What are the Benefits of Windows® 7 AppLocker
The Windows 7 is latest release from the Microsoft Corporation and one AppLocker is one its features. It allows you to manage what applications are allowed to run on a managed machine with multiple techniques, including white listing and black listing applications and it goes way beyond what is available today using Software Restriction Policies. One of the slick features is the ability to use a machine as a reference that is by configuring a machine with just the applications you want users to run and AppLocker would automatically build a policy from that machine you could deploy across your organization. In short it specifies what software is allowed to run on a user's PC through centrally managed but flexible Group Policies.
The following points discuss about features and benefits of AppLocker in Windows® 7 Edition:
The AppLocker lets you start with default rules covering the applications you most likely want to allow, such as all installed programs and all applications in the Windows directory. Later you could add additional rules to create a more stringent policy. Another good feature is the 'Wizard', which automatically creates rules based on all files in a folder you specify. If you create your policy on a computer that's representative of most other computers in your organization, you could create the policy rules required to white-list all installed applications without having to spend time on it.
The new AppLocker feature in Windows 7, Microsoft aims to simplify the task of ensuring that users could only run approved applications in the systems. When users run unapproved apps, it does not take long before administrators have to solve the ensuing problems but programs do not need to be installed to be running on a computer. Copying it from a flash drive or downloading a program file from the Internet could be all that needed for a program to start. Recently, many security experts have argued that the application white-listing is the only way to prevent unwanted and dangerous programs from running on a computer.
The AppLocker only works on client computers running with Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Another limitation is caused by the diversity of the programs that typically need to run on computers even in a mid size or small organizations. Maintaining and synchronizing the rules in a distributed environment could also be very challenging. Even though it lets you export and import a policy and its associated rules, there's no central repository or merging functionality.
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