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Allowlisting (also known as whitelisting) is a cyber security protocol wherein the user is restricted to using the trusted applications, websites and processes set by the corporate and everything that is not put under the ‘trusted’ list is blocked.
The internet is filled with websites and applications, and thousands of them are being added every day. It is hard to keep up with all that is getting newly released every day, this includes threats. It is rather ideal for the corporate to allow websites/apps which are critical for the user. Unknown actions are stopped or limited, preventing them from opening and proliferating an attack within the system.
Allowlisting identifies files, applications and websites to cross verify with the ones that are allowed by the corporate to grant them access. When a file or an app is blocked, sometimes the IT reviews the blocked actions and if they find it important, they can grant access to it.
The effectiveness of allowlisting depends on various factors. If the number of processes that are allowed through allowlisting is high, the amount of control you have over the device is less and this inturn affects the security as this will require monitoring more apps.
This is because an attacker can disguise malware in an app that is trusted by the corporate, hence it is important to keep the apps updated. It is often the safest option to grant the least privileged access to any user.