For me personally, I look for cybersecurity capabilities of any computing system or device I use as a top priority. The digital ecosystem that we now mostly rely upon is fraught with risk and cyber predators. If you are a business, you need the best defenses out there to protect your assets and operations. That certainly means having the best of security in any out-of-the-box platform you use.
The past two years have seen a rapid shift of work to remote and hybrid workplaces due to the fear of Covid19. The statistics show that hackers welcomed that shift and took advantage of the vulnerabilities and gaps in security by businesses.
Government has recognized this dangerous trend and on May 12, 2021, the White House issued Executive Order 14028, “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity” focused on requiring agencies to adopt Zero Trust frameworks and architectures for better protecting their gaps. The basic elements of a Zero Trust architecture are to assume everything in the network is potentially hostile, do not base trust on the location of the network, and authenticate and authorize devices, users, and applications attempting to get access to the network.
The trend of zero trust is not limited to government but is also permeating into the private sector because of the increasing volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks. In fact, the firm Check Point Research reported that there were 50% more attack attempts per week on corporate networks globally in the calendar year 2021 compared with 2020. Check Point Research: Cyber Attacks Increased 50% Year over Year – Check Point Software And according to Cyber-attacks on all businesses, but particularly small to medium-sized businesses, are becoming more frequent, targeted, and complex. According to Accenture’s Cost of Cybercrime Study, 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves.
Cyber protection of businesses in 2022 requires a holistic strategy of the Zero Trust framework that includes detection of potential breaches, recognition of anomalies, identification, response, and remediation of threats. Moreover, it must be conducted at both the software and hardware levels on the platform to be true to the Zero Trust concepts. That has been a prevailing mission of The Intel vPro Platform powered by 12th Gen Intel® Core™
Zero Trust and The Intel vPro Platform powered by 12th Gen Intel® Core™
Recently, Intel revealed The Intel vPro 12th generation platform with its upgraded Intel® Hardware Shield that can defend against ransomware, crypto mining, and supply-chain attacks. The shield enables protection to hardware, firmware, the operating system, and applications. The platform also includes updated threat detection capabilities, including a hardware-based capability. That detection capability provides the ability to alert endpoint security software when anomalies are detected, and it uses artificial intelligence to profile application behavior to determine what is good or bad. The platform also features a Control Flow Enforcement Technology (CET) — introduced with 11th Gen Core mobile processors to prevent malicious code injections into applications executing in memory. Clearly, The Intel vPro 12th generation platform was designed with zero trust already in mind.
The Hardware Shield with its inherent zero trust comprehensive approach is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes that have received the brunt of targeting by hackers. The shield defends against modern threats at each layer: Hardware, BIOS/firmware, hypervisor, VMs, OS, and applications. This is especially important because while software has been a major focus of cybersecurity fortification, other elements, especially hardware and components of platforms have been given less security attention and hackers were able to exploit those gaps.
The Hardware Shield is deep in cybersecurity defensive elements. From the start it features hardware-based security capabilities that support a secure boot, allowing your PCs to launch into a trusted state. It enables hardware-based virtualization to help protect user access credentials, workspaces, applications, and data in hardened enclaves. And it has hardware-based encryption to help protect data at every layer. The Intel® TDS OEM even has a remote health attestation service that delivers a signed health report and a digital seal that captures events that could pose a security risk, if the device has been tampered with.
What I appreciate most about the Hardware Shield is that it prioritizes DRTM, also known as the dynamic root of trust for measurement, which is a built-in feature of Intel® Hardware Shield that helps ensure that operating systems are running on legitimate hardware and provides hardware-to-software security visibility. DRTM is congruent with the goals of a zero-trust architecture as verified upfront.
I did not cover all the security-oriented capabilities of The Intel vPro Platform powered by 12th Gen Intel® Core™ as there are many and some are quite technical. I like having a platform that enforces hardware cybersecurity as well as software and relies on continual verification of trust. Security must be a top concern or businesses will fail in the increasingly risky digital marketplace.