Application whitelisting review: McAfee Application Control

By Roger A. Grimes, InfoWorld |  Windows

McAfee Application Control 5.0 (due out Dec. 15) is the result of McAfee's acquisition of Solidcore and the integration of Solidcore S3 Control with McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO). McAfee Application Control rivals SignaCert for the broadest client support among all the products in InfoWorld's review. It also boasts write protection and ownership protection of whitelisted files, good reporting and alerting, and no significant cons.

McAfee Application Control can enforce whitelisting policies on Windows NT 4 through Windows Server 2008 (Windows 7 support is forthcoming), Suse Linux 9 and 10, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Linux 3 through 5 (and CentOS), and Solaris 8 through 10. Its precursor, Solidcore S3 Control, is in use on thousands of client nodes and is deployed on more than 250,000 ATMs.

[ Read the Test Center review of application whitelisting solutions from Bit9, CoreTrace, Lumension, McAfee, SignaCert, and Microsoft. Compare these application whitelisting solutions by the features. ] 

McAfee Application Control's management console is a dashboard component of McAfee ePO 4.5 (screen image). Administrators connect via a secure browser session, where they can manage Application Control and any other McAfee security solutions they have deployed.

Protected PCs are considered "Solidified," a term that harkens back to the product's Solidcore days. The client interface is minimal, consisting of command-line instructions and parameters. Clicking an icon on the client desktop, called the McAfee Solidifier Command Line (screen image), gives access to all the Solidifier console commands, which allows a user to control everything an administrator could from within the ePO management console. Of course, ePO configurations can prevent local commands from working.

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