The trend of working from home has hit the ground running, and businesses have turned to strategies and tools that will ensure a no-plummet productive environment. There are two major forks in the road when it comes to provisioning remote endpoints—users can use their own devices, or the company can hand over corporate-owned devices. Given the prevalence of shadow IT, where the use of a certain technology has not been explicitly approved, the IT department of every organization is tasked with securing corporate data. While enabling an impromptu, short-term remote work program may appear to be the most practical thing to do, implementing a proper, well-thought-out remote work program is more beneficial for organizations in the long run.

Applications are a staple that most remote workers will use while telecommuting. In an attempt to provide the necessary business-critical applications, most enterprises tend to prefer the choice that ticks all the technical boxes, but overlook the importance of usability and security. Nearly 94 percent of all web applications and 96 percent of mobile applications have a security shortcoming, emphasizing the fact that managing and controlling applications is more important than ever.

Manage your applications the right way! 

As more workforces move to telecommuting and the number of tools used by organizations for remote work increases, IT administrators are grappling with multiple application-related issues, including managing and securing them. Here’s how you can ward off issues pertaining to application management and control using ManageEngine’s suite of of endpoint management and security tools:

Automate and centralize application distribution 

Every organization has an application catalog comprised of in-house, store, and business-critical applications. Create an application repository to add necessary applications, and centralize application distribution. This is a surefire way of ensuring that all the remote endpoints have the necessary applications. Define your targets, and automate the distribution of applications.

Stay on top of critical application vulnerabilities 

You’re right in the middle of drafting an important email when you see it: a pesky pop-up asking you to update your application, and you end up postponing the update. The updates that we ignore make our applications more susceptible to attacks that can exploit our endpoints. To combat this, schedule and automate app updates to fortify your endpoints against attacks.

Proactively discern high-risk software

End-of-life software, peer-to-peer software, and remote desktop sharing software all pose a profound danger to your network. Your best bet is to identify this software promptly and remove it as required, before it balloons into a bigger problem. End-of-life software will not receive necessary security updates from the vendor, while peer-to-peer and desktop sharing software leverage critical ports and firewalls.

Empower users with a self-service portal 

Some applications are user-specific, and the user may need them for a stipulated time period. If you prefer a more hands-off experience, you want to empower your users to install and uninstall software at their convenience. In such cases, the applications can be published to the self-service portal and tagged with the latest updates, enabling you to streamline application deployment.

Oversee the usage of business-critical applications 

Categorize applications into those that are work-related and those that are unproductive. Monitor the usage of such applications to understand the behavioral pattern of each employee. For in-depth analysis, export the reports that comprise details pertaining to which application was used and for how long. These reports will inform you which applications need to be blacklisted.

Keep application-based threats at bay

Automate the whitelisting and blacklisting of applications based on predefined criteria. In order to cater to the varying application needs of an organization, greylist an application until you decide if it needs to be blacklisted or whitelisted. While greylisting, control the applications by enforcing a strict mode and an audit mode. Impose app-based restrictions to prevent data sharing, uninstallation of applications, and installation of unapproved applications.

Seamlessly manage legacy web applications

Many web applications require specific plug-ins to be rendered in browsers. When legacy web applications are opened in modern browsers, user experience could be negatively affected. This implies that legacy applications need to be rendered only in legacy browsers, such as Internet Explorer, and not modern browsers like Microsoft Edge. Curate a list of such applications, and route the user to a legacy browser for rendering them.

ManageEngine’s suite of unified endpoint management and security solutions aid and assist every IT administrator in distributing, managing, and securing applications. As organizations continue to implement remote work models, implement a robust, unified solution to grapple with remote work seamlessly. Check out our solutions here, and enjoy a 30-day free trial of the offering(s) of your choice.