By: ProcurementIQ Analyst, Connor DiGregorio
Last year, high-profile cyberattacks affected businesses all across the globe. Hacker groups using the WannaCry and Petya ransomwares held computer systems of some of the largest corporations in the world hostage, including WPP, Maersk and hundreds of companies running Microsoft Windows. It is no surprise that 2018 started out with another wide-scale cyber threat. Interestingly, the latest crisis was not a malicious attack, but a critical flaw discovered in microprocessors in nearly all of the world’s computers. Luckily, the flaws were found and fixed before hackers could act.
The flaw, discovered in mid-2017 by several teams of researchers, is actually two separate bugs called Meltdown and Spectre. They primarily affected Intel processors, which are embedded in the majority of computers worldwide. The bugs created vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit to steal confidential information within computer systems. Furthermore, the Spectre flaw actually extended to many other types of devices, including mobile phones, thermostats and almost anything containing a chip. Fortunately, the research teams created patches to help fix the flaws; however, the solutions are partial and temporary. While businesses are lucky to have evaded this cyber crisis, for now, Meltdown and Spectre highlight the ongoing need for businesses to be wary of a possible cyberattack.
To address the issues that have arisen, businesses and their IT departments should be aware of the different steps they can take and products and services they can implement to protect their data systems. Here are three steps businesses can use to mitigate risk and safeguard themselves from cyber threats.