As many people have found out early this year there has been news of a security flaw in many modern-day processors. Even though the news recently broke out the vulnerabilities that where depicted in these news updates where already known by major companies since the middle of 2017. They were reported by Google’s Project Zero Security Research Team and several other similar agencies. Spectre and Meltdown are two classes of these problems that have gotten the most attention.

Even with all this bleak news there is still things that have been done to combat the risks of Metltdown. Recent updates to Mac’s, Windows, and Linux derived systems have taken measures to counteract Meltdowns vulnerabilities. However, they have been known to have an impact on system performance. There are still updates to firmware and patches from certain manufactures that are coming through.

 

On the other hand, Spectre vulnerabilities are a little harder to protect against. Most industry experts are calling for chip redesigns to ultimately fix the problem. With this being said Intel has put out statements saying that they are working on firmware patches that can counteract the vulnerabilities, whether this is true or not has yet to be seen. Like previously stated these fixes and quick patches will affect performance.

These issues have come to pass through a basic trade off in computing. The tradeoff being convenience/performance vs. security. It has always been told to me that convenience and security are on opposite sides of an unbendable pole.  This is very true in the case of Spectre and Meltdown where performance/convenience where given higher value than security when these chips where being designed.

As always when it comes to security make sure to keep all your software and firmware up to date with the newest patches to ensure the most secure processing. As always if you have any questions or concerns you can give us here at ITConnexx a call at 1-800-797-0345.

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