A Closer look at Processor Vulnerabilities

The past few years has been rough on processor security, this especially for Intel as one of the biggest processor vulnerabilities Meltdown and Spectre was for nearly all their modern CPUs.  Although patches came out almost immediately to solve these issues, this was just the start to the security vulnerabilities as other attacks such as MDS (Microarchitectural Data Sampling) have been popping up.  So why are these vulnerabilities and security flaws only now coming to light?  These issues actually are quite complex and would need a further understanding of the advances of CPU technology such as the following below:

  • L1/L2/L3 caches
  • Speculative execution
  • Pipelines and buffers
  • Hyper-Threading

If you are unfamiliar with the above technologies, they basically function as ways to help improve the speed of the CPU.  In theory, without these components, we could have a much more secure processor at the cost of performance.  Vendors are caught in a predicament of wanting to increase performance but also have to consider the security implications of newer technology.  This shows in the patches for recent vulnerability fixes which brought performance down of the CPU by 5-30%.  The latter number can be alarming but does not usually affect home users as the 30% is more frequent for servers.

Although vendors are still working on improving their security to prevent future vulnerabilities from happening, there are still ways to make sure that your data is protected like adding an additional layer of security.  With the help of 3rd party security vendors such as Trend Micro can help with products such as Deep Security through virtual patching.

To get a more in depth understanding of the processor vulnerabilities, you can refer to this article here.  To learn more about Trend Miro Deep Security, you can visit our page here or contact us directly at 893-9515 and we will be more than happy to answer your inquiries!

CT Link Systems, Inc. Adopts Microsoft Teams!

Office collaboration is becoming key to success in businesses right now.  Business mobility and workforce communication have become so important that it can lead to you losing a big sale to your competitors.  CT Link Systems, Inc. in an effort to improve their collaboration has decided to adopt Microsoft Teams.  Below are a few functions of Microsoft Teams that we are enjoying and helping us collaborate easier:

Chat

Chatting using Microsoft Teams is an improved experience if you are coming from other Microsoft Instant messengers like Skype for business.  One big difference is that unlike Skype you have an archive for your chat history.  You don’t have to worry that your chat between you and your superiors will disappear, you can always go back and check what was noted and even favorite a message for faster identification.  Files are not immediately deleted as well once your chat is finished, it saves itself on your OneDrive and you will have a tab where all your files from that particular contact will be saved to make it easier for you to find your files!  One feature missing from Teams so far is the capability to do video calls, however Microsoft has stated that they are working on it!

Teams

This is the main feature of Microsoft teams in which you can create a group, which serves as something similar to group chat but with more functions.  Within each group, there are different tabs which have different functions, the default would be the wiki and files.  The wiki tab would be the page where you can place your glossary for the group so that everyone has a reference area during conversations.  The files tab is where you can view all the files shared in the group and even real time edit the file such as word and excel.  You may also place more tabs per group if needed, any app available in Office 365 can be placed on it such as planner (a favorite in our office) to help remember deadlines and keep yourself on track.

These are just examples of ways teams helped our organization, however teams is still constantly being improved for better user experience so keep a watch out for it!  If you’d like to learn more, please visit our Microsoft page or contact us at 893-9515!