FortiOS 6 – Application Control

Application control

Using the Application Control Security Profiles feature, your FortiGate unit can detect and take action against network traffic depending on the application generating the traffic. Based on FortiGate Intrusion Protection protocol decoders, application control is a user-friendly and powerful way to use Intrusion Protection features to log and manage the behavior of application traffic passing through the FortiGate unit. Application control uses IPS protocol decoders that can analyze network traffic to detect application traffic even if the traffic uses nonstandard ports or protocols. Application control supports detection for traffic using HTTP protocol (versions 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0).

The FortiGate unit can recognize the network traffic generated by a large number of applications. You can create application control sensors that specify the action to take with the traffic of the applications you need to manage and the network on which they are active, and then add application control sensors to the firewall policies that control the network traffic you need to monitor.

Fortinet is constantly adding to the list of applications detected through maintenance of the FortiGuard Application Control Database. This database is part of the FortiGuard Intrusion Protection System Database because intrusion protection protocol decoders are used for application control and both of these databases have the same version number.

Cloud Access Security Inspection (CASI) is merged with Application Control resulting in changes to the GUI and the CLI.

You can identify the version of the application control database installed on your unit by going to the Licenses widget on the Dashboard and hovering over the IPS & Application Control line; the status, expiry date, and version will be displayed. Additionally, you can see the complete list of applications supported by FortiGuard Application Control on the FortiGuard site or http://fortiguard.com/appcontrol. This web page lists all of the supported applications. You can select any application name to see details about the application.

Application Control is a standard part of any FortiCare support contract and the database for Application Control signatures is separate from the IPS database. However, botnet application signatures are still part of the IPS signature database since these are more closely related with security issues and less about application detection.

This Handbook chapter includes Inside FortiOS: Application Control and provides readers an overview of the features and benefits of key FortiOS 5.6 components. For readers needing to delve into greater detail, we provide the following topics:

Application control concepts

Enabling application control in profile-based modes

Application control actions Application considerations

Application control monitor

Application control examples

Application control concepts

Application control concepts

You can control network traffic generally by the source or destination address, or by the port, the quantity or similar attributes of the traffic itself in the security policy. If you want to control the flow of traffic from a specific application, these methods may not be sufficient to precisely define the traffic. To address this problem, the application control feature examines the traffic itself for signatures unique to the application generating it. Application control does not require knowledge of any server addresses or ports. The FortiGate unit includes signatures for over 2,000 applications, services, and protocols.

Updated and new application signatures are delivered to your FortiGate unit as part of your FortiGuard Application Control Service subscription, which is a free service. Fortinet is constantly increasing the number of applications that this feature can detect by adding applications to the FortiGuard Application Control Database. Because intrusion protection protocol decoders are used for application control, the application control database is part of the FortiGuard Intrusion Protection System Database. Both of these databases have the same version number.

You can find the version of the application control database installed on your unit by going to the Licenses widget on the Dashboard and hovering over the IPS& Application Control line; the status, expiry date, and version will be displayed.

To see the complete list of applications supported by FortiGuard Application Control go to the FortiGuard site or http://fortiguard.com/appcontrol. This web page lists all of the supported applications. You can select any application name to see details about the application.


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