The Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ASCS) Essential 8 strategies recommend companies undertake User Application Hardening to minimise the risk of malicious codes (malware) accessing a businesses computer network. This means updating and configuring popular online applications such as flash and Java, as well as Microsoft Office, old web browsers and PDF viewers.
Hackers leverage old and outdated online applications vulnerabilities to deploy exploit kits, allowing them to access confidential information and install malware. Often, businesses will not know that they have an exploit kit on their system as this happens seamlessly via popular web applications. User Application Hardening processes and systems are included across all our SILVER and higher Cyber Security Management System (CSMS) packages.
User Application Hardening is similar to Application Control, however, rather than deciding which programs are allowed to run, it is deciding what certain programs are allowed to do. Applications such as Adobe Flash, Java and web-advertising can sidestep traditional antivirus software to enable malware or exploit kits to be downloaded onto your computer business network.
The process of undertaking User Application Hardening starts by determining what web applications are important to the company and then, what features are required. Whilst disabling all applications is possible, it may not be practical for business operations. The ACSC further recommends User Application Hardening of all Microsoft Office programs, to disable features that are not relevant to the business. This includes preventing features such as object linking and embedding packages.
The strategy of User Application Hardening requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of applications and program features to determine which elements can be restricted to minimise cyber-attacks, whilst ensuring businesses can maintain productivity. For businesses with multiple computers, it is also important to ensure configuration settings are applied network-wide to prevent vulnerabilities.
Much like Application Control, User Application Hardening is an ongoing task that needs to be monitored as new application and program features are continuously released.
User Application Hardening is an ACSC Essential 8 mitigation strategy to prevent malware delivery and execution. Proactive and strategic User Application Hardening can increase business productivity, computer speed as well as protect the company from cyberattacks. Here are five key reasons to implement User Application Hardening
Protecting this information is vital for both business and personal reasons.
Strategic and proactive User Application Hardening will improve a business’s cybersecurity against cyber-attacks. Yet the process to establish a system can be onerous as this includes understanding not only how to disable features from core programs, but also understanding what features are safe and what are not. Further, continuous management of the system is required as hackers are constantly finding new vulnerabilities in programs.
Our User Application Hardening management system undertakes all the hard work for you. We review your system requirements and then implement network-wide configuration to save you time and energy. Network-wide configuration ensures that all computers across the business are covered.
Further, our proactive system continuously scans for new potential threats to ensure you are protected from zero-day cyber-attacks.
As recommended by the ACSC Essential 8 Strategies, we also undertake configuration of your Microsoft Office programs to ensure you are compliant with the government’s recommendations.
Our SILVER and higher CSMS include User Application Hardening to increase your businesses cyber-security levels.
Get in touch with our friendly team, we can provide you with all of the information you need to make the best decision for your business.Contact Us