Business technology

Keep your business safe with smarter hardware

- June 5, 2017 2 MIN READ

In recent years, some of the world’s leading organisations have been crippled by large scale cyber-attacks. But if you think small businesses are safe from attack, it’s time to think again.

Last year’s WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks will doubtless send shudders for years to come, after crippling organisations of all size and shape the world over.

Meanwhile, new regulations such as Australia’s recently enacted NDB (notifiable data breach) laws, as well as the EU’s GDPR (general data protection regulation) provisions which took effect in May this year, mean business owners are now held more accountable for protecting private information.

The simplest explanation for rising incidences of cyber crime is that there is just so much software in use today. Even a solo business owner with one device will have five or more applications running. Think Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat and Flash, Google Chrome. Heavy tech-users can use scores of different applications.

And as they constantly evolve and are updated to tackle more complex tasks, so too they become more vulnerable because of the likelihood of more cracks for crooks to exploit.

In response, some of the tech industries leading innovators have started building an arsenal of ‘silicon-based’ cyber security technologies which are bolstering security at the hardware level, in ways that are virtually impossible to crack.

Related: PCaaS – Taking care of tech while you run your business

Probably the best-known forms of hardware-based security are so-called ‘biometrics’. Fingerprint, iris, facial and voice recognition technologies have come along in leaps and bounds over the past few years, with many smart phones and other portable devices incorporating them to create so-called multi-factor authentication to keep the crooks guessing.

Meanwhile IT hardware manufacturers are moving to actually embed security capabilities within computers themselves.

For example, silicon chip pioneer Intel (you know the technology ‘inside’ your PC or Mac) recently launched a number of new security features that should make anyone worried about security sit up and take notice.

Intel® Threat Detection Technology uses ‘silicon-level telemetry’ to improve detection of advanced cyber-threats and exploits. ‘telemetry’ is just a fancy way of saying an automated process for collecting measurements and other data from different points then transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring.

The first example of TDT is so-called Accelerated Memory Scanning.

Scanning for cyber threats consumes computing power – often lots of it – slowing down performance. With AMS, scanning is handled by Intel’s integrated graphics processor, with lab tests showing that scanning for viruses this way reduces drain on CPU by a whopping 90 percent!

The next TDT is Intel Advanced Platform Telemetry. And this is where things start to get really clever.

APT combines platform telemetry with machine learning algorithms to actually improve the detection of advanced threats, while reducing false positives, or false alarms which can waste more time and performance.

Until recently you might have been forgiven for thinking you’re too small a business to worry about cyber-crime.

But cyber crooks are always a step ahead of the authorities and the tools for policing available to them. It’s been that way since the earliest days of email and the internet.

Well the times have certainly changed, and while you might think that antivirus software you’ve been updating the past few years is enough, you owe it to yourself and your business to up your security game.

If you think it’s time to upgrade you can view a range of secure devices from Dell here.