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System Surveyor Blog

Important security and performance alert: Spectre and Meltdown

As widely reported in the news, two classes of critical security vulnerabilities called Spectre and Meltdown have been discovered. This impacts roughly 90% of all computing devices including, desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices. These vulnerabilities allow attackers to gain access to parts of memory that were meant to be secret. While vulnerabilities are not specific to System Surveyor, they have the potential to expose any data on your computer or device.

To protect against these threats, you must update your computers and devices with recent updates and security patches made available by the manufacturers. Keep in mind that these are complex issues that will require multiple patches over the coming months from hardware manufacturers, operating system providers, and your web browsers.

Additionally, while these updates protect against these very serious vulnerabilities, the updates are highly likely to have performance impacts on the computers and devices where they are applied. Performance impacts for some tasks have been measured to be a 5-30% degradation, with 5-10% being a more likely benchmark. Unfortunately, this may impact the responsiveness of System Surveyor on the Cloud Workspace as well as our tablet application.

The following links provides more information about Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.

https://www.cnet.com/news/spectre-meltdown-intel-arm-amd-processor-cpu-chip-flaw-vulnerability-faq/

https://www.wired.com/story/meltdown-and-spectre-patches-take-toll/

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/01/heres-how-and-why-the-spectre-and-meltdown-patches-will-hurt-performance/

We want to assure you that System Surveyor is committed to protecting your data while also providing the most responsive user experience possible. We actively monitor against cyber threats and regularly update our infrastructure while incorporating enhanced security and performance capabilities. Please contact us at support@systemsurveyor.com should you ever have any questions.

Happy (and Secure) Surveying!