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Modern Online Security

Digital technology allows us to send our data around the world with a click of the mouse, and the frightening thing is, while it is traversing through space, disguised as ones and zeros, there are clever people who are trying to steal it!

Targeted cyber intrusions

One common strategy is called social engineering, where malicious phishing emails are sent out, and are geared to entice the user to open the email. If there is an attachment, and the user clicks on it, then the hacker can access the user’s secret information. The attack might not come in the form of an attachment, there may be a link to a malicious site in the email body, and this will also compromise the user.

Innovative solutions

There are new solutions such as application whitelisting, which only allows certain programs to execute on a computer, and this provides adequate protection against cyber intrusions. Whitelisting has been around in the cyber world for a while now, and basically it is the opposite of a blacklist, in as much as it allows certain programs to function. With blacklisting, every new file on a system is checked and if it appears to be malicious, it is blocked from executing, and is quarantined. Whitelisting, on the other hand, will by default, block all applications from opening, unless from a trusted source.

New attacks

This has many advantages, one being that whitelisting can stop “zero attacks”, which are lines of malicious code that haven’t been seen before. An anti-virus program would be useless, as it can only block codes that it has been programmed to look for, so something unseen would penetrate traditional anti-virus software.

No Internet access

A customised hash-based whitelist would be created for a specific company, and this unique whitelist would be generated and maintained on premises, with no cloud access required. This means your whitelist cannot be hacked from the Internet, as it is not connected.

Proactive solutions

Many security programs alert the user when there has been an intrusion, but application whitelisting only allows certain trustworthy files to execute, which prevents any intrusion. This proactive strategy protects your valuable data from possible attempts to gain access by your competitors, which has been known to happen.

Cat and mouse

Since the birth of the digital age, there have always been hackers, those that wish to steal information, or destroy networks, and the security industry is constantly plugging holes that have been made by probing hackers. As soon as one loophole has been closed with a patch, there will be another one shortly, as that is the nature of online data transmission. Whitelist security applications are more effective than the traditional blacklisting anti-virus programs, and more and more companies are turning to whitelisting as a more secure method of data protection.

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