What is IP Whitelisting and How it Elevates Local Testing
By Sanghita Ganguly, Community Contributor - June 30, 2022
What is IP Whitelisting?
IP whitelisting helps limit access to your system during a Penetration Test. With the help of IP Whitelisting, businesses give access of the tools and software to specific IP addresses they consider trustworthy, and other IP addresses are directly blocked from using these tools or software. IP Whitelisting thus positively affects your automated security and ensures that each IP address accessing your tools is trustworthy and without any threats.
Moreover, whitelisting makes an exception for the website traffic, which would have been denied or blocked normally. With whitelisting, administrators might safeguard their IP addresses from potential threats from the local networks and the internet.
Local testing is the process through which software quality is verified for a specific locale or culture. We can say that local testing is explicitly performed on the local version of the software. The QA team tests the language, UI, date and time, and other pieces of stuff.
With local testing, all your web and mobile apps can be tested out of the box, including those hosted on localhost, behind proxies and firewalls, and much more.
The assessment includes everything from the change in UI to initial settings based on the requirements. Various elements, such as typographical errors, linguistic errors, etc., are checked repeatedly.
When to Whitelist IP Addresses while Local Testing?
When you want to give access to only the developers in the QA team to check the working of the particular software for a specific locale, you use IP Whitelisting during local testing. With Local Testing, you can assess the internal servers of your business on the BrowserStack Cloud.
These local or private networks are not accessible from the outside and therefore require you to create a secure network between BrowserStack Remote Machine and your device. So, when the quality assurance team must check the staging servers, they do it via the local mapping in the host file. This is where IP whitelisting shines to establish a secure network.
How does IP Whitelisting Work?
When only specific IP addresses get access by a network administrator to access a network, can be termed as the Whitelist IP meaning. It is based on the strict policy that is shared by the network administrator, who allows only certain IP addresses. The network appliance or software server gets a list of applications and destinations that a user requires to access. The network administrators also compile this list. After applying the list to the server, when the device or application requests access, it is allowed if it is whitelisted.
Moreover, any services or application that is not whitelisted cannot be used by the user. Whitelist permits communication to specific applications or services, while others are denied as:
- They either be a malicious code or ransomware
- Contains a material that does not comply with the company’s internet guidelines
- Is facilitating the use of ShadowIT
- Has a potential risk of leaking sensitive data.
Benefits of IP Whitelisting
IP whitelisting provides an easy and secure way to access private network resources. Below are the benefits of using a whitelist IP address:
- Improved Cloud Security
By improving system security, you can prevent unauthorized access to your network against an IP address not under your whitelist.
- Elevated Productivity
Unsecured sites can reduce productivity and reduce the profits of your company. Therefore, businesses take whitelisting of IP seriously to increase their team and business productivity.
- Secured Remote Access
Organizations can allow employees to use their own devices while mitigating the cloud and on-site risks that might impact your company’s profit and projects. BrowserStack Enterprise provides advanced network controls for complete data governance and advanced local testing.
Difference between IP Whitelist and Blocklist (Blacklisting)
When your server or system denies access to a specific list of applications, IP addresses, and websites, it is known as blacklisting. Many antiviruses blacklist IP addresses to block potential threats. At the same time, whitelisting denies access to any IP address, application, or website that is not mentioned on the list. Moreover, we can say that whitelisting is a default-deny approach, whereas blacklisting is a default-allow one. Therefore, it is needless to say that whitelisting is overriding the blacklisting approach.
What is Inbound IP Whitelisting?
With Inbound IP Whitelisting, the BrowserStack terminal will be allowed to access the private staging ecosystem. You can use the BrowserStack Cloud to resolve the IP-restricted assets without passing them through the Binary by using the approach of inbound IP whitelisting.
To start with Inbound IP-Whitelist, you need to whitelist the set of static IPs to help them access the server. Moreover, your network should be publicly discoverable, but the access should be restricted based on the IP of the requester. With IP whitelisting BrowserStack, you can secure the connections to your network and get accurate results.
How does Inbound IP Whitelisting Work?
Here is the process of how the Inbound IP Whitelisting functions –
- E1 – At the start of a testing session, the host machine calls the BrowserStack backend, which allocates an appropriate device per required capabilities.
- E2 – the BrowserStack backend allocates the device and uses the Repeater (to expand the coverage area) as a proxy.
- E3 – The backend informs the allocated Repeater of the session and allows the device to use that as a proxy.
- E4 – The device uses Repeater to make network calls.
- E5 – the Repeater will assess whether the request needs your or the public network to resolve.
- E6 – the Repeater will be hitting your internal network to resolve your request.
This may only resolve access-restricted public-internet resources within the networks of your area.
- You will be required to whitelist the inbound traffic for the set of Repeaters.
Wrapping It Up
We hope you have understood the concept of IP whitelisting and how it works. Whitelisting works as a great feature to control access to a server, website, or application on your network. Moreover, using it with localization testing can alleviate your experiences and make the whole process more secure.
Depending upon your requirement, you can choose your whitelisting solutions. However, many big firms use this approach and find it beneficial as whitelisting has less risk of cyberattacks, leading to better profits and brand authority. A win-win, isn’t it?
Read More: Local Testing with BrowserStack Live