What are Meltdown and Spectre?

Meltdown Spectre ransomware

Even though it’s only January, there have already been a couple of cyber security issues that have been identified by techies around the world. If you want to protect your business, you better pay attention.

Check this out: Almost every computer chip that was manufactured in the past twenty years have identical security flaws. We’re not talking about a virus, but a bug that could lead to all sorts of malware. Say hello to Meltdown and Spectre. They work by taking advantage of a CPU’s speculative execution, which involves a lot of convoluted IT nerd mumbo jumbo. If you work in Information Technologies, congratulations for understanding it. But if you don’t, this is why you should still care:

Not patching these vulnerabilities would allow hackers to access information you previously believed to be protected. If you use an Intel, AMD, or ARM processor, then yes, we’re talking about you.

What can you do to protect your business?

You need to act, now. As in, as you read this blog, call your IT person and have them work on this. If this is way over their heads because it’s too new, hire a Managed Security Service (MSS) (such as, ahem, Soaring Eagle Database Consulting) to take care of it.

There are also things that you can do to cover your bases: Install the most recent software updates for all of the programs you use. This is because since vendors are aware of these issues, they have been working to provide more secure options specifically designed to at least patch Meltdown.

If you have Apple products, the company has released updates on the following OS: iOS, macOS High Sierra, Safari, and El Capitan. As for Spectre, the judge’s still out on that one.

Have there been any attacks?

Fortunately, not yet (that anyone is aware of. It’s not like hackers release a monthly newsletter informing the public of their plans). What’s for sure is that time is of the essence. Don’t wait until this becomes the next Ransomware scare to start thinking about it. While you’re at it, you should do a comprehensive database health check, just to make sure that there aren’t additional vulnerabilities you need to patch.

Start the year right by taking care of any potential threats right from the start. Contact us and see what we can do for you.