The Importance of User Application Hardening

The Importance of User Application Hardening

15 Apr 2024
Tech Insights

In our detailed Essential 8 series, we now turn our focus towards Step 7: User Application Hardening – a crucial strategy strongly recommended by the Australian Cyber Security Centre. This blog not only explains the concept of User Application Hardening but also dives deeper into practical approaches that your business can take to strengthen your systems against increasingly sophisticated threats.

What exactly is User Application Hardening?

User Application Hardening is a process that helps protect your organisation from a range of threats, including malicious websites, advertisements with malicious scripts and exploitation of vulnerabilities in unsupported software. These attacks often take advantage of legitimate application functionality for malicious purposes. By implementing User Application Hardening measures, you make it harder for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities or ‘at-risk’ functionality in your applications.

Practical Approaches

Here are some practical strategies to help you implement User Application Hardening effectively:

1. Disable or Uninstall Internet Explorer 11

Make sure Internet Explorer 11 is either disabled or uninstalled across all workstations. This outdated browser poses significant security risks due to its susceptibility to exploitation. By removing or disabling it, you eliminate a potential avenue for cyber attacks.

2. Configure Java Code Restrictions

Configure web browsers to refrain from running Java code downloaded from the internet. Java ‘applets’ can be exploited by malicious actors to execute arbitrary code on users’ systems. Disabling this functionality mitigates the risk of Java-based attacks.

3. Implement Advertisement Processing Restrictions

Implement controls to prevent web browsers from processing online advertisements. Malicious ads, also known as malvertisements, can contain scripts that exploit vulnerabilities in browsers or plugins. By blocking these advertisements, you reduce the likelihood of encountering malicious content while browsing the web.

4. Secure Web Browser Settings

Ensure that users can’t alter the web browser security settings. Unauthorised modifications to browser settings can weaken security controls and expose systems to potential threats. By restricting users’ ability to modify these settings, you maintain a consistent and secure browsing environment across your business.

Cover all your bases!

In addition to these advanced techniques, you should also follow the core practices mentioned in our previous blogs, such as regular software updates, application whitelisting, implementing least privilege access, security awareness training, and employing endpoint protection solutions. All of these measures form a comprehensive strategy for your business defence and protect your sensitive data from exploitation.

Help is Here!

At Cloud Connect WA, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Whether you need assistance implementing User Application Hardening measures, advice on cybersecurity best practices, or guidance on securing your IT infrastructure, our team of experts are ready to help.

Contact us today at to learn more about how Cloud Connect WA can assist you in enhancing your organisation’s cybersecurity defences.

Contact us today

If you would like to learn more about how Cloud Connect can help your business please fill out the form and our friendly team will be in touch shortly, or give us a call today on (08) 9481 4988.

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