Application Allowlisting vs Application Control

Application Allowlisting differs from Application Control when it comes to Cyber-Security. Learn the difference between AWL and App Control.

What is the difference between
Application Allowlisting and Application Control?

Application Allowlisting (AWL) 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 AWL because it deeply screens software applications at the file level in order to whitelist the application.
PC Matic offers Application Allowlisting Security Solutions

Trusted Files vs Trusted Software Applications

Application Allowlisting (AWL) is an application control technology which only permits whitelisted files and scripts of a trusted software publisher to run on a machine or network. AWL's focus is more granular than App Control in that it scans and screens all files, scripts, drivers, and processes.

Whitelisting Technology scans a computer system's files and scripts in real-time to evaluate each file to ensure the file or script is safe before allowing it to run. This granular type of preventive cyber-security keeps systems and data secure by preventing malware or ransomware from executing in the first place. Advanced Whitelisting combines automatic, real-time whitelist updates, zero-trust access, secure RDP & VNC, zero-touch device authentication, PowerShell restrictions, and automated security patch updates.

Our award-winning Application Allowlisting Solutions provide layered security integrating well with zero trust network architecture, application control software, secure remote desktop access tools, ransomware prevention products, endpoint protection solutions, and many blacklist antivirus products. Review our Security Software Product Features

Whitelisting Provides Greater Security Than App Control

Whitelisting provides greater system protection. Application Allowlisting technology screens all processes including those of trusted known applications. Application Control techniques could permit files, macros or scripts to execute because they designated for a program directory of an already known application. This can allow malicious actors to piggyback onto legitimate programs, or to disguise their malicious code in order to gain system access through a seemingly innocuous application update. Whitelisting blocks any file or script not intentionally whitelisted preventing threat actors from executing their malware. Granular Malware Screening of each and every application file, script, macro, process, and extension is a superior form of cyber-protection.

Through the use of discrete file screening in addition to application screening, AWL 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.

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

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, Zero-Trust Architecture with micro-perimeter protection, EDR / XDR, immutable back-ups, and secure RDP to prevent ransomware attacks.

How Application Allowlisting Works To Protect Your Systems

The goal of whitelisting is to protect computers and networks from potentially harmful applications by not allowing cyber-criminals to place their own malicious executable program files on the system or a device. This includes hackers disguising and replacing known good executable programs with compromised ones to launch a cyber-attack. Application allowlisting also prevents zero-day attacks by not allowing the execution of any non-whitelisted 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.

PC Matic Application Allowlisting is one of the most comprehensive and robust as compared to other well-known whitelisting 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, and others.

Global App Whitelist

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

Local App Whitelist

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

App Signature Whitelist

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

Malware Script & Macros Whitelist

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

Device Authentication Whitelist

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 Whitelist

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

Application Allowlisting Supported Platforms

  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

What You Need to Know About Application Allowlisting

Why do we need 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 AWL. 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.

Why is Whitelisting Applications Superior?

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 (AWL) which screens all device and system files even those from trusted applications.

Getting started with Application Allowlisting

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.

Secure Your Business or Organization Now

Explore PC Matic PRO Cybersecurity for complete IT System Protection with Whitelisting Security Solutions. Our whitelist technology provides comprehensive security and hardening against advanced malware, ransomware, ATPs, fileless infections, polymorphous viruses, and sophisticated cybercriminals attempting to steal and ransom your critical data. Protect your sensitive data and systems against sophisticated cybercriminal attempting to steal and ransom your data. Explore PC Matic Pro Security Solutions.

Why AWL works better than Application Control alone?

With AWL, if any file, script, macro, driver, or security patch update is unknown, modified or not already on the approved whitelist, 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 AWL 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.

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.

PC Matic Whitelisting Security Software