How Auditors Assess Cyber Risks

Email Blacklisting Versus Whitelisting


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Blacklisting is where you block something you don’t trust. It keeps networks and devices safe from harmful software and cybercriminals. But there’s another, safer way of doing that – and that’s called whitelisting.

Rather than trying to spot and block threats, you assume everyone and everything is a threat unless they’ve been whitelisted.

But what is the right approach to keeping your business data safe? This debate rages on, with many IT professionals holding different views.

Here are the main differences…

  • Blacklisting blocks access to suspicious or malicious entities. Whitelisting allows access only to approved entities.
  • Blacklisting’s default is to allow access. Whitelisting’s default is to block access.
  • Blacklisting is threat-centric. Whitelisting is trust-centric.

There are pros and cons to each approach. While blacklisting is a simple, low-maintenance approach, it will never be comprehensive as new threats emerge daily. It’s easy to miss a threat, as cybercriminals design software to evade blacklist tools.

Whitelisting takes a stricter approach and therefore comes with a lower access risk. But it’s more complex to implement and needs more input. It’s also more restrictive for people using the network and devices.

Controlling access is at the center of network security. Blacklisting and whitelisting are both legitimate approaches to managing access to your networks and keeping your data secure. The right one for you depends on your organization’s needs and goals. If you’d like to discuss which approach is best for your business, get in touch.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

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