You may have seen another batch of processor security issues in the news recently. These aren’t the Spectre and Meltdown flaws seen in Intel chips months ago – these focus on relatively new processors made by competitor AMD. As usual, they have some scary names made up by the “security company” that disclosed them in order to make sure they got as much press as possible: MasterKey, Fallout, RyzenFall, and Chimera.
Do these security flaws affect your business? The good news is that they probably don’t. That’s because AMD has a smaller market share than Intel, and that market share is very small in the business world. While these newer AMD chips, (named Ryzen and EPYC) show far greater promise for business work than AMD processors have in the past, it generally takes a while for processors to prove themselves before they are deployed in large numbers into business environments – and the professional version of these chips aren’t even a year old.
That’s not to say there are no Ryzen chips in the business marketplace. HP, Dell and Lenovo all have a line of desktops using the Ryzen Pro processor line. These are not yet commonly in use in most business environments, however, as Intel has the longest track record of success in business environments for the time being.
Unfortunately, if you do have these processors in some of your office PCs or servers, it’s not yet clear how problematic or extensive these problems are. The flaws were disclosed only a day after AMD was notified, according to their PR department. That’s uncommon; most security companies wait at least 30 days after informing the processor manufacturer before disclosing these flaws to the public, to allow them time to investigate them and prepare a patch to negate the flaw if possible.
If you do verify you have Ryzen processors in your office (or an EPYC-based server) the best bet is to make sure that your technology team stays on top of the issue and quickly applies whatever patches are ultimately provided by AMD.
To learn about how WingSwept can keep your network secure through our Managed Services offering, call us at 919-779-0954 or email us at Team_WingSwept@WingSwept.com.