301-571-5040    Get SUPPORT

Washington Works Blog

Reexamining Meltdown and Spectre

Reexamining Meltdown and Spectre

It’s been about a year and a half since the Meltdown and Spectre exploits became publicly known. While patches and updates were administered to reduce their threat, they continue to linger on in a less serious capacity. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the threat has entirely been neutered--you still want to know what these threats do and whether or not you’re safe from them.

What They Do
The Meltdown and Spectre threats both target the system processor, though in different ways. Meltdown essentially melts away the barrier between the processor and application processes and the system memory. On the other hand, Spectre can fool the processor into accessing parts of the system memory that it’s not supposed to. Both of these threats allow unauthorized access to a user’s system, creating more opportunities for further threat influence.

The biggest problem with Spectre and Meltdown is how widespread they are. They could potentially cause problems for every computer chip created over the past 20 years. Consequently, any data stored by technology utilizing these chips is also at risk.

How These Issues Were Resolved
Meltdown and Spectre have no definitive fix at the current moment, even though patches and updates have been frequently released in order to combat the latest updates to this threat. When the patches were first developed against Meltdown and Spectre, developers foresaw a major decrease in performance on the user’s end--as high as thirty percent, in fact.

Even though these patches do influence performance, the difference isn’t nearly as much as it was initially predicted to be. Depending on the individual circumstances (outlined below), the average user encountered much smaller effects that didn’t exceed five percent. Of course, this could change with future patch releases, but it’s important to keep in mind that the initial patches are generally going to have the biggest effects, as the primary concern is resolving the security issues rather than improving performance right off the bat.

What Influences Performance?
There are several factors that can influence the performance of your system following the patches of Meltdown and Spectre.

Use
Depending on what you use your system for, Meltdown and Spectre will have different effects on your system performance. It’s reasonable to assume that applications and uses that need more processing power will be affected more than other processes. If you take advantage of virtualization, or are investing in cryptocurrency mining, chances are that you’ll see a performance drop as a result of these patches.

Patch Used
Several companies have issued patches for these threats, so naturally you’ll have various effects from them.

Device Configuration
Your hardware and software configurations are going to change how much your technology will be affected by these patches. A perfect example is that a newer processor won’t be influenced as much by these patches. A more up-to-date operating system will also be more resilient to the effects of these patches as well.

A Word of Advice
The best way to take the fight to Meltdown and Spectre is by following simple best practices that help you maintain network security in the long run. For one, you should always install the latest patches and security updates so that you are always up-to-date against the latest threat definitions. You can also consider a hardware refresh, as more recent hardware won’t be as influenced as much as legacy hardware that has been around the block a time or two. There are various attempts to create processors resistant to these threats, but there is no timetable as to when they will be available. In the meantime, you can work with Washington Works to make sure that your systems are running as efficiently as possible. To learn more, reach out to us at 301-571-5040.

Some Providers are Offering Blockchain as a Servic...
Tip of the Week: Keep Employees Off of Distracting...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Saturday, August 18 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Best Practices Technology Cloud Privacy Business Computing Malware Software Hackers Network Security Email Tech Term Business Backup Mobile Devices Internet Managed IT Services Ransomware Microsoft Computer Productivity Google IT Support User Tips Hosted Solutions Data IT Services Smartphone Productivity Data Recovery Android Data Backup Efficiency Managed Service Provider Data Management Communication Small Business Office 365 Paperless Office Business Continuity Social Media Windows 10 Hardware Encryption Cloud Computing Business Management Remote Monitoring Browser Innovation Outsourced IT Government Save Money BYOD App Cybersecurity Infrastructure Tip of the week Work/Life Balance Facebook Server Workplace Tips Smartphones Disaster Recovery Bandwidth Unified Threat Management Artificial Intelligence Passwords Hosted Solution Windows Chrome Windows 10 Apps Employer-Employee Relationship Password Collaboration Money Big Data Holiday Chromebook Antivirus Virtual Reality Vulnerability Applications Saving Money IT Management BDR Managed IT Services Risk Management Phishing How To File Sharing Internet of Things Managed Service Document Management Wi-Fi Word Two-factor Authentication SaaS Compliance Computing Gmail Regulations Tech Support Automobile Network Office Robot Mobile Device IoT Storage Identity Theft Hacker Recovery Remote Computing Telephone Systems Customer Relationship Management G Suite Patch Management HIPAA Vendor Management Scam Firewall Mobile Security Computer Care Automation Politics Data loss Taxes Smart Technology Alert How To Training Websites Health VPN Quick Tips Data Security Router Maintenance VoIP Server Management Samsung Business Technology Physical Security Twitter Blockchain Botnet Virtual Private Network Administrator Google Drive Managed IT Service Professional Services Modem Augmented Reality Law Enforcement Corporate Profile Personal Information CCTV Outlook User Error High-Speed Internet Lenovo Specifications Asset Tracking Solid State Drive Webcam Statistics Computing Infrastructure Enterprise Content Management Value Update Cabling Permissions Management IBM Machine Learning Digital Legal Education Mail Merge Google Calendar MSP VoIP Techology Break Fix USB Cookies The Internet of Things Gadget WannaCry Shortcut Printer Wearable Technology Development Firefox WiFi Superfish Black Friday Social Networking OneNote Microsoft Office Hard Disk Drive Social Point of Sale Bluetooth Notifications Alerts Unified Communications Gadgets Budget IT Solutions Travel Fraud Enterprise Resource Planning Star Wars Relocation Spyware Sports Cleaning Address Legislation Chatbots Proactive Virtualization Avoiding Downtime Supercomputer Dark Web Dongle Nanotechnology Monitors Computer Repair Access Control Cables GPS Cyber Monday Motherboard Employee-Employer Relationship Website Licensing Bring Your Own Device Disaster Upgrades Motion Sickness Heating/Cooling Processors Mobile Cost Management Search Private Cloud Mouse Identity Remote Monitoring and Management Downtime Time Management IT Budget Microsoft Excel Service Level Agreement Screen Reader Upgrade SharePoint Wires Office Tips Tracking Networking Remote Workers Web Server Cooperation Vulnerabilities Wireless Uninterrupted Power Supply Servers Hotspot Company Culture Assessment Spam Error Tablet WPA3 Cortana Network Management Black Market Digital Payment Utility Computing Smart Tech YouTube IT Consultant Downloads IT Technicians Mobile Device Management Emoji Distributed Denial of Service Information Cameras Managed IT Unified Threat Management Crowdsourcing Staff Geography Meetings Language Managing Stress Internet Exlporer Communications Analytics Staffing Comparison Fleet Tracking IT Support Cybercrime Touchscreen Healthcare Connectivity Settings Electronic Medical Records Multi-Factor Security Mirgation Hiring/Firing Monitoring Wireless Technology 5G Fun Safety Marketing Competition IP Address Hard Drives Users Customer Service CrashOverride Miscellaneous Mobile Office Domains Emergency Public Speaking Presentation Regulation Lithium-ion battery