Your business may have all the latest cybersecurity solutions installed, but if you haven’t updated your computers’ firmware in a while, you may still be at risk of an attack that could compromise your equipment or breach your data. Here’s how updating firmware can beef up your company’s cyber defenses.
What is firmware?
Firmware is a basic type of software that is embedded into every hardware component in computers, computer peripherals, printers, mobile devices, and Internet of Things devices. It’s also found in household appliances and gadgets such as TV remote controls, as well as everyday objects like traffic lights.
Essentially, firmware controls the device it’s installed on, allowing the hardware components to function in response to program instructions. It is only compatible with the make and model of the particular hardware it is installed on, and it cannot be uninstalled or deleted. However, it is not protected by standard anti-malware software.
Why is updating firmware important?
According to Microsoft’s 2021 Security Signals report, firmware attacks are on the rise. The study shows that 80% of enterprises have experienced one firmware attack in the last two years. These attacks involve injecting malware into computer firmware to tamper with the bios on motherboards or the hardware drivers. From there, cybercriminals can do any number of things to the infected computers, including remotely controlling the devices, extracting credentials and passwords that are stored at that level, and blocking access to the devices and the data they contain.
Experts recommend installing firmware updates as soon as these become available to effectively protect against firmware attacks and other threats to your business’s cybersecurity. Users will also enjoy increased speed and enhanced performance with updated firmware.
How to install firmware updates
The method for updating firmware differs from device to device. For instance, you can simply download and install firmware updates on both iOS and Android devices. Most computer manufacturers include software that will scan for and assist with installing firmware and other updates.
However, for devices such as firewalls, routers, and printers, you will have to apply firmware updates from the manufacturer’s website or administrative console. The process for updating these devices can be tedious, time-consuming and complicated. In some cases, a firmware update can reset your devices and restore factory settings, causing you to lose custom configurations on your computers, routers, and the like. And if you fail to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter, you risk damaging your systems.
It’s therefore best to leave the installation of many firmware updates to the experts. For more information about firmware security and how to safely install firmware updates, or for any questions related to business IT, give our specialists a call today.
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.