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What Meltdown and Spectre Mean for Mobile Device Security
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BradleyRoss
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BradleyRoss,
User Rank: Moderator
5/4/2018 | 7:16:16 PM
New techniques are required
A number of people assume that virtual machines can't extract unauthorized data from other virtual machines on the server.  In the same way, they assume that virtual memory will stop one application from accessing the memory belonging to another application.  Spectre and Meltdown, together with problems with the Atom Tables for Microsoft Windows, are indications that these assumptions are no longer safe.  We need to either isolate applictions on systems completely with one application per computer system, or provide better protection between processing in a multi-processing environment.

A number of compilers can reduce the level of optimization by changing options.  Perhaps what we need are means to turn off optimization techniques such as look ahead pre-calculation on a per process basis to increase security.  As long as the reduced optimization is limited to processes that run less that five percent of the total cycles, the impact on performance may be minimal.
JTKeating
50%
50%
JTKeating,
User Rank: Author
5/1/2018 | 11:56:44 AM
Re: "Matter of whether companies update their employees' devices"
I completely agree, Ryan.  As I mentioned in the post, the lack of a patch management system for mobile forces us to tackle the problem a different way. As you mentioned, using policies (including deciding what users can and cannot access based on the OS level / risk of their device) is one way to drive users to the desired behavior. We have seen the difference. Some of our customers that don't enforce based on OS level have some users on version that are so old it is scary. For example, I have seen users on iOS 5... iOS is currently on 11.x! Thanks for the thoughts!
RyanSepe
100%
0%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2018 | 10:59:53 PM
For those that offer mobile options
For those that offer mobile devices to their users, ensure that corporate policy dictates strict oversight of the device. This couple with an Enterprise Device Management system can be a saving grace in ubiquitous exposures such as this.
RyanSepe
100%
0%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2018 | 10:57:29 PM
"Matter of whether companies update their employees' devices"
This point sticks out in my mind. The patches are available and the manufacturers can only make the suggestion but its the responsibility of the company to enforce compliance. Otherwise end users will non-functionality based updates like the plague.


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