Meltdown and Spectre: What You Should Know

There’s always something going on in the tech industry — whether it’s something exciting, like the unveiling of the newest iPhone, or an unsettling event, such as the recent ransomware attacks. The latest of these distressing happenings? Meltdown and Spectre.

What are Meltdown and Spectre?

Meltdown and Spectre are massive flaws in many processors manufactured in recent decades that leave systems vulnerable to security breaches. In the simplest terms, these flaws allow hackers to access anything stored in your device’s memory — namely, sensitive information like passwords, emails, credit card information, and personal photos.

Am I at risk?

Most likely. Meltdown, the more serious flaw of the two, affects nearly every chip manufactured by Intel since 1995, and Spectre affects pretty much all chips made by Intel, ARM, and AMD. PCs, Macs, and even mobile devices like cell phones and tablets are affected, meaning you can assume all your devices — personal and business — are vulnerable.

Google has released a list of vulnerable Chromebooks, and you can find a list of at-risk Intel processors here.

So, what can I do to protect myself?

As soon as the news broke, computer companies moved quickly to release patches to protect against Spectre and Meltdown. While there is currently no option for completely safeguarding your device from these vulnerabilities, here’s what you can be doing right now to protect yourself and your business:

  • Update your operating system ASAP.
  • Check for browser, firmware, and other software updates.
  • Keep your antivirus software up-to-date and active.

Keep calm and patch on. After you perform all the necessary updates, we recommend checking online for new patches every morning to make sure you don’t miss anything.

How can I further safeguard my business?

Any company can fall victim to a devastating security breach. The first thing you can do is start utilizing workplace cybersecurity best practices. Next, evaluate your current IT security strategy. Does your business have an airtight system in place in case of emergencies? If not, there is no time like the present to start protecting your assets and most sensitive information. From IT managed security suites to emergency IT services, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today to see how we can help you protect your business — and yourself — from these security vulnerabilities.

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