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Is Your Firmware Killing Your Practice?

Is Your Firmware Killing Your Practice?

All around you, firmware is helping you build your practice, and get things done.

Firmware is the permanent software programmed into read-only memory of many of the devices you use everyday.

  • It’s in the code of your printer
  • It’s in the software controlling the heart defibrillator in your patient room
  • It’s in the design of your virtual personal assistant, the one you talk to every day, the one who listens to everything you say

It goes beyond that. To think big is undermining the seriousness of the potential problem. Take your computer, for instance. As a recent Wired magazine pointed out, it’s filled with interconnected devices, all with their own potential problems. Webcams, trackpads, hard drives, thumb drives, USB ports - everything has its own firmware, its own set of rules.

It’s no wonder a recent Gartner report found that “By 2022, 70 percent of organizations that do not have a firmware upgrade plan in place will be breached due to firmware vulnerability.”

The question is: do you have a plan in place to counter the potential hazards?

Do you have a vulnerability management plan? This is a fundamental requirement to ensure that every device is identified, and is up to date for best performance as well maximum security. You need a plan for legacy systems as well.

Can you detect when firmware is tampered with? You need security tools in place to monitor the integrity of each system you run in your practice.

Do you have visibility over the introduction of new technology? This is a big piece of the puzzle, one that’s becoming more problematic, thanks to things like BYOD. Every device that’s used in a practice should be logged and evaluated before they are trusted with company data.

Are your teams ready for firmware related risks? It may start with a plan, but you’ll only survive potential problems if you know how you’ll react when you identify a potential threat. How will you train team members? What protocol should they use if and when they discover a weakness?

And finally, are your firmware protocols a part of your culture? Like other business practices, the more you define your approach to firmware security, the stronger the plan. Ensure you meet regulatory requirements, and that you have identified where risks can come from, including third-party vendors.

Firmware isn’t something you can rely on to work flawlessly without having a proper security plan in place. It’s a growing threat to practices around the globe; what are you doing to counter it?

For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.