Is this the ultimate cyber security your business needs?
Everything today is 1s and 0s. It’s all data. It’s the commodity that makes or breaks everything.
Businesses are constantly on the lookout for tools that can enhance their productivity, security, and overall efficiency.
However, balancing these tasks was difficult enough for the IT department when everyone worked from the office, but today, the task is infinitely more complicated with the post-COVID remote working norm. This has placed an extra strain on businesses’ IT departments.
Users today expect the same level of tech support and security regardless if they are in the office, or at the airport in another country.
This is when IT professionals turn to Intel® for a solution and Intel has indeed delivered.
What is the Intel vPro® platform?
Let me introduce you to Intel vPro, a comprehensive set of hardware and software technologies developed by Intel to enhance the security, manageability, and productivity of business-class computers.
It’s primarily aimed at enterprise environments where IT administrators need to efficiently manage a large number of computers while ensuring the security and stability of the systems.
The Intel vPro platform is typically found in business-class computers, such as enterprise laptops, desktops, and workstations. It offers a range of benefits for IT administrators, including remote management capabilities, improved security, simplified deployment of updates, and streamlined maintenance processes.
It’s important to note that not all Intel processors or systems support the full range of Intel vPro features; the availability of specific Intel vPro features can vary based on the CPU and motherboard combination.
I have partnered with Intel to explore some of Intel vPro’s security components which is the reason that it is the ultimate choice for businesses to help protect its users and data:
Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT):
Malware is typically software that runs inside the Operating System. This can be stopped with an up-to-date anti-virus solution. However, there are some attacks that happen that can attack the BIOS and system’s firmware.
This type of attack happens below the Operating System level.
This is where Intel TXT steps in to help protect against attacks that target the system’s hardware such as the firmware, BIOS, and other low-level components.
It establishes a trusted environment, known as the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), where critical operations can be performed securely. This helps stop modifications to the system’s boot process and ensures the integrity of the platform.
Intel vPro also has Intel® Hardware Shield which adds an additional layer of protection against firmware-based attacks. It includes capabilities like BIOS Guard and Boot Guard, to prevent unauthorized modifications to the BIOS. This ensures that the system only boots with signed and trusted firmware.
Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT):
Typically, an IT technician would receive a support ticket from a user asking for assistance with a technical issue. The IT technician would access the computer and diagnose the issue. However, this only works if the operating system is intact. If the operating system is non-functioning, there isn’t much the tech support technician can do.
This is not the case with the Intel vPro platform. Even if the operating system has completely malfunctioned or has been attacked by malware, the IT technician is still able to remotely connect to the laptop and fix the issue; even if that means completely reinstalling the Operating system. This is due to Intel AMT.
Intel AMT allows IT technicians to remotely apply security patches and updates to mitigate vulnerabilities without needing physical access to the device.
IT technicians can also use Intel vPro’s Out-of-Band Management to remotely diagnose and repair systems even if the primary network connection is down!
Some Intel vPro enabled systems support remote secure erase functionality. In the event that the computer is lost or stolen, this allows IT administrators to remotely erase the data from the device which of course reduces the risk of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands and being sold on the Dark Web.
Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT):
When malware attacks a computer, it will attempt to infect the entire computer.
Intel VT helps stop that as it isolates the different workloads on a single physical machine through virtualization.
Should an infection happen and it manages to bypass the safety guards, it will be contained to a specific virtual environment which prevents it from affecting other parts of the system.
Intel® Identity Protection Technology (Intel® IPT):
Phishing is one of the most common methods that cybercriminals use in order to attain a user’s login credentials.
Intel IPT adds an extra layer of security to user authentication by supporting two-factor authentication methods which prevents unauthorized users from gaining access even if they have stolen a user’s credentials.
Intel vPro includes support for secure connectivity protocols, such as Intel Hardware Shield’s Secure Connect Technology, which can help protect against man-in-the-middle attacks during remote management sessions.
Any cybercriminal trying to eavesdrop (sniff) on that session will ultimately have to deal with encrypted data packets which will take years to decode – if at all.
Enhanced Device Guard:
Device Guard helps prevent the execution of unauthorized or malicious code by allowing administrators to define and enforce code integrity policies.
This helps protect against fileless attacks and other advanced threats.
So in Summary:
While no device is 100% hackproof, Intel vPro certainly raises the bar; making it much harder for a cybercriminal to compromise a user’s device.
This, together with user training on how to recognize and deal with security issues, regular updates for both the apps and the operating system, and strict password policies, significantly enhances the data integrity and safety of any company’s digital assets.
Should your company be looking at refreshing your hardware in 2024, devices powered by Intel vPro should be at the top of the list.
Not only will your users and data be safer, but your IT team will have a greater ability to help your users no matter where they are in the world.
For more information check out this link: https://intel.ly/3OAtdQt
In Partnership with Intel
Intel technologies may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Your costs and results may vary.
Intel, the Intel logo, Intel vPro® and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.