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What Exactly is Application Whitelisting

The term is often seen on IT blogs and for many, not so computer literate people, application whitelisting could be a form of interior décor, and if you are not sure exactly what the term refers to, here is a brief overview of application whitelisting and how it can help your business.

Anti-Virus Software

This industry has been in existence since the first programs were written, and as malicious code became more sophisticated, so did the anti-virus program. This cat and mouse game has been going on for a few decades now, and the traditional form of anti-virus applications work of the blacklist system, which means that all known malicious code is blocked from executing. As there are new, potentially deadly viruses emerging daily, the virus definition files – (the very heart of the security) must be updated in order for the program to recognise the virus. This takes up a lot of disk space, and as the list keeps growing, the file gets larger and larger, and the amount of resources it needs to constantly scan, looking for malicious code, really knocks your network back and limits your capabilities.

A Different Approach

Application Whitelisting means that only specific files that are added to the whitelist, can actually execute, and as any malicious code must be first activated before it can begin its work, whitelisting effectively protects your critical data from unwanted intrusion. The beauty of such a system is that it does not require megabytes of virus data, as it only allows known and trusted files to run, and anything suspicious is immediately quarantined, which is an added protective measure. Once the malicious file is safely quarantined, you have a range of options on how to deal with it.

Total Protection

A traditional blacklisting application would only prevent known viruses from executing, but what about unknown viruses? The truth is, the application would not see the virus and your files would be infected. With whitelisting, the administrator would simply create the white list, and only these trusted files would be allowed to run, and no virus can be activated without first executing. The easy to use interface allows the administrator to view and monitor all the files on the network, and with specific tracking tools, you can stay informed by knowing when the file was opened, and by whom, also the origins of the file would be visible.

Free Up your Hardware

System and network administrators love whitelisting, as it frees up a lot of valuable computing resources, as the processor is not having to constantly scan the entire system, looking for known rogues. The whitelisting approach uses hardly any resources, and the entire program would not be 10Mb in total, which is nothing compared to a traditional blacklisting program.

If you really want the best protection, consider application whitelisting, as the many benefits make it a wise business choice.

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