The IT big news in 2018 has been about Meltdown and Spectre, two CPU design flaws that affect virtually every modern Intel processor with the exception of the Intel Itanium and Intel Atom prior to 2013.
These flaws affect desktop computers, notebook & laptops, tablets, mobile phones, servers and even hosted servers “in the cloud”.
What do you have to lose if you have an unpatched OS and a vulnerable processor? Literally, everything. Between the two, data can be leaked through various means.
So what do we do?
Right now, we are told it is NOT being exploited in the wild. But there’s no guarantee that it is not happening, or will not begin to be in the very near future by opportunistic hackers ready to make a dollar or two and create havoc. So, we must do everything we can to help protect ourselves.
As soon as patches are available from your OS provider, they must be installed. And BIOS patches from your system manufacturer must be installed if required. Unfortunately, these patches are not available for the majority of users, though they are in rapid development by manufacturers. Continuing to check may be your best bet.
If you use a patch management system like AutoTask Endpoint Manager (AEM), this may be leveraged by your IT provider to expedite the updates.
The bad news (there’s worse news?) – There may be a downside to the patches – there is a good chance that the security enhancements will cause systems to slow. Probably not enough for higher end systems users to notice, but those using the older machines or who opted to employ under-powered or budget processors may see significant changes.
In the mean-time, keeping all updates on your firewalls, workstations, servers, and using trusted software with main-stream anti-virus is wise, as well as using caution with attachments.
In reality, this is business as usual, you should always be on guard.
If you would like to know more, visit https://meltdownattack.com/ or CONTACT US if you would prefer to talk with someone in person, on the phone or in email who cares about your small and medium business security here in the Upstate of South Carolina. We can provide you with a managed services solution that will keep your computers up to date and monitored 24/7.