One of the problem that face IT Administrators today is keeping up with all the security updates you need to deploy to your computers to keep them secure. This is even more exacerbated by the very large number of security updates associate with running multiple browsers. Also having multiple browsers on network could mean that you have totally patched one browser using your patch management system only to have user use a different type of browser that is completely un-patches. Another reason IT Administrators might want to block running third-party browsers is the lack of group policy support which makes it very difficult for administrators configured the browser to corporate standards (e.g. home page and/or security settings). Luckily Windows 7 comes with a new feature that prevent the user from running a particular executable called AppLocker which can be used to block all but authorised internet browsers.
Update: Also check out my Troubleshooting AppLocker workflow post at http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2013/04/how-to-troubleshoot-applocker/
AppLocker is a new feature in Windows 7 that allows system administrators to block a particular executable from running on a computer. This is a enhanced version of Software Restriction Policy which did a similar thing in Windows XP/Vista, but it can only block programs based on either a file name, path or file hash. The AppLocker feature takes it a step further and allows administrators block executables based on its digital signature. The benefit of basing this on a digital signature is that you can block programs based on a combination of the version, program name or even vendor name. This means that even if the vendor updates the program with a new version (which happens often with browsers) the AppLocker rules will still apply greatly saving administrative overhead. You can also set the rule based on the program version which means you can set a minimum supported versions that is allowed to run. Another advantage is that AppLocker applies to any program that runs on a computer meaning that no matter where the program is being run from (e.g. USB Memory stick) it will prevent it from running.
Note: You can also use this tutorial to block the running of any other program weather it be from a third-party or even from Microsoft. In this example I show you how to block running Google Chrome on any of your computers in your network however you can just as easily apply the same process to any other browser (e.g. Firefox, Safari).
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