Recent verified reports highlight exploitable vulnerabilities in Apple’s security chip that cannot be patched.
The announcement adds to the growing concerns and shifting perceptions about hardware security.
Hardware-based security has pros and cons. Many ask if the risk is worth the reward when hardware might be vulnerable. As consumers, we must act responsibly when we choose products and services to encourage the industry to build better-hardened products.
Hardware, when designed properly, can greatly enhance overall platform security. But when the hardware is weak, it can undermine all the other security solutions. Overall, it is complex, time-consuming, and technically difficult to embed security properly.
If mistakes are made, the resulting vulnerabilities in hardware are very difficult to fix. Silicon companies will often work to develop a patch that can reside in the firmware or operating systems. These workarounds can cause severe system performance and may not fully close all the risks.
Apple is working to develop a patch. Given its long-standing commitment to security, it is looking at ways to improve the design process and likely inspecting other hardware components to proactively identify other potential weaknesses.
Other major silicon companies, specifically those who make Central Processing Units (CPUs), have seen many vulnerabilities discovered in their products. Some are taking it seriously, while others are less committed to establishing the necessary leadership. It becomes evident when increasing numbers of vulnerabilities are discovered over time.
We as consumers must choose wisely and value the security, privacy, and safety of products as a purchase criterion. If we collectively avoid companies that are making weak products or not taking security seriously, it sends a powerful message to the markets -- an economic message that is clearly understood by executive leadership and stockholders. If we want better products, then security must be seen as a competitive advantage by technology firms. Consumers vote for what is important to them with purchases. Let’s reward those companies who take the time and effort in building more secure and safe products that respect privacy, over those companies who are trying to downplay cybersecurity.
We all have a voice when it comes to the future trust of technology. Make your priorities known and vote with your purchase decisions.
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