Application Whitelisting Can Prevent Ransomware Attacks

The Petya ransomware virus has companies and governments around the world worrying about their operations and infrastructure. The ransomware virus was able to hit over 12,000 devices in 65 different countries, including the United States. Originally the cybercriminals behind Petya demand $300 in BitCoin after they infect a machine and encrypt a user’s files. Petya can also encrypt hard drives, making entire machines inoperable. Petya deletes boot-level files, which makes it impossible for IT teams to fully recover systems that have been infected.  The virus spreads itself around inside organizational networks, which makes it more difficult for basic antivirus software to detect.

Corporations like Merck, Maersk, and WPP have been victims of this ransomware virus. Petya has similarities to WannaCry, another ransomware virus that plagued machines around the world earlier in May, but seems to be more sophisticated. Recently, the culprits behind Petya made their first public statement and asked for $250,000 in exchange for the private encryption key used in the attacks.

Ransomware is a growing threat for companies, as it can cause severe financial damage. Companies can invest in antivirus solutions, but these can block the legitimate software that companies want to use. As ransomware viruses become more far-reaching, companies should look into application whitelisting solutions to keep their networks secure. With application whitelisting, IT teams can designate which third-party software is safe for the company’s networks.

One of the most common ways for ransomware to infect a network is through malicious attachments in email. However, application whitelisting software can be used to stop ransomware and other malicious software from executing if a user unwittingly downloads a virus. Application whitelisting products will compare a program that wants to execute with the list of approved programs. If the program or software is on the whitelist, the program will be allowed to execute. Application whitelisting products can help prevent ransomware from infecting entire organizations and causing damage to the company’s productivity and finances.

It can be a daunting task for IT teams to compile an initial whitelist of programs that are permissible. IT teams will need thorough information regarding the applications that users need and utilize regularly for their jobs. For larger organizations, an application whitelisting group policy can let IT teams easily designate which software is acceptable for the company globally. Application whitelisting services can give IT teams greater control over what software is allowed to run on a user’s machine. This is important because end users typically aren’t as knowledgeable about how to avoid malicious software.

Application whitelisting tools can also help organizations combat zero day threats. Zero day threats are vulnerabilities that are known about for less than a day. These vulnerabilities are either discovered by penetration testers who can issue a security patch, or hackers who can exploit the vulnerability. Application whitelisting software for windows 7 can let network administrators define what end users are allowed to download and use on their company devices, helping companies avoid zero day threats.

Promisec Endpoint Manager (PEM) is the Best Application Whitelisting software for organizations that are worried about the growing threat of ransomware, or just looking to secure their networks from potential cyber security threats. With PEM, companies and organizations can use application whitelisting to prevent being victimized by calculated and devastating ransomware attacks.