Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hardware Backdoors: How to Prevent Attacks on Them

Electronic devices like smartphones, tablets and computers are obviously made up of hardware that has to be built in a certain way. While manufacturers definitely go out of their way to make sure that the hardware that they are making isn’t particularly vulnerable, there are still viruses and attacks that can occur. After all, hardware isn’t exactly protected by a metal fabrication process like a chain link fence.
Protect Hardware from viruses - attacksHowever, there are some things you can do to prevent hardware attacks or help you know that they could be an issue for you. It will take a little bit of work on your part, but it’s well worth the effort, especially if you’re running large-scale business hardware that you need to use on a regular basis.

Malware Systems
Whenever you are using hardware that wasn’t assembled in house which is obviously the case for most businesses, there is always the risk of malware being added to the system before you even purchase and install it in your business. Unfortunately, it’s relatively hard to detect malware and you may not even know it is there once you install the piece of hardware and verify it. In fact, malware can lie dormant for a long period of time before it becomes active and damages your system.

While malware that gathers small bits of user information isn’t a problem for most business or individuals, it can be a major issue for companies that have secrets from competitors or major clients who require them to keep confidential records. These malware problems are particularly difficult for the military and government installations where serious defense-based information is often stored could be a matter of public safety.

Allow a Tech Go Over
To deal with malware installed in pieces of hardware, the best thing you can do is to have a tech go over the hardware in order to make sure that nothing conspicuous is installed. That’s exactly what the US government and other major companies will do when installing a piece of hardware into their system for the first time.

This process typically involves a tech going through a piece of hardware slowly and thoroughly to make sure that the components match the list supplied by the manufacturer and that they match the schematic.

While a novice can’t do this task, the average technician who is worth their salt should be able to do this fairly quickly and without charging you a large amount of money for the job. An in-house IT person may even be able to do it for you if they are familiar with how hardware schematics read and how the layout of most pieces of hardware goes.

Testing Facility
The other option for checking hardware is to install it in a separate place, something like a testing facility. That way it won’t be linked to all of your other pieces of hardware immediately and won’t be likely to cause damage.
How to prevent Hardware for Viruses-Attacks

Physical Attacks
We don’t often think of physical attacks on our hardware systems but they do occur in the business world all the time, whether they are acts of vandalism or acts of sabotage. While you may not be able to prevent somebody from accessing your systems, even if you try very hard – there are ways to help keep physical attacks from damaging your very expensive hardware.

The simplest way to keep physical attacks from costing you a lot of money is to use metal fabrication services to build cages or fences around your large areas of hardware. All major businesses do this for important servers and places where data is stored.

Metal fabrication isn’t that expensive of a cost in the long run and for any business that has important information that doesn’t need to get into the wrong hands, it’s important to use metal fabrication services. Most metal fabrication services can also build custom lock-type boxes for pieces of hardware if you don’t have enough to fill a whole room, or using an entire metal cage would be ridiculous. These cost more per unit but if you don’t have much hardware, they will obviously cost you less than a cage in the long run.

Whatever you do, making sure your hardware is protected from physical attacks is just as important as making sure it’s protected from malware.

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