Application Whitelisting — Is it too extreme?

Whitelisting – Is it worth the work?

Recently, Information Week reported application whitelisting as an “extreme” method for preventing malware.  Is it extreme?  It very well could be.  Application whitelisting goes against the very core of traditional security programs.  Instead of using a blacklist, which allows unknown files to execute until proven malicious, a whitelist will block all unknown programs from executing until they have been proven safe.  This is where the “extreme” term, may be validated.

Extreme Protection for Extreme Threats

While using a whitelist security solution, all unknown programs are blocked from running.  In order for the program to run, it must be tested and categorized as either safe or malicious.  This responsibility may fall on an IT department or if you’re lucky — the security program will take care of it.  Regardless, it could be a major responsibility for either party if the whitelist is not developed, and blocks several programs because they haven’t been proven safe yet.  These two factors determine the complexity of implementing such a security program.

Fortunately, there are security programs that have been using the whitelist approach for years.  Therefore, their whitelist is far more mature than others who are just now jumping on the whitelist bandwagon.  If users choose a security program with a well-seasoned whitelist, the workload will be significantly decreased.  If users choose a security program that conducts all of the malware testing themselves, instead of leaving a burden on a company’s IT department, the workload is dropped even more!

The Unknowns

Does the work it takes to progress from an ineffective security program to one that uses a whitelist approach outweigh the benefits?  No.  Not even close.  Choose a program that has been using a whitelist approach for years, and will be responsible for the unknown program testing and you’ll be left with no more of a workload than your current security solution, but with far better protection.

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1 thought on “Application Whitelisting — Is it too extreme?”

  1. Well I’m on the latest version of this. 1. Knock off all the bullshit graphics when your supposedly finishing. It’s childish.
    2. What in the hell is all the bar graph results supposed to tell us without sitting for an hour trying to relate, “What the hell are they trying to tell you”?? 3. What we want to know like Macafee (sp?) was simple: They tell you exactly what was found and killed or stored, where the pc is and simply did it with numbers. Also recommendations.

    Can you tv t-shirts morons get the point and get rid of this bullshit and sideshow and just show the NUMBER results of what you found and how the pc is. Is it too hard even for you to understand. Take a look at their stuff. Morons.

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