SonicOS 7 Rules and Policies

Benefits of App Rules

The App Rules functionality provides the following benefits:

  • Application based configuration makes it easier to configure policies for application control.
  • The App Rules (App Control) subscription service provides updated signatures as new attacks emerge.
  • The related Application Intelligence functionality, as seen in the MONITOR view on Appliance Health | Live Monitor, is available upon registration as a 30-day free trial App Visualization license. This allows any registered SonicWall appliance to clearly display information about application traffic in the network. The App Visualization and App Control licenses are also included with the SonicWall Security Services license bundle.

    The feature must be enabled in the SonicOS management interface to become active.

  • You can configure policy settings for individual signatures without influencing other signatures of the same application.
  • App Rules and App Control configuration pages are available in the POLICY | Rules and Policies menus in the SonicOS management interface, consolidating all firewall and application control access rules and policies in the same area.

App Rules functionality can be compared to three main categories of products:

  • Standalone proxy appliances
  • Application proxies integrated into firewall VPN appliances
  • Standalone IPS appliances with custom signature support

Standalone proxy appliances are typically designed to provide granular access control for a specific protocol. SonicWall application control provides granular, application level access control across multiple protocols, including HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and POP3. Because application control runs on your firewall, you can use it to control both inbound and outbound traffic, unlike a dedicated proxy appliance that is typically deployed in only one direction. Application control using App Rules and App Control provides better performance and scalability than a dedicated proxy appliance because it is based on SonicWall’s proprietary Deep Packet Inspection technology.

Today’s integrated application proxies do not provide granular, application level access control, application layer bandwidth management, and digital rights management functionality. As with dedicated proxy appliances, SonicWall application control provides much higher performance and far greater scalability than integrated application proxy solutions.

While some standalone IPS appliances provide protocol decoding support, none of these products supports granular, application level access control, application layer bandwidth management, and digital rights management functionality.

In comparing App Rules to SonicWall Email Security, there are benefits to using either. Email Security only works with SMTP, but it has a very rich policy space. App Rules works with SMTP, POP3, HTTP, FTP and other protocols, is integrated into SonicOS on the firewall, and has higher performance than Email Security. However, App Rules does not offer all the policy options for SMTP that are provided by Email Security.

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