By AMSAT Nov 20,2020
Application Security Control: Its Features and Benefits
While a number of cyberattacks have traditionally been quite malicious, carried on by hardcore threat actors, some can be quite subtle, and high-level network visibility may not be sufficient to protect against data breaks and other attacks. Application control, a system intended to distinctively identify traffic from various applications on a network, allows an organization to define and apply highly granular security and network routing procedures based upon the source of a specific traffic flow. Consequently, it can prevent unlawful applications from acting in ways that pose a threat to the organization.
How Application Control Works
Application control functions by matching diverse types of network traffic to predefined models. In order for computers to speak to one another, their traffic ought to adhere to certain standards. Once a specific traffic flow is identified as belonging to a certain application, it can be categorized in several ways:
Type: Applications could be classified based on their objective, such as teleconferencing systems. This can help to describe the importance of the traffic.
Security risk level: Different applications pose different levels of cybersecurity risk. For instance, protocols that carry data, such as email or FTP, may be categorized as high risk because of the potential for data exfiltration. Recognizing traffic security risks can allow a company to implement security controls based upon informed risk evaluations.
Resource usage: Some applications are much more resource-driven than others. For instance, videoconferencing applications, which need to livestream both audio and video, may need a large amount of high-speed network bandwidth. Recognizing traffic from applications with high resource usage can help a company optimize network performance.
Some applications, such as social media apps, have a positive or negative effect on employee efficiency. A company may wish to sieve certain types of traffic on their networks due to this.
After a network traffic flow has been allocated to a specific application and set of groups, policies can be implemented based upon those assignments. This gives a company a high level of visibility and control over its network infrastructure.
Features and Advantages of Application Control
Without application control, a company is restricted to defining policies based on features such as IP addresses and port numbers. While these can help recognize the application producing a traffic flow, there is no assurance of precision.
With application control, network traffic is recognized by matching packets to recognized models of how different applications’ traffic is designed. This identification is more precise and allows an organization to see the fusion of traffic within their network. This level of visibility can also be implemented in a number of different ways, as follows, and provides numerous benefits to an organization:
Application-Centric Policies: Application control enables the execution of security policies specific to application security, allowing an organization to block or restrict different types of application traffic. Moreover, since these policies are built on robust application identification, an organization can enforce automated controls with a higher level of confidence.
Authentication and Access Control: Application control distinctly recognizes and applies policies based upon the applications generating traffic. An enterprise can outline policies for specific users and groups that control access to certain resources and confirm input authorization. This allows easy application and enforcement of a zero-trust security model.
Enhanced Networking: The aptitude to apply application-centric rules can also improve the performance of the corporate network. Traffic from certain applications can be arranged, ensuring that latency-sensitive Software as a Service (SaaS) applications enjoy high performance, while low-priority types of traffic, such as social media, can be restricted or choked completely.
Improved Network Visibility: Application control also gives an organization grainier discernibility into the traffic flowing over its network. Application control helps security teams see the types of application traffic coming over the network all together or between sets of termini, helping identify irregularities, such as a potential data breach under way.
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