Create Your AppLocker policies
- Windows 10
- Windows Server
This overview topic for the IT professional describes the steps to create an AppLocker policy and prepare it for deployment.
Creating effective application control policies with AppLocker starts by creating the rules for each app. Rules are grouped into one of five rule collections. The rule collection can be configured to be enforced or to run in Audit only mode. An AppLocker policy includes the rules in the five rule collections and the enforcement settings for each rule collection.
Step 1: Use your plan
You can develop an application control policy plan to guide you in making successful deployment decisions. For more info about how to do this and what you should consider, see the AppLocker Design Guide. This guide is intended for security architects, security administrators, and system administrators. It contains the following topics to help you create an AppLocker policy deployment plan for your organization that will address your specific application control requirements by department, organizational unit, or business group:
- Understand the AppLocker policy deployment process
- Understand AppLocker policy design decisions
- Determine your application control objectives
- Create a list of apps deployed to each business group
- Select the types of rules to create
- Determine the Group Policy structure and rule enforcement
- Plan for AppLocker policy management
Step 2: Create your rules and rule collections
Each rule applies to one or more apps, and it imposes a specific rule condition on them. Rules can be created individually or they can be generated by the Automatically Generate Rules Wizard. For the steps to create the rules, see Create Your AppLocker rules.
Step 3: Configure the enforcement setting
An AppLocker policy is a set of rule collections that are configured with a rule enforcement setting. The enforcement setting can be Enforce rules, Audit only, or Not configured. If an AppLocker policy has at least one rule, and it is set to Not configured, all the rules in that policy will be enforced. For info about configuring the rule enforcement setting, see Configure an AppLocker policy for audit only and Configure an AppLocker policy for enforce rules.
Step 4: Update the GPO
AppLocker policies can be defined locally on a device or applied through Group Policy. To use Group Policy to apply AppLocker policies, you must create a new Group Policy Object (GPO) or you must update an existing GPO. You can create or modify AppLocker policies by using the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), or you can import an AppLocker policy into a GPO. For the procedure to do this, see Import an AppLocker policy into a GPO.
Step 5: Test the effect of the policy
In a test environment or with the enforcement setting set at Audit only, verify that the results of the policy are what you intended. For info about testing a policy, see Test and update an AppLocker policy.
Step 6: Implement the policy
Depending on your deployment method, import the AppLocker policy to the GPO in your production environment, or if the policy is already deployed, change the enforcement setting to your production environment value—Enforce rules or Audit only.
Step 7: Test the effect of the policy and adjust
Validate the effect of the policy by analyzing the AppLocker logs for application usage, and then modify the policy as necessary. To do this, see Monitor app usage with AppLocker.
Follow the steps described in the following topics to continue the deployment process:
- Create Your AppLocker rules
- Test and update an AppLocker policy
- Deploy the AppLocker policy into production