Application Visibility and Control

Posted on Apr 2, 2024 by

What is application visibility and control?

The application visibility and control functionality play a crucial role in safeguarding vital high-speed networks against threats operating at the application level. These threats, whether they are already present or emerging, can infiltrate and propagate within the network.

Problems Application Visibility and Control Address

The landscape of security has undergone a transformation with the prevalence of web-based applications. In the past, specific protocols and ports were linked to particular applications, simplifying policy enforcement at the host level. However, the paradigm has shifted, and now the majority of traffic operates over HTTP (ports 80/443). This shift presents access control challenges, as web applications are accessible from anywhere, posing potential risks for employees, contractors, partners, and service providers bypassing the firewall. Applications like instant messaging, peer-to-peer file sharing, Webmail, social networking, and IP voice/video collaboration pose challenges by altering communication ports and protocols or employing tunneling within commonly used services such as HTTP or HTTPS. Organizations must assert control over applications and network traffic to safeguard their assets against potential attacks and efficiently manage bandwidth.

Network Security; Application Visibility and Control; Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

What Can You Do with Application Visibility and Control?

A robust security solution empowers administrators with the essential tools for overseeing and managing applications traversing their networks. Application visibility and control play a pivotal role, enabling administrators to:

  • Discern applications and authorize, restrict, or limit their usage, irrespective of the port, protocol, encryption, or any other evasive measures.

  • Recognize users, regardless of their device or IP address, by implementing precise control over applications for specific users, user groups, and machines. This capability allows organizations to regulate the types of traffic permitted to enter and exit the network.

  • Provide support for both inbound and outbound SSL decryption capabilities, ensuring the identification and prevention of threats and malware within encrypted network streams.

  • Seamlessly integrate with intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and apply appropriate attack objects to applications operating on nonstandard ports.

How Does Application Visibility and Control Work?

The application identification (App ID) classification engine and the application signature pattern-matching engine function at Layer 7, meticulously examine the content of the payload to discern applications. App ID conducts a thorough deep packet inspection (DPI) of network traffic, scrutinizing each packet in the flow passing through the application identification engine until the application is conclusively identified. The outcomes of this identification process, including IP addresses, hostnames, and port ranges, are stored in the application system cache (ASC), facilitating expedited future identifications.

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