Application Allowlisting

What is AAL (Application Allowlisting)?

Application Allowlisting is a form of cybersecurity that only allows approved software programs to run on a computer device or network. Allowlisting prevents cybercriminals from running malware or ransomware on a computer system or server to disrupt operations, steal sensitive data, encrypt files, or hold critical digital assets for ransom. Learn how to effectively prevent cyber-threats.

What is the difference between Application Allowlisting and Application Control?

Application Allowlisting (AAL) technology is implemented differently than Application Control although the terms are many times used interchangeably by IT professionals when discussing system security. Application Allowlisting technology screens at the deeper file level while Application Control screens at the application level. Greater security is ensured by using AAL because it deeply screens software applications at the file level in order to allowlist the application.
PC Matic offers Application Allowlisting Security Solutions

Trusted Files vs Trusted Software Applications

Application Allowlisting (AAL) is a digital security technology which only allows trusted files and scripts of a known, good application to run on a system or device. AAL's focus is more granular than App Control.

AAL Technology monitors an operating system in real-time to uniquely identify and screen each file regardless of what software publisher, parent process, or software package it belongs to. This deeper level of cyber-protection, also referred to as entity integrity monitoring is combined with real time allowlist updates, device authentication, PowerShell script use restrictions, and secure RDP monitoring.

Our award-winning Application Allowlisting Software fully integrates advanced application control, endpoint security, ransomware protection, blacklist antivirus, secure RDP, zero-trust network security, automated driver updates, and security patch management.

Application Allowlisting Provides Greater Security

AAL provides greater cyber-protection. AAL does not trust a script or file simply because it is part of a known or trusted legitimate application. Application Control, on the other hand may allow that same file or script to run simply because it is attributed to a known or trusted legitimate program. While allowlisting also places full control over which applications are permitted to run on a user's device, server or network, it does so by detailed malware screening of each and every file, script, macro, process, and file extension, not just every program.
Does app allowlisting work against all malware?

Yes, by use of discrete file screening in addition to application screening, AAL prevents cyber-attackers from hiding or disguising malicious code on a system or device whether it is delivered by email, download or fileless in memory such as with a Zero-Day cyber-attack.

How does allowlisting keep you and your data safe?

In addition to verifying an application publisher's signed signature and cryptographic hash, allowlisting provides a global allowlist of known, trusted applications and screens for specific file attributes such as file name, file path and file size. Modern allowlisting solutions go further than examining basic file attributes. Advanced AAL security solutions also scan parent and child process attributes, macros and process libraries to ensure that no malicious processes can execute on a device, server or network.

Does allowlisting work with other cybersecurity solutions?

Yes, as a multi-layered security approach advanced Application Allowlisting works very well with Application Control solutions, and other types of cybersecurity measures such as Blacklist Antivirus, MFA, Zero-Trust Architecture with micro-perimeter protection, EDR / XDR, immutable back-ups, and secure RDP to prevent ransomware attacks.

What is the goal of Application Allowlisting

The goal of allowlisting is to protect computers and networks from malicious applications by not allowing cyber-criminals to place their own executables on the system or device. This includes hackers disguising and replacing known good executables with compromised ones to launch a cyber-attack. Application allowlisting also prevents zero-day attacks by not allowing the execution of any non-allowlisted or un-trusted applications, scripts, installers or macros. Having the right application allowlisting tools in place is the key to malware prevention especially when running brand new, unknown or non-trusted applications.

Why use PC Matic Application Allowlisting

PC Matic Application Allowlisting is one of the most comprehensive and robust as compared to other well-known allowlisting and app control solutions such as Airlock Digital, AppLocker, McAfee Application Control, Digital Guardian, ManageEngine Application Control Plus, PowerBroker, PolicyPak, Defendpoint, Faronics Anti-Executable, Gatekeeper, Centrify, Kaspersky, and others. PC Matic's Allowlisting Security distinguishes itself:

  • PC Matic is a next-generation allowlist antivirus designed to stop modern threats like ransomware and APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats).
  • In independent testing by AV Test, PC Matic took first place with a perfect score in virus detection, and first place in performance.
  • Only PC Matic has American research, development, and support. Our allowlist technology is entirely American-made. Competing security software is made in foreign countries; many, where viruses originate.
  • Our allowlisting solution blocks ransomware, Trojans, viruses, and annoying, malicious ads for hassle-free web browsing and makes your computers faster and more reliable, even after years of use.
  • Zero-Trust Allowlist Security is Default-Deny, blocking all unknown executions backed by our 12 million Global Allowlist of trusted, good applications, and scripts.
  • PC Matic allowlisting protects Windows and Mac computers, including XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11, Windows Servers, Macs, MacBooks, Android phones and tablets.
  • Windows & MS Office Script and Macro Allowlists proactively restrict threat actor lateral movement via (SMB) Windows Server Message Block to protect network servers.
  • Secure RDP & Integrated VNC protects Remote Desktop Protocol with a allowlist of allowed devices immediately blocking all unknown or suspicious device sessions.
  • Fileless Malware Prevention proactively blocks malicious script-based attacks (Zero-Days) that defeat blacklisting antivirus and other allowlisting security solutions.
  • Review our comprehensive allowlists below including scripts, macros, app signatures, process libraries, file extensions, RDP port access, and e-mail security white lists.

Global App Allowlist

An automated global white list of trusted applications that each endpoint can check and update in real-time.

Local App Allowlist

Customized applications can be added locally with a simple click to the automated global allowlist.

App Signature Allowlist

Good signed applications are added via the publisher’s signature eliminating the need for allowlisting hashes for past and future applications.

Malware Script & Macros Allowlist

A trusted scripts and macros allowlist prevents unauthorized execution via valid scripting apps and programs such as Microsoft Office.

Device Authentication Allowlist

For Multi-Factor Authentication, a device uniqueness algorithm authenticates a user's device rather than a mobile phone number as a second factor.

RDP Port Access Allowlist

Secure RDP Allowlist authenticates entering devices to close any security hole preventing ransomware breaches through RDP ports.

What You Need to Know About Application Allowlisting

Application Allowlisting provides granular protection at the file, script, and process level. In comparison, Application Control identifies or flags entire application packages by focusing on whether a program is known and trusted, as opposed to focusing on each and every file including scripts, macros, processes, and file extensions.

Screening with Application Control does not take place at the granular file and entity level as it does with AAL. So while Application Control will flag and block "unrecognized software changes", Application Allowlisting will flag and block any file, script, file extension or macro changes.

Application Control can allow files from a trusted application to run. It checks to see if anything has changed since the program was initially installed. While this ensures some level of system security, it does not prevent many sophisticated types of modern malware from penetrating a system.

Modern malware including ransomware is written to avoid application level screening. Files, scripts, macros, and even security updates can be disguised as belonging to an application package. Malicious code can piggyback on seemingly legitimate software program updates and downloads. A better solution to combat these kinds of modern cyber-threats is Application Allowlisting (AAL) which screens all device and system files even those from trusted applications.

Our team of cybersecurity professionals will assess your current security posture and help you to implement a complete security solution for a fully protected, secure server and network. Our zero-trust solutions can be utilized across hybrid environments including cloud-hosted virtual machines to protect servers, applications and databases. Learn how to implement application allowlisting using best practices.

An advanced scripting allowlist compiled in real-time to prevent malicious scripts from running on a device, server or network. This advanced threat protection prevents ransomware and malware from taking a foothold on a system, restricting lateral movement across the network to stop advanced persistent threats (APTs) from executing.

With AAL, if any file, script, macro, driver, or security patch update is unknown, modified or not already on the approved allowlist, that file or script is prevented from executing by default. It doesn't matter if the application itself is known and trusted.

This is where Application Allowlisting for cybersecurity effectiveness really shines vs Application Control, Blacklisting Antivirus or Zero-Trust measures alone. The granularity of file, script and macro inspection differentiates AAL from App Control making Application Allowlisting superior in providing protection against malware and ransomware attacks.

Application Allowlisting for Server Security comprises the comprehensive IT safeguards and application control tools used to protect data and IT assets on an organization's servers.

Unified Network Performance Monitoring provides a unified security view of your IT environment including hybrid and cloud networks to detect threats and performance issues in real time across all your applications.

Allowlisting solutions and security tools are superior because they stop malware or threat actors from even running their malicious code on your network or device. Typical blacklist antivirus programs wait until a machine or system is infected, or a vulnerability is reported to add malware to their blacklists.Allowlists are malware prevention tools; Blacklists are malware reaction tools.

IT Networks and Servers are the most frequent targets of cyber-criminals looking to exploit vulnerabilities in a system's security to disrupt operations, steal data, or to ransom critical company data. Do not become a victim of a ransomware attack. Harden your network or cloud servers with the best automated application allowlisting tools available in the USA. Contact a PC Matic cybersecurity professional to learn more about our cyber security tools and the best ransomware security software.