What are the three default security levels within software restriction policies?

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Software restriction policies are an essential component of computer security, allowing organizations to control the execution of certain software on their systems. These policies define rules and restrictions to prevent the execution of unauthorized or potentially harmful software. Within software restriction policies, there are three default security levels that determine how software is allowed or blocked. In this article, we will explore these three security levels in detail and understand their implications for system security.

Default Security Levels within Software Restriction Policies

1. Unrestricted: The unrestricted security level is the most permissive setting within software restriction policies. When this level is applied, all software is allowed to run without any restrictions. This means that any executable file, regardless of its source or reputation, can be executed on the system. While this level provides maximum flexibility and convenience, it also poses significant security risks. Malicious software or unauthorized applications can easily run, potentially compromising the system’s integrity and exposing it to various threats.

2. Disallowed: The disallowed security level is the most restrictive setting within software restriction policies. When this level is enforced, all software is blocked from running, except for specifically allowed applications. This means that only trusted and authorized software, as defined by the organization, can be executed on the system. The disallowed level offers the highest level of security but may also introduce some operational challenges. It requires careful configuration and maintenance to ensure that all necessary applications are explicitly allowed, preventing disruptions to regular workflows.

3. Basic User: The basic user security level is a balanced setting within software restriction policies. It allows users with basic user privileges to run applications from trusted locations, such as the Program Files directory, while blocking software execution from other locations, such as the user’s profile or removable media. This level aims to strike a balance between security and usability, allowing users to run commonly used applications while preventing the execution of potentially harmful software. However, it is important to note that this security level may not provide sufficient protection against advanced threats or targeted attacks.


Software restriction policies offer organizations a powerful mechanism to control the execution of software on their systems. The three default security levels within these policies – unrestricted, disallowed, and basic user – provide varying degrees of flexibility and security. While the unrestricted level offers convenience, it also exposes the system to potential risks. On the other hand, the disallowed level provides maximum security but requires careful configuration and maintenance. The basic user level strikes a balance between usability and security, allowing trusted applications while blocking potentially harmful software. Organizations must carefully evaluate their security requirements and choose the appropriate security level within software restriction policies to mitigate risks effectively.


– Microsoft: docs.microsoft.com
– Symantec: symantec.com
– Cisco: cisco.com