Tech News

Reexamining Meltdown and Spectre

By June 8th, 2020No Comments

It was 2017 when we first warned about the Meltdown and Spectre exploits. While patches and updates were administered to reduce their threat, they continue to linger on in a less serious capacity.

This doesn’t mean we consider the threat entirely neutered–you still want to know what these threats do and whether or not you’re safe from them.

What Do They Do?
The Meltdown and Spectre threats both target the system processor, though they do so 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 at risk. This becomes an increasingly large problem with Canadian Compliance Legislation dictating protection of data is more important than ever.

How These Issues Were Resolved
Meltdown and Spectre have no definitive fix at the current moment, which should give us all pause. 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, but it’s important to keep in mind that the primary concern is resolving the security issues rather than improving performance.

What’s Next?
New chips, and other hardware, are being created on an ongoing basis to counteract new threats and challenges to your business security. Technology consulting partners, such as ActiveCo, must stay on top of the latest findings and security releases to ensure that clients are receiving the most up-to-date security and documentation. Our process of communication also helps keep your ongoing training up to compliance levels for Canadian regulations requirements.

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. Working with a trusted security & technology partner, like ActiveCo Technology Management, helps ensure that your systems are running as efficiently (and securely) as possible. To learn more details on how these levels of security and performance can be factored into your business best practices, reach out to us at (604) 425-3433.

Related Article:

Why Canadian Businesses Cannot Ignore Compliance Legislation

Jeff Penner

Jeff Penner

Jeff has been in the managed services industry since 2015, understanding what business owners are looking for from technology, and helping them find it. The most important element for a business owner taking on a new technology partner is peace of mind and thus Jeff directs his efforts on finding practical information that any leader can apply to their business. Jeff lives in Vancouver, BC, sharing his love for learning and “the great indoors” with his 2 daughters.