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GSS recommends malware prevention through white listing.

Global Secure Systems (GSS) : 12 February, 2008  (Technical Article)
White listing known good applications is a technique recommended by Global Secure Systems for preventing the execution of malicious software on victim computers.
Global Secure Systems (GSS) is advising companies to look at installing whitelisting security software on their servers in a bid to stem the rising tide of malware attacks and database information losses.

'Whitelisting software was a security safeguard used mainly back in the 1980s when IT security software was in its infancy, but the concept fell from favour because of the slower processor speeds available then and the need to keep the database in memory at all times,' said David Hobson, GSS' managing director.

According to Hobson, today's computers now have the high powered processor and available memory to meet these criteria, so the time is now appropriate to revisit the whitelisting security concept.

'Almost all anti-virus and anti-spyware technologies are effectively blacklisting software solutions in that they block malware and other security problems based on their digital signature,' he said.

'The tsunami of malware and new generations of IT security threats makes this approach more than a little out-moded. As a result we are advocating a return to whitelisting software technology,' he added.

Whitelisting, says Hobson, is a relatively simple concept to engineer in an IT system.

'Basically, if an application or executable isn't included in the whitelist, then it isn't allowed to run. We believe that this approach is very appropriate to the new generation of IT security threats, since it effectively locks down unauthorised activity before the program code can even begin to operate,' he said. The new range of software tools that use this simple concept are able to address the key issues of today - including enterprise management. White listing maybe relatively simple on a single, stand alone PC, however the challenge is much more in an Enterprise. "We often work with organizations running two/three hundred applications and a lot of these are developed internally, so any solution has to be both flexible and manageable."

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