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Why are there increased threats of firmware attacks in the hybrid era?

woman sitting on a bed drinking from a mug with a work laptop in front of her

The transformation of todays workforce has presented new challenges when it comes to IT Security. According to reports from HP Wolf Security, hybrid work can make it harder for businesses to shield themselves from attacks. The hybrid model has not only changed how endpoint security is managed, but IT teams are struggling to provide adequate firmware security for employees working remotely.

 

What is a Firmware Attack?

Firmware is permanent software programmed in to a computers read-only memory to allow it to function correctly. When firmware is updating, this is when it is vulnerable to an attack. In most cases, these attacks corrupt firmware by injecting malicious malware into the update and their frequency is on the increase.

 

The challenges faced by IT leaders

According to HP Wolf Security’s survey of 1,100 IT leaders, at least 83% of laptops and PCs are at risk of firmware attacks. This is because more people are working remotely and are using their home networks which may not be secure. Moreover, 76% printers are also at risk of firmware attacks.

With more hybrid workers, businesses are left exposed as it’s not only difficult to manage security remotely but also takes longer. Many IT leaders (67%) stress that enterprises are unable to detect, protect and recover from the attacks in time due to home working. Approximately 64% claim the same when it comes to the analysis of configuring security for home workers.

 

Shadow IT causing further issues

Shadow IT is use of IT systems, hardware, software and apps without the permission of a companies IT department. According to the same research, at least 68% of office staff have claimed that security isn’t their main consideration when purchasing office equipment. Nearly half of staff (43%) didn’t contact their IT team to install their laptop or PC or even have them checked for security purposes.

HP warns companies to stop using older equipment built around old industry standards. They weren’t designed or built with todays security consideration in mind and are vulnerable to attacks.

It was warned that the gap created in enterprise security could take years to bridge. Therefore, it is crucial to use the latest hardware and firmware to aid against emerging threats. This will help firms detect, protect, and remediate attacks more efficiently at a larger scale.

 

Learn more about how network security can protect you in your hybrid work life.


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