Are you still hanging on to your old work computers since they “still work fine”? While they help you get the job done, their obsolete firmware poses security risks that can lead to major problems. Keep reading to understand how to mitigate these risks.
What is firmware?
Firmware is a basic type of software that is embedded into every piece of hardware. It controls the device it’s installed on, and cannot be uninstalled or removed. Also, firmware is only compatible with the make and model of the hardware it is installed on. Think of it like a translator between your stiff and unchanging hardware and your fluid and evolving software. For example, the firmware of a TV remote control processes the button presses and sends that data into a format that the TV can understand.
Why is firmware security important?
To clearly explain the importance of firmware security, let’s use the firmware installed in a router as an example.
When you buy a router and plug it in, its firmware allows it to connect devices to your wireless network with almost zero interaction. However, if the router manufacturer is outside of California, then they might still be using the same username and password for the same router model, if not for all router models. If you don't change these default settings, you could be exposed to hackers.
Default usernames and passwords is an example of a known vulnerability. Also, firmware could have other vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could exploit. Black hat hackers could use these to spy on you, steal or corrupt your data, or even damage your systems. Unfortunately, firmware exploits are not rare occurrences. Not too long ago, a cybersecurity professional discovered that sending a 33-character text message to a router generated an SMS response that included the administrator username and password.
How do I protect myself?
The best way to defend yourself from firmware exploits is to immediately roll out firmware updates from the device’s manufacturer. With that said, you need to keep in mind that every manufacturer has different procedures for checking and updating firmware. Obsolete firmware poses security risks, but Beringer can help.
We understand firmware updates can be extremely tedious, luckily we have you covered! Beringer Technology Group can work with you to develop a plan that will ensure your business is brought up to speed with hardware/software updates as well as cybersecurity offerings and much more.
If you want managed 24/7 cybersecurity assistance that provides enterprise grade security that can be deployed across any organization then reach out to Beringer Technology Group today and ask about our Cyber Security Risk Assessment Solution.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and Training, Unified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.