Application whitelisting or AWL, is current technology that keeps our computers safe from software that we don’t want or need, and that includes malware. It works alongside application blacklisting to help keep software from running on your computer. Application whitelisting is in control of the software that can be run on your PC system, and it doesn’t allow anything that it thinks is unsafe, to run. If as an administrator, you have not whitelisted the application, then it can’t get through.
Application whitelisting is seen as being more secure than blacklisting, because it only allows applications that are trusted, and doesn’t let anything else run that isn’t. Even zero-day attacks are covered by whitelisting and all are blocked. Having application whitelisting solutions installed on your computer, means that the total contents of a file are read only once, and it is used to create a digital signature of the contents. When a new application comes into your system, then its signature is checked and comparisons are made with the one stored in the whitelist. If they don’t match, then they don’t get in.
Modern AWL Systems.
Blacklisting takes considerably more effort from your central processing unit (CPU) and ties up your computer when it should be working elsewhere. You should use AWL on hosts that are centrally managed and are connected to other computers, and by hosts in a higher risk environment. Modern AWL systems track when changes are made by the IT administrator, and it remembers them and manages the whitelist accordingly. Some say that AWL slows down the system, but once again, if the IT administrator pre-approves applications, then whitelist allows those applications to be installed with no issues.
Web developers used to have issues with AWL because their job is to create executable code and AWL’s job was to block it. The AWL solution can now be told to trust these tools and so any code created with these tools will be added to the current whitelist. In order for application whitelisting solution to work properly, it should be developed to work with system management and all the software. If your endpoints are managed with Remote Management and Monitoring tools, then the application whitelisting solution should be told to trust the endpoints.
Once you install whitelisting, you should nominate an appropriately qualified IT person, to keep it up to date. The whitelist needs to be updated on a regular basis with the new applications, patches need to be applied and there should be fairly regular tests to make sure that the software is working as it should be. AWL can stop files being changed and inform you of such, it stores applications installed on hosts and stores characteristics of files which may be used to react to malicious intention.
Application whitelisting provides additional security to any system and is more than an antivirus blocking programme. It makes sense to have it running on your computer system because the more protection you have, the better for you and your business. Have a look at a whitelisting application today and see what it can do for you.