As many product vendors can readily tell you, this reviewer is the ultimate computer security cynic and a tough writer to please. I'm unsparingly critical of overhyped products. Although I've evaluated a number of excellent products over the years, I've never given a perfect 10 in any scorecard category -- until now. Bit9 Parity is one of the few computer security products that, if deployed in your Windows environment, will radically and immediately reduce your enterprise's level of security risk. It's not perfect, and it did not score a perfect 10 in every field -- but it earned the highest score this reviewer has ever given.
Started in 2002 from a NIST grant, Bit9 Parity is the most mature whitelisting product in this review. It provides broad coverage of Windows clients and file types, and its functionality and features assist users with making the right trust decisions needed to secure their environment.
Bit9 Parity's server console, called Parity Center [screen image], runs on Windows Server 2003, with IIS enabled and a Microsoft SQL Server database. The Parity client supports Windows 2000 and later, including embedded versions. Bit9 Parity comes linked, like SignaCert, to a cloud service with more than 7.5 billion legitimate and malicious files predefined and hashed.
Machines can be scanned to create baseline rulesets, and individual files and folders can be whitelisted or blacklisted. Where Bit9 takes application control to a new level is in rating identified files as to their trust and risk, based upon hash, digital signature (if included), software category (if known), and location. All reported client hashes are compared against known malware and legitimate vendor files.