Spectre. Meltdown.You may have seen these words cropping up with increasing regularity recently. What do they mean? Are they something you should be taking an interest in?
YES! A resounding yes, and here’s why…
Spectre and Meltdown are names applied to three variants of a known hardware vulnerability inherent in almost every computer chip created over the last 20 years. It’s almost a certainty that you have one of these affected chips in a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone you’re using right now!
How are you vulnerable?
Potentially, a malicious attack could exploit chip features designed to allow faster processing, giving fraudulent access to your secure data e.g. user and/or password information. Existing software security may not protect your data as they were created on the false assumption that the hardware itself was secure.
What can you do about this?
Apply one of the patches developed and released by various hardware/software vendors, including: Microsoft, Apple Firefox and Google. However, be aware that not all computer models or operating system (os) versions are having a patch created for them. It’s entirely possible that you are running a machine/OS combination that will remain unpatched and vulnerable.
This is particularly important information for any business holding/processing personal data in light of the new Notification of Data Breach (click here for details) regulations coming into effect on 22nd February 2018.Failure to patch may leave an organisation exposed in relation to the new regulations.
How can The IT Agency help?
The IT Agency are continually monitoring the various hardware and software patches as they become available and maintaining a list of what is, or isn’t, being updated…or going to be updated.
Clients on our standard IT Service plans and above are eligible for free updates and upgrades to their hardware and software as necessary. Clients outside our service plans can have their requirements assessed and remedial actions applied on a project basis.
The IT Agency can apply the latest patches to secure your business data and systems, keeping you Connected, Protected and Productive – talk to the experts here at The IT Agency and avoid the Spectre of a Meltdown.
Nb: further information on the vulnerabilities can be found in this excellent article by Josh Fruhlinger, and anyone interested in the deeper technicalities, click here to see Google’s comprehensive report.