Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Lori MacVittie, Trevor Parsons, Mike Kavis, Liz McMillan, Tom Lounibos

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, 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
At DevOps Summit NY there’s been a whole lot of talk about not just DevOps, but containers, IoT, and microservices. Sessions focused not just on the cultural shift needed to grow at scale with a DevOps approach, but also made sure to include the network ”plumbing” needed to ensure success as applications decompose into the microservice architectures enabling rapid growth and support for the Internet of (Every)Things.
Auto-scaling environments, micro-service architectures and globally-distributed teams are just three common examples of why organizations today need automation and interoperability more than ever. But is interoperability something we simply start doing, or does it require a reexamination of our processes? And can we really improve our processes without first making interoperability a requirement for how we choose our tools?
Our guest on the podcast this week is Adrian Cockcroft, Technology Fellow at Battery Ventures. We discuss what makes Docker and Netflix highly successful, especially through their use of well-designed IT architecture and DevOps.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
This week, I joined SOASTA as Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics. Given my background in cloud computing and distributed systems operations — you may have read my blogs on CNET or GigaOm — this may surprise you, but I want to explain why this is the perfect time to take on this opportunity with this team. In fact, that’s probably the best way to break this down. To explain why I’d leave the world of infrastructure and code for the world of data and analytics, let’s explore the timing...
Digital Transformation is the ultimate goal of cloud computing and related initiatives. The phrase is certainly not a precise one, and as subject to hand-waving and distortion as any high-falutin' terminology in the world of information technology. Yet it is an excellent choice of words to describe what enterprise IT—and by extension, organizations in general—should be working to achieve. Digital Transformation means: handling all the data types being found and created in the organizat...
Alibaba, the world’s largest ecommerce provider, has pumped over a $1 billion into its subsidiary, Aliya, a cloud services provider. This is perhaps one of the biggest moments in the global Cloud Wars that signals the entry of China into the main arena. Here is why this matters. The cloud industry worldwide is being propelled into fast growth by tremendous demand for cloud computing services. Cloud, which is highly scalable and offers low investment and high computational capabilities to end us...
Public Cloud IaaS started its life in the developer and startup communities and has grown rapidly to a $20B+ industry, but it still pales in comparison to how much is spent worldwide on IT: $3.6 trillion. In fact, there are 8.6 million data centers worldwide, the reality is many small and medium sized business have server closets and colocation footprints filled with servers and storage gear. While on-premise environment virtualization may have peaked at 75%, the Public Cloud has lagged in adop...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with ...
JavaScript is primarily a client-based dynamic scripting language most commonly used within web browsers as client-side scripts to interact with the user, browser, and communicate asynchronously to servers. If you have been part of any web-based development, odds are you have worked with JavaScript in one form or another. In this article, I'll focus on the aspects of JavaScript that are relevant within the Node.js environment.
One of the ways to increase scalability of services – and applications – is to go “stateless.” The reasons for this are many, but in general by eliminating the mapping between a single client and a single app or service instance you eliminate the need for resources to manage state in the app (overhead) and improve the distributability (I can make up words if I want) of requests across a pool of instances. The latter occurs because sessions don’t need to hang out and consume resources that could ...
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. The DevOps approach is a way to increase business agility through collaboration, communication, and integration across different teams in the IT organization. In his session at DevOps Summit, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist for the Western US at Red Hat, will discuss: The acceleration of application delivery for the business with DevOps
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! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, S...
Software is eating the world. The more it eats, the bigger the mountain of data and wealth of valuable insights to digest and act on. Forward facing customer-centric IT organizations, leaders and professionals are looking to answer questions like how much revenue was lost today from platinum users not converting because they experienced poor mobile app performance. This requires a single, real-time pane of glass for end-to-end analytics covering business, customer, and IT operational data.
Approved this February by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), HTTP/2 is the first major update to HTTP since 1999, when HTTP/1.1 was standardized. Designed with performance in mind, one of the biggest goals of HTTP/2 implementation is to decrease latency while maintaining a high-level compatibility with HTTP/1.1. Though not all testing activities will be impacted by the new protocol, it's important for testers to be aware of any changes moving forward.
"ProfitBricks was founded in 2010 and we are the painless cloud - and we are also the Infrastructure as a Service 2.0 company," noted Achim Weiss, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ProfitBricks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
The Internet of Things. Cloud. Big Data. Real-Time Analytics. To those who do not quite understand what these phrases mean (and let’s be honest, that’s likely to be a large portion of the world), words like “IoT” and “Big Data” are just buzzwords. The truth is, the Internet of Things encompasses much more than jargon and predictions of connected devices. According to Parker Trewin, Senior Director of Content and Communications of Aria Systems, “IoT is big news because it ups the ante: Reach out ...