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Understanding Security Categories

Cisco Umbrella's Security Categories are categories of security defence that Umbrella provides. We've categorized security threats to give you more control over exactly what you'd like to enable and report.

These categories are used in creating policies and in viewing reports for when things are blocked, or even when they are not. If a domain matches a security category but is not set to be blocked by a security setting in your policy, this is still reported as an allowed visit to a destination that matches one of the security categories. All of these security categories are important in understanding our other Umbrella reports, starting with the Security Overview Report.

  1. Navigate to Policies > Management > All Policies and click through the wizard until you reach the Security Settings page.

By default, three security categories are enabled, Malware, Command Control Callbacks and Phishing. In general, we suggest that you find the right combination for your organization's policies—some identities may require a more strict security posture than others. However, there are some categories we recommend enabling for most or all identities, unless you are simply testing to see what Umbrella would have blocked.

This does not mean you shouldn't use these categories in your policy, just that you should monitor your reports to see if these categories make sense to apply to your identities.

Categories

  • Malware—Block requests to access servers hosting malware and compromised websites through any application, protocol, or port. Recommended to be ON.
  • Newly Seen Domains—Detect domains that have been seen being queried for the first time very recently. For more important information on this category, read here. Off by default.
  • Command Control Callbacks—Prevent compromised devices from communicating with hackers' command and control servers via any application, protocol or port and help identify potentially infected machines on your network. Recommended to be ON. Note: this category was previously called 'botnet' in earlier versions of Umbrella. We've changed the name to better reflect what this security category prevents; the blocked destinations are the command and control for the botnet itself.
  • Phishing Attacks—Protect users from fraudulent hoax websites designed to steal personal information Recommended to be ON.
  • Dynamic DNS—Block sites that are hosting dynamic DNS content. Off by default.
  • Potentially Harmful Domains—Domains that exhibit suspicious behavior and may be part of an attack. This category has a higher risk of unwanted detections. Read more here. Off by default.
  • DNS Tunnelling VPN—VPN services that allow users to disguise their traffic by tunnelling it through the DNS protocol. These can be used to bypass corporate policies regarding access and data transfer. Off by default.
  • Cryptomining—Allows you to block identities from accessing known cryptomining pools where miners group together and share resources—processing power—to better gather and share cryptocurrencies, and from known web cryptomining source code repositories. By blocking cryptomining, Umbrella protects you from the recent emergence of cryptomining malware. Off by default.

All of these security categories are important in understanding our other Umbrella reports, starting with the Security Overview Report.

Integrations

There is also a sub-category—Integrations—that's available for some packages. The Integrations security category consists of domains that have been added to Umbrella through individual integrations. For more about integrations, read here.


Umbrella Policy Tester < Understanding Security Categories > Understanding Content Categories