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Protect Your Devices Against Spectre & Meltdown

Well, that didn’t last long. The year’s first security threats have been unleashed. Spectre and Meltdown, as they’re known, have the technology industry scrambling with nearly every computer, cloud server, smartphone and tablet in the world at risk.

On Wednesday, Jan. 3, news broke that processors from Intel, Arm and AMD in most modern technology have had serious flaws for 20 years. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow a hacker to obtain access to sensitive data, such as passwords or encryption keys.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 10, there is no evidence attackers have exploited these vulnerabilities.

You and your team are concerned, but it’s important not to panic. Patches are being developed and released daily by most manufacturers. Continuously updating your devices, apps and web browsers will safeguard you from potential threats.

However, be mindful that initial fixes could lead to performance issues. On Tuesday, Jan. 9, Microsoft temporarily pulled some of its patches after multiple complaints.

“Microsoft has reports of customers with some AMD devices getting into an unbootable state after installing recent Windows operating system security updates,” the company said in a statement.

Vology, a leading Managed IT Services Provider (MSP), is keeping a watchful eye on the developing situation. If your infrastructure is affected and under our Server & Patch Management Service, we’re already on it! We’ll reach out to you via your Service Delivery Manager to discuss any complex implementations, as needed. If you have any questions, as always, please reach out to your Service Delivery Manager.

Here are the four updates you need to be running right now to fend off these bugs:

Anti-virus Updates

Before anything else, ensure your anti-virus software is up-to-date. If your security program is not compatible, you will not be able to download an update from Windows.

Whatever you do, Vology doesn’t recommend disabling your anti-virus software to download Microsoft’s latest update. Also, keep in mind that most security software will not detect Spectre and Meltdown.

Windows Updates

Patching your computer will involve a Windows Update. Note that even if you’ve downloaded the most recent update, you may need to install it or restart your PC.

Vology suggests turning on Automatic Updates to ensure your Windows device is always up-to-date. It’s also important to note that other operating systems are affected by Spectre and Meltdown: Android, iOS, MacOS, etc.

Firmware Updates

After installing the Windows operating system update, check with your device manufacturer to download and install their specific hardware updates. Use these links to check for firmware updates.

Vology reminds you that only installing the Windows update will not fully guard your technology against Spectre and Meltdown.

Web Browser Updates

Updating your web browser is just as crucial as updating your operating system. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge Firefox and Safari have similar fixes available to defend against these new threats.

For more information on Vology’s Server & Patch Management Service and to learn how Vology can protect and defend your organization against cyberattacks, reach out us today by emailing or calling 888-808-2199.