Click here to close now.

Welcome!

@MicroservicesE Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, SmartBear Blog, Ian Goldsmith

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Industrial IoT, @MicroservicesE Blog, Agile Computing

Cloud Security: Article

Try App Whitelisting to Mitigate Malware

It’s the doorman of the software world

There will always be a threat from malware - malicious software that is designed to steal or corrupt data on computers. Malware affects everyone from security services to silver surfers, and when it isn't checked it can wreak havoc.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what size your business is, whether you're a multinational or a sole trader, the threat from malware is real and present, which means that you'll need a solution. Usually this means anti-virus software, but keeping on top of updates and distributing these to all of the computers in your organization requires regular attention.

Can application whitelisting help? Is it even a valid alternative, or should your business stick to the tried and tested solution of anti-virus software and malware removal tools that detect and quarantine malicious software, keyloggers, rootkits and Trojans?

The Typical SME Approach to Anti-Virus and Malware
If you are responsible for managing online security in your organization or you're involved as a stakeholder or an engineer, you will appreciate that most businesses take a reactive approach to virus and malware threats.

If a virus or malware infects one or more computers, steps are taken to update the AV software (typically by downloading the latest virus signatures) and remove the infection. In most cases this is successful - anti-virus software is generally fit for this purpose. However, there may be cases when virus signatures have yet to be added, making it difficult for the anti-virus software to find and remove the infection.

When malware is uncovered and the anti-virus solution is unable to deal with it, as is the situation in most cases, the latest version of one of the popular anti-malware tools should be used.

You might find that running the removal process in Safe Mode works best. Although it typically takes over an hour for a single infected computer, you should eventually be able to diagnose the machine as safe to use. In extreme cases, it can take a few hours to rebuild the machine because remediation efforts fail.

It's all rather slow, though, isn't it? More to the point, it is reactive rather than proactive.

How Application Whitelisting Can Help
In the horrific circumstance that all of your computers have been infected with malware, you might be pulling your hair out trying to raise as many engineers as possible while making alternative arrangements for users affected by the problem.

Or, you could be carrying on with the expected day's work, safe in the knowledge that there is no outbreak; no malware has been installed and no data has been lost or stolen.

Unless you run a computer network that has no Internet connection and a "no disks" policy, the only way to fully protect your users from malware is to employ a solution that uses application whitelisting, a process that protects the software that controls the behavior of your computers. If the software is not on the whitelist, it won't run.

It's the doorman of the software world, in many ways. Basically, if your name's not down, you're not coming in.

Is Application Whitelisting the Solution or Part of the Equation?
As things stand, no single solution can exist as anti-virus software companies are busy keeping their applications up-to-date, with both virus signatures and tools to prevent the applications from being targeted by viruses. This means that it is unlikely at present that any AV or anti-malware developer will branch out into providing a complete application whitelisting solution.

Similarly, application whitelisting cannot claim to be the complete solution as it can't deal with the task of removing threats.

It is, therefore, the perfect companion to anti-malware applications. When correctly configured application whitelisting can protect individual computers, servers and entire networks from malware.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Whichever way you look at it, the reactive solution of anti-virus and malware removal tools is only a single item on your network security utility belt. It has been proven to work in quarantining the offending code but is largely useless in actually protecting computers from being infected in the first place.

This is why application whitelisting is vital as a proactive solution. Using both in tandem can leave you with an extremely secure network that is protected against malware and anti-virus however they might be introduced (targeted attacks, USB sticks, or malicious attachments to emails).

Whitelists are widely used in website blocking and spam email management. Employing an application whitelist to protect your computers from malicious code that tries to run or install is a logical step to take in the fight against malware.

More Stories By Paul Paget

Paul Paget is CEO of Savant Protection based in Hudson, NH. Savant Protection’s automated application whitelisting is being used by SMEs, including regional banks, credit unions and local governments to proactively stop malware and safeguard endpoints. You can contact Paul at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
"Blue Box has been around for 10-11 years, and last year we launched Blue Box Cloud. We like the term 'Private Cloud as a Service' because we think that embodies what we are launching as a product - it's a managed hosted private cloud," explained Giles Frith, Vice President of Customer Operations at Blue Box, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it!
SYS-CON Events announced today that SUSE, a pioneer in open source software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SUSE provides reliable, interoperable Linux, cloud infrastructure and storage solutions that give enterprises greater control and flexibility. More than 20 years of engineering excellence, exceptional service and an unrivaled partner ecosystem power the products and support that help ...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
"We are the top stocking distributor for HP renew products in North America. We can only sell to U.S. authorized partners and resellers for HP," explained Miguel Diazdelcastillo Jr., Sales Executive at Creative Business Solutions, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
There are standards for making sure the information is safe in transit (SSL) and when stored (PCI, SOC, ISO), but where are the standards around the surface area that APIs represent? We want to expose our data, but not the wrong data and never to the wrong people. APIs are now part of our front-line defense layer and we need to treat it with the same concern and specificity as we do any other security risk. Two types of APIs dominate the landscape: SOAP and REST web services. SOAP, while impl...
I’ve been thinking a bit about microservices (μServices) recently. My immediate reaction is to think: “Isn’t this just yet another new term for the same stuff, Web Services->SOA->APIs->Microservices?” Followed shortly by the thought, “well yes it is, but there are some important differences/distinguishing factors.” Microservices is an evolutionary paradigm born out of the need for simplicity (i.e., get away from the ESB) and alignment with agile (think DevOps) and scalable (think Containerizati...
Matt and I first met in the Summer of 2014 at DevOpsDays Minneapolis. My first introduction came when he (and several other DoD alums) participated in an impressive round of DevOps Karaoke. Matt gave an IGNITE talk on day two of the event titled “How to Hire Your First DevOp” as well. I learned during that event that he co-hosted a DevOps specific podcast that was gaining in popularity. It made perfect sense. Not long after Minneapolis, I began trading emails with the organizers of DevOpsDays C...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
ThingsExpo New York is offering a limited time FREE "Expo Plus" registration option in New York. On site registration price of $1,95 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during special offer. To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code, and secure their registration to attend all keynotes, ThingsExpo sessions, expo floor, and SYS-CON.tv power panels. Special FREE registration givess access to all DevOps, Containers and Microservices sessions as well. Regi...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises a...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo New York is offering a limited time FREE "Expo Plus" registration option in New York. On site registration price of $1,95 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during special offer. To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code, and secure their registration to attend all keynotes, @DevOpsSummit sessions at Cloud Expo, expo floor, and SYS-CON.tv power panels. Special FREE registration givess access to all Containers and Microservi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Python is really a language which has swept the scene in recent years in terms of popularity, elegance, and functionality. Research shows that 8 out 10 computer science departments in the U.S. now teach their introductory courses with Python, surpassing Java. Top-ranked CS departments at MIT and UC Berkeley have switched their introductory courses to Python. And the top three MOOC providers (edX, Coursera, and Udacity) all offer introductory programming courses in Python. Not to mention, Python ...

Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?

"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.

They are not.

One is about the application. The other, the network. T...

Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...