Keep Malicious Software Out of Your BIOS

John Storts
Slide Show

Emerging Security Concerns in 2011

As the barriers to hacking are removed, the number of hackers will rise and the hunt will be on for the quickest route to the biggest payouts.

The BIOS forms a crucial part of your PC, but many of us pay no attention to its machinations when we start up our workstations. If it does what it's supposed to-initialize hardware and load and start the operating system-we shouldn't notice it (and, if you use a Mac or a PC running Windows 7, you might not even notice it at all).


It being a "humble" part of your computer's startup routine (please pardon the awful pun), it's very easy to overlook the BIOS as a potential source of malware. That makes it an attractive candidate for exploitation at the hands of a malicious coder.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology contributed a set of guidelines, still up for comment and revision, that addresses threats to the BIOS. Specifically, this document focuses on "preventing the update of the system BIOS by malicious software" and provides security controls and procedures designed for laptops and desktops in enterprise environments.


Minimize security risks by implementing protective measures that make your desktop and mobile workstations less vulnerable to BIOS-targeting malware.


More from the Knowledge Network and IT Business Edge

Network Security Policy for Portable Computers

Malware Threats and Mitigation Strategies

Improve Your Defenses Against Security Weaknesses

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