Most of us can differentiate between hardware and software. But how many know what firmware refers to? More importantly, is your business securing its firmware against security vulnerabilities?
You know that it is essential to keep your operating systems (OSs) and software up to date. Installing patches as they are released helps fix security holes and protect your OS and software applications from attack.
Firmware is a program that is embedded directly onto your hardware devices. Without firmware, your computer would not know how to talk to all the components, your printer wouldn’t print and your routers and modems couldn’t connect to the internet.
A lot of people don’t know it exists and it can be easily overlooked when examining a company’s overall security.
The Need to Update Your Firmware
Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to exploit business devices and systems, and attacking firmware is another avenue for them to exploit. Without securing your firmware, you run the risk of bad actors:
- taking control of your electronic devices.
- spying on your business activity.
- stealing business data.
In the past, firmware manufacturers were not prioritising security. That is now changing as many more hackers are targeting firmware exploits.
Depending on the device manufacturers release firmware updates for at least a few years after the products initial release or when major issues are found. The goal is to ensure the stability and security of the device that your business depends upon.
You can find firmware updates online at the manufacturer’s website. You need to make it a policy to consistently seek out firmware release updates, this way, the business is up to date with new patches that fix holes or fresh vulnerabilities.
Taking Care of Business Firmware
When it comes to devices, most people set them up and then forget about the possibility of a future compromise.
In last year’s Threat Landscape Report, security company AVAST found that 60% of users had never updated router firmware. Yet router hijackers can inject malicious HTML and gain access to usernames and passwords.
With cloud computing and online communications, businesses are growing reliant on technology, in particular networking technology. This is also expanding the attack surface available to cyber bad guys. So do not become complacent, regularly check for and if available, apply patches when issued to all devices in your business.
If you are still confused, partner with us and we can do an audit of all your equipment and find any holes that need plugging. Contact us today to examine your security and make sure all your devices and software is up to date and properly secured.