Odds are your organization has already been compromised or will be soon. Reducing the attack surface continues to be critical to organizations as they look to protect against the latest sophisticated threats. Because applications are one of the most targeted points of entry, closing this vector for hackers through better application control is essential.
Modern threats can evade static protections. Applications are no longer identified solely by port or protocol. Many of today's applications, such as video streaming, P2P file sharing or instant messaging, are designed to work over any port, which increases chances they won't be blocked by firewalls. Configuring defenses to traditional ports is no longer an effective means of managing application use.
Social-engineering exploits – personalized messages that fool the recipient into downloading malware – are a common threat vector to which social media users are susceptible. Policies that block or constrain social media can help prevent malicious executable files from compromising the IT environment.
As well, cloud computing increases connectivity to third-party services and computers whose security posture is often unknown and out of an administrator's control. Limiting access to cloud services from certain restricted domains, hosts or users within the organization reduces potential risk.
Further, mobile malware is on the rise, and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement is increasing risk, especially when unmanaged devices are used to access sensitive corporate resources. Enforcing security on devices owned by employees or partners may not be possible. However, administrators can control which applications can access a corporate network and which corporate applications are available to the BYOD user.
As employees feel more empowered than ever to use any application they believe will help them do their job, today's organizations need to strike a balance between encouraging productivity and minimizing risk. Granular application control is the answer.