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Securing Server Firmware Crucial for Protecting Your Business


Ransomware attacks are getting harder to avoid because today’s hackers target server hardware; HPE Gen10 provides the protection you need by driving security all the way down to the firmware level.

Blog_IT_security_shield.jpg"CIOs everywhere feel the pain of the InfoSec team at HBO. In late July, HBO experienced a major cyberattack where hackers claimed to have acquired 1.5 terabytes of data—including scripts and other content for the popular Game of Thrones series.

The hackers then released unaired episodes of Ballers and Room 104 to online file-sharing sites, followed by unaired episodes of Game of Thrones and Curb Your Enthusiasm. As the hackers threatened to expose more content, reports emerged that HBO offered $250K, asking for more time before any additional content was released.

Then came more bad news in mid-August: HBO security was compromised again. A hacking group called OurMine targeted HBO's Twitter page and the Game of Thrones Facebook page—not to ask for ransom money but to call out HBO’s so-called “weak” IT security.

Sophisticated cyberattacks now harder to avoid

While HBO had likely applied strong enterprise IT security measures prior to these attacks, stories like this underscore the sophisticated skills of today’s cybercriminals. Whether they target business entities to plant ransomware, gain notoriety, or “just for fun,” their hacking skills and perseverance should set off warning signals for businesses of all sizes across the globe.

The $250K that HBO reportedly offered the hackers is essentially a ransom. Ransomware attacks, which hold your data hostage, are increasingly prevalent and getting harder to avoid. That’s because today’s hackers are moving beyond your software. They now target hardware, specifically going after server firmware, where once they gain control, it’s basically “game-over” for that device and its end users.

Protecting your business against firmware attacks

HPE offers ways to blunt the impact of firmware attacks with HPE Gen10 servers. You can preserve your sensitive files with data protection and data retention capabilities that keep your business running without the risk of paying ransoms to criminal hackers.

With HPE Gen10, we have introduced the world’s most secure industry-standard servers. We make this bold claim based on several key attributes:

  • We manufacture our own custom silicon chipset for our firmware and anchor the firmware into the silicon as far back in the production process as possible; we’re secure all the way through the supply chain to ensure firmware security.
  • HPE iLo manageability software monitors the firmware to determine if any compromised code has been inserted (by someone with access to the inside) and alerts you so you know immediately if malware is present.
  • If a compromise occurs, iLo recovers the firmware to its original state before allowing the server to boot—thus keeping your digital assets protected.

HPE Gen10 servers also leverage the new commercial national security algorithms (CNSA)—we are the very first server provider to achieve this highest level of cryptographic protection. To find out more, check out our video:

Locking down your IT security infrastructure

As the HBO breach illustrates, IT network security is a looming issue for all businesses. The threat landscape is increasing, and attacks are becoming more sophisticated. While taking advantage of emerging technologies and trends is key to opening new business opportunities—like the IoT, mobility, and hybrid IT environments—it also introduces new risk.

To defend against this risk, protecting servers at the software level is no longer enough. Your business needs to reach down into the physical system to stay ahead of the threats. HPE delivers this protection through our unique server firmware protection, detection, and recovery capabilities. Find out how by reading the Moor Insights and Strategy white paper, HPE Locks Down Server Security.

For those who have not deployed HPE ProLiant Gen10 servers? Reconsider your decision.

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About the Author


Bob leads the partner software organization for the server division. His team is also responsible for productizing the new HPE security technologies and delivering a comprehensive approach to security across all solutions.