Unapproved apps and portable devices

One of the biggest challenge in today’s desktop environment is application and device management, especially when the network is complex and distributed. This means, the business growth is completely dependent on how well the computers are managed. Desktop Management essentially involves keeping up-to-date details of the hardware and software assets, standardizing desktop and application settings, deploying software applications, patching the computers, troubleshooting, and more. Considering the increase in number of computers, their high dependency for the business activities, and the wide range of management activities, an automated desktop management solution is inevitable, which would otherwise cost high both in terms of money and administrators’ time.

Unapproved apps and portable devices

A typical desktop management solution should help enterprises with the following:

  • Securing Desktops – Protect desktop from various security threats like vulnerability attacks, data thefts, etc.
  • Standardization – Having same version of OS and Applications across the network helps administrators to easily maintain and troubleshoot them.
  • Troubleshooting – Help administrators to troubleshoot day-to-day problems in user computers.
  • Auditing IT Assets – Effectively manage their software and hardware assets and enable auditing their IT assets.
  • Assistance to Regulatory Compliance – Assist organizations in meeting regulatory compliance like HIPAA, SOX, etc.
  • Automation – Automating regular Desktop Management Activities like Software Deployment, Disk Defragmentation, cleaning up the temp folder, etc.

Managing application and portable devices is vital part of achieving secured and standard desktop infrastructure. Distributing, installing, updating and uninstalling software applications are common tasks in all enterprises. This is tightly bind with corporate polices which defines type of users, roles, access rights and necessary software for doing daily tasks.

Most of the users want to have full rights over their desktop like home pc but this is only lead to troubles especially in complex and distributed networks. Most of the necessary software is tested, approved and kept up to date.

Unapproved software is not tested and thus may have vulnerabilities which could be exploited by computer criminals. Such “weakness” include following attacks:

  • allows an attacker to execute commands as another user
  • allows an attacker to access data that is contrary to the specified access restrictions for that data
  • allows an attacker to pose as another entity
  • allows an attacker to conduct a denial of service

Moreover combination of unapproved software and portable devices which everybody own and use between trusted and untrusted computer system is major reason for spreading malware.

Mitigating
Controlling unapproved application and portable devices is achieved by:

  • Use of centralized desktop management system
  • Use of DLP system
  • Defined polices for type of users, roles, access rights, necessary software, etc.