If you’re looking for a way to keep unwanted files out, but allow accepted files to run, then you’ll need to employ a whitelist system. A signature based file blocking system such as an antivirus program employs a blacklist, but a whitelist is a much smarter way of ensuring that only the files you trust are allowed to run. This means that if a file is not part of the whitelist, it cannot run, and this prevents any malicious code from running on your system.
Instead of potentially allowing any file to run on your system, whether it is good, bad, or indifferent, a whitelist ensures that only known files are allowed to run. This works almost in the opposite way to an antivirus program, also known as a blacklist. Whilst antivirus systems are useful, they certainly aren’t fool proof, and unfortunately hackers are continually finding ways around the firewalls. Employing a whitelist is the only way to be certain that you can stop malicious code running on your system, before any damage occurs.
Keep the Criminals at Bay
Hackers have grown smarter, and are constantly finding ways around more traditional security software. By using a whitelist system you can make your own decisions about what files you trust, and each deployment can be unique. This prevents the modification of files, and the creation of unique malware, known as ransomware. A whitelist is the only sure way to only allow the files you want in, and keep all others out.
Ease of Use
Previously, whitelists had been notoriously difficult to employ, but thankfully these days many providers supply out-of-the-box whitelist application solutions, which are extremely easy to use. In a dynamically changing enterprise environment, you’ll need a whitelist solution that is smooth and responsive to use.
Here are some key attributes you should look for when committing to a whitelist solution:
- Realtime reporting
- Centralised visibility
- Network communication tracking
- File-searching via domain or IP address
Keep it Light
In addition to the above characteristics, these days you’ll be able to benefit from a whitelist system that is less bulky than traditional security offerings. Large endpoint agents used by antivirus programs can cause a huge drain on system resources because they rely on the delivery of huge virus definitions to function. A modern whitelisting application only utilises small policy sizes, and has nearly no impact on endpoint resources, allowing for much speedier operation.
Keep it Secure
Application whitelisting is now recognised as the top security strategy to prevented targeted cyber intrusions by government agencies all around the world. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you. Simple and bulky blacklist systems are no longer good enough in today’s world.
Since hackers are constantly catching up with traditional security systems, a whitelist is more useful for protecting your system than a blacklist. Whilst anti-virus software has been useful in the past, typically the safer way these days is to employ a decent whitelist application. Thankfully, these are less bulky and easier to use than they have been in the past.