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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Application Whitelisting Software

Imagine running a marathon without any track boundaries or security personnel to keep you on track- you would likely end up far off course. Similarly, without application whitelisting software, your computer is exposed to a plethora of unverified apps that could compromise your system’s security. But which software is the best? Let’s explore.

Just as a painter needs a palette of colors to bring their art to life, your computer needs application whitelisting software to keep its vital information secured. There are various options, but the best choice ultimately depends on your specific needs. Are you looking for ease of use or added features? Do you want a cloud-based program or one that’s solely on-premises? Consider your options carefully- a minute spent on careful planning is worth hours saved on troubleshooting later down the line.

best application whitelisting software
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What is Application Whitelisting Software?

Application whitelisting software is a security solution designed to restrict the installation and operation of software on a computer based on a pre-approved whitelist of applications. It is a proactive approach to security, designed to prevent the execution of any unauthorized software that may pose a threat to the system. Unlike reactive security solutions that rely on signatures to detect known malware, application whitelisting software blocks any applications that are not explicitly authorized by the administrator. This makes it an effective solution against zero-day attacks and other malware-enabled exploits.

Application whitelisting software provides an added layer of security to the computer system. It ensures that only known, trusted applications are executed on the system, mitigating the risks associated with running unknown or untrusted software. This means that even if a user unintentionally executes a malicious program, the security solution will prevent its operation since it is not included in the approved list of applications. In contrast, traditional antivirus software may only detect the malware after it has executed and caused damage to the system.

The use of application whitelisting software is becoming increasingly important in organizations that handle sensitive information or have strict security policies. This is because it is a proactive approach to security that prevents threats, rather than simply reacting to them. It also negates the need for continuous updates to security software or signature updates, which can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.

There are numerous application whitelisting software solutions available in the market. Each software has its unique features, functionality and purpose. Therefore, it is important to choose the right one that aligns with your system requirements and offers the protection you need.

Top Application Whitelisting Software in the Market

Below is a list of the top application whitelisting software in the market. These software solutions are reputable and trusted by many organizations globally, making them great options to consider while looking for an application whitelisting software.

Application Whitelisting Software
Features and Benefits
Microsoft AppLocker
  • Centralized management console
  • Granular application control based on user identity, device type, and location
  • Supports Active Directory integration
  • Supports Windows PowerShell
Part of Microsoft Windows operating system
McAfee Application Control
  • Dynamic whitelisting that allows applications to run if they can be validated as known and trusted by the system
  • Automated whitelist creation and management
  • Centralized control and reporting
  • Enhanced security with blacklisting capabilities
Available on request
Carbon Black Protection
  • Advanced threat protection through continuous endpoint monitoring
  • Centralized control and compliance reporting
  • Automated application control rules creation and management
  • Enables real-time detection and response to malware attacks
Available on request

1. Microsoft AppLocker

Microsoft AppLocker is a built-in application whitelisting software that comes with Windows operating systems such as Windows 7, 8, and 10. AppLocker is designed to help system administrators control which applications are allowed to run on a computer system through a series of precise rules and policies.

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AppLocker allows whitelist creation based on the publisher, file name, path, and hash. This feature ensures that only approved applications are allowed to run, thereby enhancing system security. The centralized management console simplifies the configuration and maintenance of rules for multiple devices. Administrators can easily create, edit, and test the application control policies without interfering with the user’s experience.

AppLocker is a platform-specific application whitelisting software that integrates with Microsoft Active Directory Services, Windows PowerShell scripting, and Group Policy to provide centralized management and control of application usage. These features make AppLocker an ideal application control solution for organizations that use Microsoft Windows systems and Active Directory for identity and access management.

AppLocker has several benefits that make it a great application whitelisting software. Some of these benefits include:

  • Built-in with Operation System: Since AppLocker is integrated into the Windows operating system, no separate installation is required.
  • Granular Application Control: Administrators can control application use based on user identity, device type, and location through policies and rules. This ensures that only authorized applications run on the system.
  • Easy Configuration: AppLocker provides tools for the creation, modification, and testing of rules, policies, and exceptions. This streamlines the process of setting up security policies.

AppLocker is an effective application whitelisting software that is ideal for organizations that use Microsoft Windows operating systems and Active Directory. Its integration with Active Directory, Group Policy and PowerShell ensures that the creation and management of security policies are centrally managed. Its use of granular application control enables organizations to ensure that only authorized applications are allowed to run on the system, ensuring enhanced security.

2. McAfee Application Control

McAfee Application Control is a security solution designed to enable the centralized management of whitelisting and blacklisting on a broad scale, providing the option for dynamic whitelisting. It is known for its capability to whitelist known applications and block execution of unknown or unauthorized applications in real-time. It allows efficient management of diverse endpoint devices, both fixed and mobile, running on various operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS.

McAfee Application Control automatically generates application signatures from trusted sources and allows updates to the whitelist automatically without the intervention of the administrator. Its efficient reporting system enables effective monitoring of security statuses such that the administrator is alerted in real-time whenever an unauthorized application attempts to execute on the system.

McAfee Application Control sets itself apart by offering a unique feature known as dynamic whitelisting. Dynamic Whitelisting allows only applications known to be safe to run on devices, continually validating known trusted applications based on certificate data, file metadata, and vendor data. This means that approved applications can run even if the signature on the executable file changes, as long as the file metadata, publisher, and other indicators contain the correct information.

McAfee Application Control has several benefits that make it a great application whitelisting software. Some of these benefits include:

  • Automatic Whitelist Generation: With McAfee Application Control, the administrator doesn’t have to whitelist applications themselves. The system automatically whitelists trusted applications, saving time and effort.
  • Centralized Management and Reporting: McAfee Application Control provides a centralized console for management and reporting, allowing administrators to view the status of devices in real-time and troubleshoot efficiently.
  • Dynamic Whitelisting: McAfee Application Control provides unique dynamic whitelisting that allows safe applications to run even if the signatures on the executable files change.

McAfee Application Control is a well-suited application whitelisting software for corporate environments. Its easy auto-generation feature of the whitelist and blacklist and Dynamic Whitelisting provide excellent coverage against many cyber threats. The centralized management console and reporting system enhance the management of application control policies, making it easier to establish and monitor application policies across multiple devices on different operating systems.

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3. Carbon Black Protection

Carbon Black Protection is a cybersecurity solution designed to continuously monitor endpoints and provide real-time threat protection. Its application control feature enables the management of applications by blocking or allowing access using the system’s default policy or customized rules. It is available as a Software as a Service (SaaS) or an on-premises solution.

Carbon Black Protection automatically creates rules for your applications based on existing applications on endpoints and data from trusted sources, and allows you to create, edit, and manage your own rules. The solution uses a policy-driven approach to application control, enabling quick application categorization and identification. When deploying this application whitelisting software, you can choose the level of control required at the organization, device, or user level.

Carbon Black Protection serves as a single platform for protection and monitoring of device fleet, as it provides endpoint detection, hunting, response, and workload protection features. It is capable of preventing unknown, advanced cyber threats with its predictive security feature that combines cloud-based analytics and machine learning. With this solution, administrators can enforce policies, detect vulnerabilities, or strengthen compliance with regulatory frameworks such as the GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI.

Some of the features of Carbon Black Protection that make it a great application whitelisting software are:

  • Continuous Monitoring: Carbon Black Protection implements continuous monitoring of endpoints, ensuring detailed threat analysis for known and unknown threats. This feature enhances security and enables quick identification and resolution of potential threats.
  • Centralized Control: This software provides a centralized console for policy deployment and management. The administrator can configure and monitor policies to screens for non-compliant users/devices.
  • Predictive Security: Carbon Black Protection provides a predictive security feature that combines cloud-based analytics and machine learning to anticipate the next cyber-attack before it occurs. This supports preemptive measures against advanced threats.

Carbon Black Protection is an enterprise-level endpoint security solution ideal for businesses that require continuous monitoring of their endpoints. Its powerful application control feature provides granular application management capabilities with flexible control policies. The predictive security feature that uses cloud-based analytics and machine learning ensures a more proactive approach to identifying and mitigating cyber threats.

Another great option for application whitelisting is Soundhound Apps. Learn more here about their features and benefits.

Top Application Whitelisting Software

Application whitelisting is an essential security technique used to protect against malware infections. Whitelisting software permits only approved programs to run on a designated system.

In this article, we will discuss the best application whitelisting software currently available in the market.

CrowdStrike Falcon

CrowdStrike Falcon is a modern, cloud-based endpoint protection platform that incorporates machine learning to detect malware attacks. This software has built-in whitelisting capabilities, allowing users to control which applications and processes can run on their systems.

The CrowdStrike Falcon console is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The administrator can choose to permit or disallow applications according to different categories, such as publisher, file path, hash, or digital certificate.

With CrowdStrike Falcon, the end-user can run only authorized software and ensure that unauthorized applications are not installed or run on the system. The software also provides real-time threat intelligence, enabling users to respond immediately to any security incidents that occur.

Easy to deploy and use
Real-time threat intelligence
May impact system performance
Cloud-based architecture

McAfee Application Control

McAfee Application Control is an industry leader in application whitelisting. Its advanced features and functions provide maximum control over which applications can be run on a system.

This software can detect unauthorized applications and reject them, ensuring that only trusted or approved applications are executed on the system. McAfee Application Control can also detect malware that has been previously whitelisted, preventing attackers from using new versions or variations of the malware to bypass the system’s security.

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The McAfee Application Control tool allows users to create custom whitelists, including hash-based, certificate-based, or publisher-based whitelisting. Additionally, administrators can deploy this software to various endpoints, reducing the need for manual intervention.

Flexible whitelisting options
Difficult to deploy in some environments
Efficient application control
Higher learning curve for end-users
Advanced security capabilities

Carbon Black Protection

Carbon Black Protection is an advanced endpoint protection software that incorporates state-of-the-art malware detection capabilities and application whitelisting technology to provide next-generation security protection

Carbon Black Protection’s whitelisting feature allows users to control the types of applications that can execute on their systems. The software offers a range of whitelisting options, including publisher-based, certificate-based, hash-based, and file-path-based whitelisting.

One of the most significant advantages of using Carbon Black Protection is its simplicity. This tool ensures that users have complete control over their endpoint security without requiring them to have advanced technical knowledge. Carbon Black Protection can also integrate with other security solutions, making it an excellent choice for businesses that require a comprehensive endpoint protection system.

Easy to deploy and manage
Higher learning curve for end-users
Multiple whitelisting options
Limited real-time threat intelligence
Advanced malware detection technology

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Application Whitelisting Software

Choosing the right application whitelisting software can be a daunting task, given the numerous options available in the market. However, when selecting an application whitelisting software that is suitable for your business, you should consider the following factors:


A flexible application whitelisting software should provide multiple whitelisting options to suit different user needs, including hash-based, file-path-based, and certificate-based whitelisting. This feature enables users to customize whitelists according to their specific use cases.


The application whitelisting software should be scalable, allowing it to meet the needs of an organization as it grows. It should be able to handle an increasing number of endpoints without affecting system performance or requiring costly hardware upgrades.

Real-Time Threat Intelligence

The best application whitelisting software should provide real-time threat intelligence, which allows administrators to respond immediately to threats and prevent them from causing damage to the systems.


The usability of the application whitelisting software is essential, as it can influence how quickly your team can deploy and manage the system. An intuitive user interface and streamlined workflows can reduce deployment and management time, ensuring that your systems remain secure without consuming too much of your team’s time.


When selecting an application whitelisting software, cost is a significant factor to consider. However, it is vital to keep in mind that the most expensive option may not always be the best. Ensure that you choose a solution that fits your budget while also addressing your organization’s security needs.


Application whitelisting is a critical security measure that can help protect your business from malware infections, data breaches, and other cyber threats. By implementing one of the top whitelisting solutions discussed in this article, you can gain complete control over which applications can execute on your systems.

Ensure that you consider the factors discussed above when selecting the best application whitelisting software for your business. Make the right choice for your organization, and keep your systems secure from the ever-increasing threat of cyber-attacks.

If you’re looking for the best application whitelisting software, check out our pillar article on Brilliant Apps for expert reviews and comparisons.

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