Application whitelisting is one of the most critical components in an Industrial Control system. It allows only approved software to run on managed devices – blocking malware and other unapproved applications before they can even enter a device. However, the process of allowing only what is trusted on systems can be more difficult to implement than some may realize.
The first step in building a whitelist is understanding what the users are actually doing on their devices. This involves taking a deep dive into what they use and why, and what their workflow looks like. This is critical to understand in order to ensure the whitelist policy doesn’t limit productivity or negatively impact user experiences.
A key challenge with application whitelisting is keeping up with the pace of new software releases. If a developer is releasing updates to their software that address security vulnerabilities, the application whitelist needs to be updated to include these versions. Otherwise, these unauthorized applications and incorrect software versions will continue to run on the endpoints of your network.
A successful implementation of an application whitelist can significantly reduce the risk of a malware breach. But it’s important to remember that this isn’t a comprehensive cybersecurity solution, and it can be easily bypassed by hackers with sophisticated techniques. A proactive approach to cybersecurity using multiple different solutions and techniques is necessary to provide maximum protection against today’s threats. For this reason, we recommend implementing an application whitelist alongside other security tools.
PBOSecure have a variety of professional services that are included but not limited to ICS/OT network Application Whitelisting, Vulnerability Assessment and Network Segmentation by adhering to industry best practices.
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