Despite ongoing education about it in the workplace, malware costs businesses millions of dollars per year. In many ways, users are not to blame. Hackers are adept at changing code quickly and adapting to new security software. This means that a lot of malware simply hides in the system, undetected by enterprise-grade antivirus programs. When the malware executes it can be a destructive force, taking the entire system hostage, destroying vital information, and relaying vital data back to hidden third parties.
The usual solution is to deploy antivirus software that relies on up-to-the-minute virus definitions. This can be a cumbersome way to handle things because most often the virus definitions are large. For IT staff, this can mean a merry-go-round of updates, which wastes valuable time and resources. To make things even worse, antivirus software is really only as good as the latest virus definition update. All too often, a piece of unknown malware, or a particularly difficult to detect piece of malware makes it through, causing chaos and even more delays to the business.
Application Whitelisting is a Better Solution
Typical anti-virus and anti-malware software uses a blacklisting methodology. This means that there are database files that contain a list of known malware. When the anti-virus software detects a piece of malware that is listed in its database, it quarantines it and deals with it. This has been the usual method for many years, but it is not the most effective.
What happens when the anti-virus database is not up to date? What happens if there is a clever piece of malware sitting in your system that is not identified on the blacklist? The problem is that the world of malware is ever changing, and this means that anti-virus vendors need to keep their database files constantly updated. As you’d expect, the system is not perfect and malware does get through.
A better solution to the problem of malware is to use application whitelisting software. Unlike traditional anti-virus software, whitelisting software only allows trusted files to run. It is the opposite of blacklist software in that only the applications on its whitelist are permitted to run. The advantages are as follows:
- Security: Even though application whitelisting windows software is inflexible by design, it is also far more secure. There is simply no chance of an infected file being executed if it is not already on the whitelist. Even Dynamic Link Library files (DLL) that have been altered by a piece of malware cannot run because they will not match the whitelisted version.
- Convenient: Because modern application whitelisting software is made for a dynamic work environment where many types of files are executed, it is also easy to use and convenient. There are no large databases to download in order to update malware definitions, and the software is very light on resources. In effect, this means that your IT staff won’t have to run around updating versions and databases.
Save Real Time and Money
Though anti-malware software is at the core of IT security, sophisticated application whitelisting software is now available that is more secure, more convenient to use, and lighter on system resources.