According to the security company DNSFilter, its AppAware offer makes it possible to identify risky applications and better control them.
The AppAware offering from DNSFilter, a domain name security company, aims to block the use of high-risk applications commonly used in businesses. The block affects more than 100 risky apps, including well-known file sharing, remote desktop and email programs. The list published by DNSFilter on its website on February 17 includes Facebook Messenger, Slack, Snapchat, RemotePC, TeamViewer, Box, Dropbox and NordVPN, among others. “We’re trying to shed light on what’s happening on a company’s network and what devices its employees are using,” said Mikey Pruitt, product manager of DNSFilter. “Our feature helps discover which apps are being used, whether they’re on a personal device, a network, or any system making DNS queries,” he added.
The DNS, implicated in 70% of cyberattacks
In a statement, DNSFilter said 70% of cyberattacks involve the domain name system. A single application can use hundreds or thousands of domains, making them difficult for security teams to monitor and very attractive to cyber attackers. According to the security firm, with AppAware, security teams can have real-time visibility into app activity across the enterprise and block apps that don’t comply with internal policies. Risky applications or groups of applications, as well as all domains associated with them, can be blocked with a single click. Many of the risky applications identified by DNSFilter belong to a category of software associated with Shadow IT. “Ghost IT is growing more and more, especially with remote work,” explained Mr. Pruitt. “But the applications we tackle first and foremost are not just this shadow IT. We focus on security applications, those that are used in attacks or have accelerated permissions in an environment,” he said.
Supervise shadow IT
According to Mr. Pruitt, often employees or departments turn to shadow IT thinking they will be more productive. But the concern of IT is to provide a secure environment for employees. “You have to find a balance,” said DNSFilter’s product manager. “We try to enable the apps needed to get the job done, while limiting apps or parts of apps that aren’t needed.” According to Charles Betz, principal analyst at Forrester Research, no governance regime has the ability to prevent shadow IT. “Better to accept the reality of shadow IT and frame it, control it and direct it, than believe it can be prevented,” he said. “It’s what IT departments have been trying to do for decades, and they’ve always failed.”