Application Whitelist Example
Keep in mind that you do not need to capture every application that might be in use on your network in your initial inventory. Instead you should focus on the applications (and general types of applications) that you want to allow. Temporary rules in the best practice rulebase will catch any additional applications that may be in use on your network so that you are not inundated with complaints of broken applications during your transition to application-based policy. The following is an example application whitelist for an enterprise gateway deployment.
Best Practice for Securing
SaaS application service providers own and manage the software and infrastructure, but you retain full control of the data, including who can create, access, share, and transfer it.
Generate a SaaS applications usage report to check if SaaS applications currently in use have unfavorable hosting characteristics such as past data breaches or lack of proper certifications. Based on business needs and the amount of risk you’re willing to accept, use the information to:
These are the applications that your IT department administers specifically for business use within your organization or to provide infrastructure for your network and applications. For example, in an internet gateway deployment these applications fall into the following categories:
Tag all sanctioned applications with the predefined
Sanctionedtag. Panorama and firewalls consider applications without the Sanctioned tag as unsanctioned applications.
General Types of Applications
Besides the applications you officially sanction and deploy, you will also want to allow your users to safely use other types of applications:
Begin with wide application filters to gain an understanding of what applications are in use on your network. You can then decide how much risk you are willing to assume and begin to pare down the application whitelist. For example, suppose multiple messaging applications are in use, each with the inherent risk of data leakage, transfer of malware-infected files, etc. The best approach is to officially sanction a single messaging application and then begin to phase out the others by slowly transitioning from an allow policy to an alert policy, and finally, after giving users ample warning, a block policy for all messaging applications except the one you choose to sanction. In this case, you might also choose to enable a small group of users to continue using an additional messaging application as needed to perform job functions with partners.
Custom Applications Specific to Your Environment
If you have proprietary applications on your network or applications that you run on non-standard ports, it is a best practice to create custom applications for each of them. This way you can allow the application as a sanctioned application (and apply the predefined Sanctioned tag) and lock it down to its default port. Otherwise you would either have to open up additional ports (for applications running on non-standard ports), or allow unknown traffic (for proprietary applications), neither of which are recommended in a best practice Security policy.
If you have existing Application Override policies that you created solely to define custom session timeouts for a set a of ports, convert the existing Application Override policies to application-based policies by configuring service-based session timeouts to maintain the custom timeout for each application and then migrating the rule the an application-based rule. Application Override policies are port-based. When you use Application Override policies to maintain custom session timeouts for a set of ports, you lose application visibility into those flows, so you neither know nor control which applications use the ports. Service-based session timeouts achieve custom timeouts while also maintaining application visibility.
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