Only allow ‘trusted’ applications in Windows

Software-Restriction Policy 2.1.0: Malware is always lurking around the corner and especially ransomware has made countless demage. Simple Software – Restriction Policy is a somewhat unusual way to cut off such bad applications: this software ensures that only executables can be executed that are located in the \ Program Files, \ Program Files (x86) and \ Windows folders.

Those who use Windows Pro or higher can use a built-in Windows security function to ‘whitelist’ certain applications – to place them on a list of approved applications. This function is named Software Restriction Policy (srp) and can be configured from the Local Security Policy module, among other things. Windows Home users can unfortunately be ignored here, but Simple Software Restriction Policy offers similar functionality. Moreover, the tool is very easy to use and that is also handy for users of Windows Pro.

After installation the program in the Windows system tray and the protection is active. From now on, only programs that are in the \ Program Files, \ Program Files (x86) and \ Windows folders, or in their subfolders, can be executed. It is therefore important that you are certain that the executables at those locations: so first runs a thorough antivirus scan.

Safety first

It is also important that you sign up for a day-to-day use with a standard account as you do not have write permissions on the specified directories from such an account. Malware, such as ransomware, that knows how to get into your system under the auspices of that account will therefore not be able to install themselves in the folders listed. Possibly in other locations, such as your user profile, but thanks to Simple Software Restriction Policy, they cannot be executed from there.

By the way, it is possible at any time to temporarily disable the protection of the tool at the push of a button: the protection is then set to inactive for 30 minutes by default. That is more than enough to install a new program (in one of the mentioned folders) or to remove a surplus program. However, you can also adjust this length: this is done by editing the corresponding software policy.ini file with your Notepad. This file also contains a series of options and setting options with which you can tailor the tool even better to your choice. Here you can also indicate, for example, that programs are allowed on the desktop or the security should not apply to a local administrator.