Dell has decided to protect all its users of business laptops and tablets from Hackers with a security tool which offers an extra layer of protection. The new Dell security tool focuses on protecting the boot layer so PC hardware or software doesn’t malfunction.
The new security tool secures the low level UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), which sits in a protected layer above the Operating System. If hackers attack this firmware, then they can compromise a system at boot time.
When a PC user’s UEFI—which has replaced the conventional BIOS, is infected with malware, then hackers can take on the PC and can cause the OS and hardware components to malfunction. Thus, recovering from this scenario will not be an easy task by just running an anti-virus program as it requires a system to be rebooted and firmware to be flashed before loading the OS.
Dell is offering a fix to this menace on all its business laptops and tablets. At boot, the tool verifies a UEFI snapshot with an identical copy in the cloud and can notify a user or system admin of any discrepancy. If the copy doesn’t match, then dell will automatically replace the UEFI from the cloud to fix the boot problem. In future, Dell plans to automate this process.
The technical working of this feature is as follows-A copy of the UEFI image is sent from flash storage to a PC’s SRAM, and then data from the SRAM is then sent over a secure channel for verification. The cloud can be set up within a customer’s premises, which makes intercepting a UEFI has even more difficult. If hackers are willing to break the cloud based UEFI verification system, then they require hacking both the PC boot layer and the UEFI snapshot in the cloud.
In case of a hack, an original copy of the BIOS can be reloaded on the PC from a server via Microsoft’s System Center Configuration or other Windows-based remote system management software. Dell is also interested in offering this support for Linux server management software soon.
The tool will be loaded on Dell’s Precision, OptiPlex and XPS PCs and Venue Pro tablets. Dell will add an additional charge for the new tool addition on all its business laptops purchase.