It may seem trivial to you what applications are on your desktop, but from a business or organization's perspective, it can be a serious matter. If an application provides unfiltered access to the outside world, this could create regulatory issues. Certain desktop applications can also indirectly or directly introduce malware inside the perimeter through file sharing. At the very least, some applications simply take away bandwidth (for example, streaming audio or video).
In its second report on Application Usage and Risk, Palo Alto Networks finds that 56 percent of the desktop applications surveyed use HTTP. Use of port 80, which the server uses to listen to requests from a Web client, makes it hard for organizations to filter or firewall the content.
Chris King, who appeared on Security Bites last April, talks this week with CNET News' Robert Vamosi about the report's findings, including the hidden risks in running Microsoft SharePoint or Lotus Notes.
To see all the risks associated with several hundred common desktop applications, Palo Alto Networks provides an online Applipedia.
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