How to Prevent Spectre and Meltdown Chip VulnerabilitiesThere’s an adage which says, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It applies perfectly to network security and the actions take by companies to protect sensitive data. It seems as though there is always some new threat waiting to take advantage of vulnerabilities and issues in our computers. The cyber world recently became aware of two CPU chip vulnerabilities knowns as Spectre and Meltdown. The potential to cause harm to businesses and personal users is widespread because it affects chips that were designed and put into computers over the last 20 years.

Which Chips are Vulnerable?

The methods used to help processing chips to perform faster are actually the root of the problem with Spectre and Meltdown. Spectre could be taken advantage of by tricking the computer’s processor into launching something known as a speculative execution process, which could ultimately reveal private data stored in the CPU cache. To prevent Meltdown attacks, it pays to understand how it works as well. Meltdown has the potential to provide access to restricted data through processes performed via the operating system. Both take advantage of flaws in the chip designs, which make them susceptible to variants of the attacks.

Currently, all of the top chip designs from the most prominent manufacturers have made the list, including Intel, Arm, and AMD. Those chips are used in the most popular devices made by the top brands, such as Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. The structure of the chips, mainly what makes them so much faster than other brands, is what makes them susceptible to one or more of more variants of the attacks. Companies are scrambling to get operating system patches, browser updates, and increase networking security, but is that really the best approach? Because these chips are in practically everything we use in our personal lives and in the business world, a more comprehensive solution is required.

What Else Does It Affect?

The more you start to back up and consider the big picture in all of this, the more widespread and far-reaching it gets. Network security needs to be both deep and wide to encompass every area required to protect sensitive data. Security experts reveal that the flaws from these chips don’t just affect computers, but also computer servers. Servers are the backbone of all web-based or cloud services. This is why popular data storage programs, including Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services, were considered to be vulnerable to this problem as well. They quickly scrambled to find ways to prevent Meltdown attacks and stop Spectre vulnerabilities in their tracks.

Some of the things that you need to know:

  • the initial patches released by Intel were causing some PCs to become unstable and cause unexpected reboots
  • Android phones began rolling out updates almost as soon as the vulnerabilities were made public
  • iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch received protection from some of the weaknesses through the latest iOS version 11.2 update
  • Microsoft released a security update for Windows 10
  • Apple issued an update for iMacs, MacBooks, Mac Pros, and the Mac Mini via Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.2

Best Way to Protect Sensitive Data

If you are getting tired of panicking and scrambling to find a network security fix every time some new vulnerability, virus, or a bit of malware hits the media, it’s time to get proactive. Innovative technology solutions through Synivate can help you take control. It is essential to be ready to take on new threats, such as stopping Spectre and learning how to prevent Meltdown attacks. Operating system patches and browser updates will only get you so far. You need a more comprehensive approach to security if you are to protect sensitive data and your business.

Our team of highly trained and experienced professionals can provide you with a custom solution that will work to create a more secure and efficient computer network. Monitoring and management services offer a complete Information Technology (IT) solution for small, mid-size, and even large business structures. Software updates to reduce security risks, enhanced computer and network security services, asset tracking, and system performance management are just some of the techniques we apply. Synivate also offers protection services for mobile devices to provide worry-free monitoring and management 24-hours a day, seven days a week, no matter where your business takes you in the world.

To get a FREE estimate for our services or meet with our team for a consultation, give us a call in the Greater Boston area at 617-517-0704. We have innovative technology solutions and opportunities for any business working in any industry. Let us show you how to take control over your network security and protect sensitive data once and for all.