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What is Whitelisting?

September 21st, 2014

A whitelist is a list of those that are being provided a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition depending upon the user’s use. Whitelisting is the reverse of blacklisting.With the process of whitelisting you are relatively safer in the online world. With a relatively small number of malware items, it made sense to compile known virus signatures to detect and prevent infection.

Traditional antivirus is based on blacklisting which helps to block known malware,” said Simone Spencer, endpoint product sxpert,McAfee. “Whitelisting limits use with a ‘deny by default’ approach so that only approved files or applications can be installed.

“Whitelisting is more necessary than ever because viruses and other malware are morphing,” said Rob Cheng, CEO of PC Pitstop.”This means that one virus looks like hundreds or thousands of different viruses to traditional AV products.”

“The stakes have gotten higher because of ransomware viruses, which encrypt your hard drive and demand a ransom in BitCoins for all your files back,” said Cheng. “It encrypts photos, videos, Excel files, PowerPoint presentations and so on, so all your most personal documents are lost.”

Ways of whitelisting: Smaller organization can compile their own list of allowed application. But most enterprises are advised to install whitelisting software preconfigured with known good executables and domains.

Another way of doing whitelisting is application control where you decide which application can run or denied. As virus and malware signatures are becoming increasingly ineffective, this approach of whitelisting is relatively positive. Gartner surveys show that 25 percent of enterprises are already deploying some form of application control.

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