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Software Restriction Policies

Published: February 29, 2012

Updated: March 30, 2012

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2



This topic for the IT professional describes Software Restriction Policies (SRP) in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, and provides links to technical information about SRP beginning with Windows Server 2003.

For procedures and troubleshooting tips, see Administer Software Restriction Policies and Troubleshoot Software Restriction Policies.

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Software Restriction Policies (SRP) is Group Policy-based feature that identifies software programs running on computers in a domain, and controls the ability of those programs to run. Software restriction policies are part of the Microsoft security and management strategy to assist enterprises in increasing the reliability, integrity, and manageability of their computers.

You can also use software restriction policies to create a highly restricted configuration for computers, in which you allow only specifically identified applications to run. Software restriction policies are integrated with Microsoft Active Directory and Group Policy. You can also create software restriction policies on stand-alone computers. Software restriction policies are trust policies, which are regulations set by an administrator to restrict scripts and other code that is not fully trusted from running.

You can define these policies through the Software Restriction Policies extension of the Local Group Policy Editor or the Local Security Policies snap-in to the Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

For in-depth information about SRP, see the Software Restriction Policies Technical Overview.

Administrators can use software restriction policies for the following tasks:

  • Define what is trusted code

  • Design a flexible Group Policy for regulating scripts, executable files, and ActiveX controls

Software restriction policies are enforced by the operating system and by applications (such as scripting applications) that comply with software restriction policies.

Specifically, administrators can use software restriction policies for the following purposes:

  • Specify which software (executable files) can run on clients

  • Prevent users from running specific programs on shared computers

  • Specify who can add trusted publishers to clients

  • Set the scope of the software restriction policies (specify whether policies affect all users or a subset of users on clients)

  • Prevent executable files from running on the local computer, organizational unit (OU), site, or domain. This would be appropriate in cases when you are not using software restriction policies to address potential issues with malicious users.

There are no changes in functionality for Software Restriction Policies.

There is no removed or deprecated functionality for Software Restriction Policies.

The Software Restriction Policies extension to the Local Group Policy Editor can be accessed through the MMC.

The following features are required to create and maintain software restriction policies on the local computer:

  • Local Group Policy Editor

  • Windows Installer

  • Authenticode and WinVerifyTrust

If your design calls for domain deployment of these policies, in addition to the above list, the following features are required:

  • Active Directory Domain Services

  • Group Policy

Software Restriction Policies is an extension of the Local Group Policy Editor and is not installed through Server Manager, Add Roles and Features.

The following table provides links to relevant resources in understanding and using SRP.

 

Content type References

Product evaluation

Application Lockdown with Software Restriction Policies

Planning

Software Restriction Policies Technical Overview (Windows Server 2012)

Software Restriction Policies Technical Reference (Windows Server 2003)

Deployment

No resources available.

Operations

Administer Software Restriction Policies (Windows Server 2012)

Software Restriction Policies Product Help (Windows Server 2003)

Troubleshooting

Troubleshoot Software Restriction Policies (Windows Server 2012)

Software Restriction Policies Troubleshooting (Windows Server 2003)

Security

Threats and Countermeasures for Software Restriction Polices (Windows Server 2008)

Threats and Countermeasures for Software Restriction Polices (Windows Server 2008 R2)

Tools and settings

Software Restriction Policies Tools and Settings (Windows Server 2003)

Community resources

Application Lockdown with Software Restriction Policies

Related technologies

AppLocker Overview

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