not in-built in GPO. Configurations are grouped in two ways. Based on the problems they solve and also the browsers they are applicable for. Unlike configuring GPO, the smart-grouping provided in Browser Security Plus, makes the policy configuration process easy. Once the policy is created, it can be deployed either to individual computers or computer groups.

  3. Visibility.
  4. With Browser Security Plus, system admins can clearly see the deployment status in real-time. If the deployment of policy failed for one particular computer, it can easily by identified and rectified.

  5. Website group management.
  6. Browser Security Plus provides provision to create website groups. These groups once created can be used in the configuration of multiple policies. For example, if a system admin wants to restrict users in the finance department from accessing social media websites on Chrome and Firefox, he can simply create a website group once. He can use the same website group to configure a policy and deploy it to the required for Chrome and Firefox browsers.

If configuring browser settings with GPO has been making your life a nightmare, try out Browser Security Plus. You can download a free, 30-day trial of Browser Security Plus and enjoy all the features it has to offer.