With the recent revelation of two monumental security flaws, Spectre and Meltdown, which theoretically have the potential to affect virtually every computer and phone on the planet, it would be no surprise if you were calling your provider of IT services in Orange County to see what the risk is.
Don’t worry yet, though. Because this vulnerability affects practically every computer on the planet, the stakes are high, and device manufacturers are working overtime to do what they can to patch things up. At the moment of writing, these flaws in Spectre and Meltdown have yet to be exploited in an attack.
Without really getting into the weeds with explaining the intricacies of these vulnerabilities, it all has to do with how data is cached, and something called speculative execution. Basically, speculative execution is one of the ways modern processor designers have been able to create faster processors. This process, by consequence, opened up a vulnerability when the processor’s speculations get cached. In layman’s terms, there’s a chance that certain data, when processed, becomes visible and at risk.
What It Means
We don’t like uncertainty, especially with our technology. Some takeaways from this continually developing situation is that IT security can be tough—even for the big boys. Processor makers were operating under a certain set of assumptions, and just like that, the game changed.
Tocontextualize the problem, though, the average PC user isn’t in great danger. For Meltdown, the most essential thing to take care of if your computer has an intel processor, is to get the operating system patch that was designed to fix the vulnerability. Windows, Linux, and MacOS all have patches available. It should also be noted that after installing the patch, while most things will operate just fine, users may notice a slow-down in some programs, particularly programs that call into the operating system a lot. The average user’s PC experience won’t be dramatically affected.
As the situation continues to develop, it’s important to keep your ears open for new patches and updates. If you’ve been considering setting up your business with IT services in Orange County, giving CloudStep a call may be the easiest way to ensuring that your business stays up-to-date.