Smartphones Overlooked In Spectre And Meltdown Response

Future Tech Enterprise CEO Bob Venero says enterprise customers have been less concerned about mobile devices in the Spectre and Meltdown response.

"Phones weren't a big piece of it, and we saw that from, not only the Intel side of it, but the ARM side," he said. "Intel, if you look at them, they have a very small processor base in phones compared to PCs, servers and embedded. So, there wasn’t a lot of attention based on that and a lot less risk because of what data you have on a phone vs. what data you have on a corporate PC," said Venero.

His comments came in reaction to a recent report by the U.K.-based organization Bridgeway Security Solutions that found up to 24 percent of mobile devices remain vulnerable to an attack. The report was published in January shortly after news of Spectre and Meltdown first surfaced. Bridgeway Security Solutions analyzed over 100,000 corporate owned and managed mobile phones and tablets across U.K. organizations.

CRNtv met with Venero at his offices in Holbrook, N.Y. Future Tech Enterprise partners with over 700 product manufacturer lines, including IBM, Microsoft, HP and Apple. Venero estimated that phones had been just 1 or 2 percent of a concern for his customers.

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"They’re really looking at the mass number of units. We have one customer who has 100,000 devices that have been impacted and how are we going to remediate all 100,000 of those devices," he said.

Intel has continued to roll out patches since the exploits were revealed in January. On Wednesday, February 28, Intel issued Spectre fixes for Broadwell and Haswell chips. CRN research shows enterprise customers have been slow to react. According to an online CRN poll surveying 190 members of the CRN Channel Intelligence Council, just 42 percent of respondents said customers had completed all Spectre and Meltdown updates available.