Block all unauthorised apps by default.
With thousands of new pieces of malware and ransomware appearing online every day, it’s no longer enough to just block known threats. What if you’re about to be infected by virus that even security experts don’t know about yet? A standard antivirus wouldn’t even know it was a virus.
Application whitelisting is the best method to protect you from these as-yet unknown threats.
What Is Application Whitelisting?
Application whitelisting is an inversion of the standard ‘blacklisting’ method of cybersecurity, but it is one that’s uniquely suited to a modern, zero-trust business IT environment.
Malware and viruses can cause havoc for your business. They can leak sensitive data, slow down your network, and even render your devices unusable. That’s why it’s important to block as much potential malware before it ever has a chance to infect your machine.
The standard method of protecting your network from malware and viruses was to have a regularly updated “blacklist” of known malicious software. Malware added to this list would be blocked automatically. This blacklisting method worked well for a while, but the problem eventually arose that there was more malicious software being released onto the internet every day than even the most comprehensive blacklists could keep up with. This is where application whitelisting comes in!
How Does Application Whitelisting Work?
While some employees will have incredibly varied tasks to complete as part of their job, most will use the same few pieces of software 99% of the time. With this is mind, it makes more sense to automatically block all applications other than those approved for the employee’s tasks. So, the approved applications are added to a “whitelist” of allowed software and everything else is blocked by default.
Because most malware and ransomware infect systems due to human error, application whitelisting is a great method of protecting your network. Even if an employee is tricked into downloading and running a piece of malware, it will be blocked by the whitelisting applications. This means almost all malware is blocked by default without it needing to be specifically tagged as malware first.
Which Software Goes On A Whitelist?
That’s entirely up to you. One of the most effective methods we deploy for our clients is to use a whitelisting application which has a “learning mode” where it monitors 7 days of an employee’s workflow and then presents a list of all the software used in that 7 days as a suggested whitelist. This whitelist can be edited and amended at any time if circumstances or job roles change.
How Carden IT Services Can Help
Our cyber-defence team can help you to build and administer a custom whitelist of applications based on the ways your business works. We work with you and your team to find a setup which protects your business from threats while also allowing your team to do their work without the extra security measures becoming a hinderance.
Application whitelisting is part of our overall cyber-defence service which includes network security, email security, endpoint security and more. To get expert help protecting your business, speak to our cyber-defence team today.