crn5000-inc2015 BPTW logo
Contact us today!
(918) 770-8738

Integrated Business Technologies Blog

Integrated Business Technologies has been serving the Broken Arrow area since 2007, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

ALERT: Make Sure Your Business is Safe from Meltdown and Spectre

Intel recently found itself (once again) in hot water, mere months after many flaws were discovered in the firmware that enables all of their chips to do their job. This time, the issue could have potentially caused a permanent dip in the CPU’s capacity to function properly. This has come to be known as the Meltdown vulnerability.

This issue was first reported in a blog maintained by an unknown user identified only as Python Sweetness, who summed up what they described as “an embargoed security bug impacting apparently all contemporary CPU architectures that implement virtual memory, requiring hardware changes to fully resolve.”

In other words, a bug had been discovered that messed with how different programs could interact with the CPU. Normally, the CPU has two modes: kernel, which allows complete, carte blanche access to the computer itself, and user, which is supposed to be the ‘safe’ mode. The issue that Python Sweetness discovered was that the bug allowed programs that were run in user mode to access kernel mode. This could potentially open the door for malicious programs and malware to access a user’s hardware itself and see anything that’s going on in protected memory space, meaning programs could gain access to memory being used by other programs, or in the case of virtual machines they could cross-talk between VMs as well.

Fortunately, a fix has been developed that will likely only cause a 2% dip in system performance, a greatly lesser sacrifice than what was initially expected. Originally, it was assumed that entire processes would be shifted from user mode to kernel mode and back again, slowing the entire system down considerably. There has since been a Windows update to mitigate the CPU issue, despite the expectation that it would take a hardware change to implement it.

For PCs with Windows 10 installed, and an antivirus that supports the patch, the fix should already be in place. However, to confirm this, go to Settings > Update & Security to see if there are any updates waiting to be installed. If not, check your update history for Security Update for Windows (KB4056892), or check with your antivirus provider to find out when it will be supported, the patch will not install until it sees that the antivirus has been updated to a version that the vendor verifies supports this patch.

If you have an Android device, there was an update on January 5 that provided mitigations, with the promise of further updates to add to these protections. Google-branded phones, including the Nexus and Pixel lines, should have already received the patches, and other Android phones may have as well. It is something that you should check, and if you haven’t received an update yet, reach out to your carrier and ask why (posting publicly can get you extra points).

An update to Google Chrome is expected on January 23, with other browsers following suit, that will also include mitigations. In the meantime, ask your IT resource to help you activate Site Isolation to help keep a malicious website from accessing your data from another tab.

Other devices (like NAS devices, smart appliances, networking equipment, media equipment, etc.) may also be at risk, as they are using similar hardware. It’s really important for business owners to have their entire infrastructure reviewed and audited.

Issues like these are exactly why businesses need a managed service provider looking out for them. An MSP, like Integrated Business Technologies, would have heard about this issue and its associated update (or any issue/update, for that matter) and taken the actions needed to resolve it.

This is all done without the business needing to worry about handling any of it, freeing its internal staff to complete projects that generate profit, rather than work to maintain operations and security.
For more ways that an MSP can benefit your crew, reach out to us at (918) 770-8738.



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Saturday, 24 February 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

  • First Name *
  • Last Name *

      Free Consultation

      Sign up today for a
      FREE Network Consultation

      How secure is your IT infrastructure?
      Let us evaluate it for free!

      Sign up Now!


      Tag Cloud

      Security Technology Tip of the Week Business Management Managed Service Provider Privacy Internet Microsoft Cloud Saving Money Productivity Business Computing Workplace Tips Best Practices IT Services Backup Hackers Hosted Solutions Mobile Devices Malware Email Small Business IT Support Business Software Hardware Network Smartphones Data Communication Server Windows Upgrade Mobile Device Management VoIP Business Continuity Google Virtualization Efficiency Microsoft Office Disaster Recovery Miscellaneous Mobile Office Computer Vendor Management Gadgets Holiday Innovation Android Social Media Quick Tips WiFi BYOD Smartphone Windows 10 Outsourced IT User Tips Mobile Computing Bring Your Own Device Best Practice Passwords Remote Monitoring Browser Spam Users Internet of Things The Internet of Things Trending Wireless Technology Operating System Network Security Apple Content Filtering Remote Computing Going Green History Alert Firewall Managed IT services Printer Ransomware Tech Support Information Technology Current Events Gmail Managed IT Big Data Office Analytics Unified Threat Management Data Management IT Solutions Save Money Lithium-ion Battery IT Consultant Data Backup Humor Artificial Intelligence Saving Time Avoiding Downtime Maintenance Hard Drives App Customer Relationship Management Facebook Windows 8 Encryption Antivirus Phishing Document Management IT service Digital Payment Business Growth Risk Management Apps Application Virus Employer-Employee Relationship Customer Service Hacking Computers Fax Server Phone System Outlook Data Recovery Health Collaboration Two-factor Authentication Marketing Automation Excel Office Tips Retail Money Project Management Net Neutrality Running Cable Social Licensing Mobile Device Chrome VPN PowerPoint Data Security Training Tablet Cybersecurity Office 365 Password iPhone User Error Co-Managed IT Applications Administration Presentation Augmented Reality Budget Proactive IT Computer Repair Router Inbound Marketing Mouse Recovery Analyitcs Bandwidth Education Safety Specifications Managed IT Services Settings Flexibility Hosted Solution IBM Wireless Data storage Mobile Security Paperless Office Cybercrime File Sharing Save Time Wearable Technology Wi-Fi Robot Social Networking Unified Communications Hiring/Firing Display Alerts Printing End of Support LiFi Website Computing Statistics Tip of the week Help Desk Intranet Mobility Competition Business Intelligence Government Network Congestion Downtime Search Piracy Files Virtual Desktop USB Business Owner HIPAA Sports Hacker Redundancy Scam User Point of Sale Programming Google Drive Company Culture Twitter Scheduling IT Support Fraud IP Address Mirgation How To Touchscreen SharePoint Sync Cyber Monday Refrigeration Cryptocurrency Disaster Google Docs Internet Exlporer Business Technology Digital Signature Downloads Mobile Device Managment Smart Technology Cost Management Bitcoin Memory Data loss Networking Laptop communications Productivity Distributed Denial of Service Hacks Documents Conferencing IT Management Hotspot Halloween Multi-Factor Security Entrepreneur Macro PC Care Travel Managed IT Service Undo 5G PDF Value People Windows 10 Language eBay Techology Scary Stories Virtual Reality Google Calendar Remote Support Leadership Break Fix Monitors Skype Streaming Media New Additions Computing Infrastructure Text Messaging Disaster Resistance SaaS Legislation Deep Learning Print Server Gaming Console Work Station Dark Web Domains Google Wallet Fun Writing LinkedIn Congratulations Server Management Cooperation Video Surveillance IT Consulting Word Law Firm IT Windows 8.1 Update Recycling Cloud Computing Data Warehousing Public Speaking Drones Cortana Social Engineering Best Available eWaste Buisness Staff Data Breach Telephony Software as a Service Identities Software Tips Microsoft Excel Backups Knowledge Environment CIO Adminstration Vulnerability Operations 3D Technology Laws Technology Tips Solid State Drive Bluetooth Online Currency Samsung Blockchain Legal Experience Compliance Troubleshooting Debate Virtual Private Network Computer Accessories Unified Threat Management Private Cloud Comparison Heating/Cooling Alt Codes Consumers Crowdfunding Infrastructure Permissions IT Technicians Regulations YouTube Access Control Public Cloud Black Friday Typing

      Top Blog

      Basically, any machine that uses fans and vents to cool itself can overheat if airflow is restricted. If you have used a laptop on your lap for an extended session, then you know what we are talking about when the computer becomes hot to the touch. Every portable device is designed a little diffe...