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The SecureAPlus Blog

Keeping PCs Safe with Application Control & Whitelisting

John Paul Tunay October 05, 2016 application whitelisting, application control

A PC is always prone to a myriad of threats that come in the form of viruses, malware, and other types of malicious files. Fortunately, there are a lot of antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware solutions that are available, and most of them are free.

However, it is an entirely different matter when it’s the user who allowed malicious threats into the PC. This can happen unknowingly via a zero-day threat bypassing the detection of even the best of antiviruses. Alternatively, an infection can happen simply by another user who has equal access to the PC to ignore anti-virus prompts and run the application anyway.

User error is usually an important factor in determining how effective a PC security solution is. While this starts at the user interface and overall user experience in using antivirus software, most of the harm done can be avoided if proper measures are implemented in terms of user control, or in this case application control.

One of the biggest offenders in PC security, regardless of whether if it is for home or enterprise use, is giving everybody the exact same privileges. Giving everyone the ability to freely install and remove software is simply a nightmare for any IT administrator or parent at home.

While Windows does its best to alleviate this with some semblance of parental controls built-in to the operating system, its implementation is more limiting than enabling. So how do you strike a balance between security and ease of use in the home or even in the office? Application Control & Application Whitelisting.

Application Whitelisting essentially maintains a list of programs that are trusted and allowed to run. This is akin to a private party with a bouncer standing outside to prevent people outside guest list from entering. Application Control comes in in the form of the host being able to tell the bouncer to let pending people in if they seem trustworthy. It’s a basic yet flexible system, but very effective especially when Anti-viruses are not as infallible as it used to.

Things can be taken to a more secure turn by extending the security down to Windows User privileges. Software that allows application control beyond the Admin user and into regular users allow for a truly secure PC by preventing non-admin users from installing or removing software. The difference here is being able to allow or block on a per software level instead of going straight to granting the user full administrator rights.

This approach not only prevents users from installing unsolicited software, it also prevents viruses and malware from bypassing anti-virus detection rates and successfully running on either admin or non-admin Windows Users. The differences may be small, but it makes a whole lot of difference in real world usage. Just ask any IT Administrator of a sizable company and you’ll know how important application whitelisting and control are to keep their sanity in check when it comes to enterprise security.

Application Whitelisting at Home (and the Office)

SecureAPlus is a free PC security software that provides anti-virus protection from up to 12 engines in the cloud combined with an install-&-forget application whitelisting and reliable application control.

It’s a great way to get to get free antivirus software plus application at no additional cost for one year and easily extendable via the Viral Security Program.

Learn More About SecureAPlus Application Whitelisting