So, by now you have heard that a flaw present in most modern Computer Processing Units (CPU) produced in the last decade will require operating system (OS) kernels and system firmware to be overhauled. This flaw is easily exploitable to obtain information from databases, applications and processes running on the system due to the way the CPUs pre-process instructions and access system memory.
The immediate fix is to update the different OS kernels and applicable firmware. However, some security experts are
suggesting that the only real fix is to replace all CPU’s as the only mitigation. In any case, this presents a serious operational challenge to all organizations, including cloud service providers. For example, Azure, AWS and Google have notified customers of major ongoing security updates in the upcoming weeks related to this issue.
And not all devices can be updated. All Apple devices are vulnerable at this time but the kernel fixes will only apply to the latest IOS, macOS and tvOS operating systems. Devices that cannot run the latest OS versions will remain vulnerable.
It is also important to note that there are some needed changes in antivirus tools to properly inspect virtual memory and access. In addition, organizations must now continuously monitor their environments to ensure they are running the latest OS kernel and firmware combinations.
So now what?
First of all, reports indicate that no known exploits have been found at this time. But that just means that none have been detected or seen by security companies or organizations. In fact, the disclosures include proof-of-concept code that is probably being tested by bad actors as you read this.
Second, OS kernel changes will be a software level change, meaning that the underlying hardware will likely remain vulnerable unless firmware patches are released by the hardware manufacturers and OEMs. In fact, security analysts fear that many cheap IoT devices will never be updated.
This will remain a critical issue for months or years to come because of the sheer amount of hardware that needs to be properly inventoried, updated, monitored and potentially replaced to really enact a proper remediation. Visibility will be key in knowing not only what clean-up has been done, but also what remediation is still needed.
DigitalEra partner Trapezoid offers tools to help. Here’s how:
1) Trapezoid’s Firmware Integrity Verification Engine (FIVE) is designed to continuously monitor the firmware regardless of manufacturer or OEM.
2) Trapezoid FIVE can maintain an inventory of hardware platforms and firmware revisions over time to detect whether your systems are threatened by this critical vulnerability, and others like it.
3) Trapezoid can leverage multiple integrity measurement technologies from different OEM’s to identify changes that could be indicators of compromise, and remotely attest to the integrity of your systems.
For more information on these threats and Trapezoid solutions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some links for additional information on Meltdown and Spectre:
DigitalEra Group, has announced the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors, James C. Cason and José E. González.
Mayor Jim Cason
“These two individuals personify leadership in IT and cybersecurity, and bring a trove of security innovation, global business and government agency expertise to the table. We’re honored to have them by our side as we continue to expand our advanced cybersecurity products and services offering for protecting organizations throughout the southeast US and Latin America.” said Patrick Dyer, DigitalEra President and CEO.
James “Jim” Cason recently retired after his third term as Mayor of Coral Gables Florida. He has a wealth of experience building business and government relationships, and in the promotion of safety and protection. Prior to becoming Mayor, Cason spent 38 years as a Foreign Service Officer for the US State Department, serving in 12 countries. He has been the Ambassador to Paraguay and Chief of Mission in Havana, Cuba. Mayor Cason has received numerous awards from State, Defense, the White House and the intelligence community.
“Cybersecurity affects everyone across the globe and plays a rapidly increasing role in our everyday lives, from common devices we use as consumers to enterprise level programs and government agency systems”, Cason said. “I’m proud to be part of DigitalEra’s board and share their commitment to helping organizations keep systems, operations, data and people safe.”
Cason holds a master’s degree in International Relations and Affairs from Johns Hopkins SAIS, studied Military Strategic Studies at the National Defense College and has an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.
José González is the Chief Executive Officer of Trapezoid, Inc., a firmware and IoT protection firm headquartered in Miami, FL. Trapezoid produces Trapezoid FIVE®, an advanced integrity monitoring solution that helps organizations detect, alert and help remediate attacks affecting BIOS and firmware, while also meeting critical NIST SP 800-53 and 53A controls.
Trapezoid CEO, José González
González has invested a large portion of his career in the technology space. Prior to Trapezoid, he served as Chief Legal Officer and SVP of Business Affairs at Terremark Worldwide, Inc., and has held key legal roles at Sunbeam Corp, Blockbuster Ent. Grp (Viacom, Inc. subsidiary) and American Express. González received his JD from Fordham School of Law and BA from Fordham University, and is a member of the New York Bar.
“I’m excited to join Ambassador Cason on this board and play a role in DigitalEra’s mission of bringing innovative security technologies and services to the southeast and Latin America.” González said.
DigitalEra is a premier IT security technology distributor and services provider. We help organizations of all kinds protect data, systems and people. We assess and solve complex security challenges, provide guidance on security technologies and solutions, and implement comprehensive security strategies and solutions. DigitalEra represents an impressive collection of the world’s most powerful security products and technologies, including Cylance, Cyphort, FireEye, LogRhythm, McAfee, Symantec Tanium, Tenable, Trapezoid and more. DigitalEra serves businesses, government agencies and education and nonprofits throughout the southeast US, Texas, the Caribbean and Latin America. For more information about DigitalEra, call (786) 621-8600 or visit http://www.digitaleragroup.com.
Media contact: B. Lambright
Email: email@example.com, Tel: (786) 621-8600
Effective this month, compliance with NIST 800-53 and 800-53A applies to all types of organizations at all levels. This includes state, local, and tribal governments as well as all industry and academia. Your organization will be expected to comply.
DigitalEra is bringing together firmware experts José González and Michael Dyer for this timely presentation to review the requirements and share new firmware protection technologies to help you be prepared.
There are two sessions to choose from:
Tuesday, March 14th at 2:00 p.m., ET and Thursday, March 16th at 10:00 a.m. ET.
This 60 minute presentation covers:
- The NIST Rule: Why it now affects you
- Case Studies: The breaches that led to the ruling and how you’re at risk
- NIST Compliance: What you need to know now to comply
- Advanced Technologies for protecting your organization
Find out what you need to do to comply with NIST Regulations and see new technologies for protecting your firmware. Register now.