Defending your devices against Meltdown and Spectre

Greg Stelly
January 16, 2018

You’ve likely heard news about Meltdown and Spectre computer vulnerabilities. As a trusted financial services provider, we’re continually making sure we safeguard our systems and client information and want to help you proactively protect your devices from these latest cyber threats.

Breakdown on Meltdown and Spectre

Meltdown and Spectre aren’t breaches of information like the hackings that have made headlines in the past. Instead, these “bugs” are security vulnerabilities caused by flaws in the way most computer chips are made. These chips power most of the devices we depend on for information and communication—our computers, smartphones, tablets and other electronics. In this case, “vulnerability” means there is an opportunity for cybercriminals to develop an attack allowing them to read sensitive data stored in a computer’s memory, including passwords and other information.

The risks

Security experts claim that these flaws make virtually every computer system in the world vulnerable to data exposure, including servers, workstations, phones, laptops, network gear and more.

Currently, there aren’t any known instances of cybercriminals exploiting these flaws. It’s extremely difficult to take advantage of these vulnerabilities. Unlike traditional malware, Meltdown and Spectre can’t be used to take control of a device—only read information on the device. Attackers must first gain access to a machine as a logged in, authenticated user. They can’t exploit these vulnerabilities over a network or use the flaws to spread Meltdown and Spectre to other computers or networks.

Even if an attack were successful, a cybercriminal would only have limited access to just the data on a targeted machine.

Defending your devices against Meltdown and Spectre 

What we’re doing

Our security team remains on 24/7 high alert to sustain our clients’ trust and ensure the safety and security of their data in our environment. These seasoned technology professionals are assessing any potential exposures across our organization, testing and applying protective measures released by hardware and software vendors as soon as those updates are available.

What you can do

We appreciate your confidence in us as we work hard to keep client financial information secure. The best way to protect your devices is to learn what you can and take charge before an attack happens. For more information about Meltdown, Spectre and how you can protect your own devices, visit www.meltdownattack.com


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