Use Application Categories

Application Categories are used to classify applications in Application Control reports. Categories also provide a convenient way to search for, or block, all applications in a category. To conveniently restrict the use of a set of applications that do not have legitimate business value, you can block all applications in a category. Or, to limit or guarantee bandwidth for applications in a category, you can select a configured Traffic Management action. For more information about Traffic Management actions, see Define a Traffic Management Action in v11.9.

For example, to block all applications in the Games category for an Application Control action:

  1. On the Application Control Action Settings page, click Select by Categories.
    The Actions by Category dialog box appears.

Screen shot of the Actions by Category dialog box

  1. From the Games drop-down list, select Drop.
  2. Click OK.
    All applications in the Games category have the action set to Drop (By category).
  3. To filter the list to see the blocked games, select Games from the Category drop-down list.

Screen shot of the New Application Control Action dialog box, with applications blocked by category

When any new applications are added to the Games category by the signature update process, they are also blocked by this Application Control action.

To allow traffic for an application category, but control the bandwidth for applications in the category, you can configure a Traffic Management action and select the Traffic Management action

When an application action is configured based on a category action, the Action column shows the label (by category) after the configured action. You can still edit the action for a specific application in the category to override the category action, as described in the next section.

When you configure an action for an application category, any future applications that are added to the category are automatically configured to use the same category action.

If you configure Application Control to block all applications in a category, make sure you know everything that is included in the category and the expected consequences. For example, SWF (Shockwave Flash) is included in the streaming media category. Flash is used widely in many web sites to deliver content. If you block all streaming media, Flash content is also blocked.

We do not recommend that you configure Application Control to block general categories like Web / Web 2.0, Business, or Network Protocols. It is likely that this could block an application that you did not intend to block, or that has other, unintended consequences.

We recommend that you set up Application Control to send log messages for all activity for a period of time before you configure any actions that block applications. This enables you to determine which applications to block.

Override a Category Action

If you configure an action for an application category, you can set a different action for a specific application in that category. If you assign an action to a specific application, that action overrides the action configured for the category.

To override an action for an application that is in a configured category:

  1. On the Application Control Action Settings page, select an application.
  2. Click Edit.
    The Application Control Configuration dialog box appears.
  3. Select the action for the application.
    For more information, see Configure Application Control Actions.
  4. Click OK.
    The application-specific action replaces the category action for that application.

See Also

Configure Application Control Actions

Application Control — Begin with Monitoring

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