What’s New in Server Security?

Are you aware of all the potential threats to your organization’s servers? Are you confident that you’ve invested in the best possible protection for all the data contained on them?

New risks and threats to server security continue to emerge, as technologies like cloud infrastructure deliver more opportunities for risks as well as benefits. Or as a recent whitepaper by Moor Insights & Strategy put it, “the threat landscape is increasing, and attacks are becoming more sophisticated.”

“The threats are endless if your information is compromised, making security measures a critical component of any server deployment,” says Kevin Noreen, senior director of product management for Dell EMC PowerEdge software.

In response to the growing need for stronger security, Dell recently released the 14th generation of its PowerEdge servers, and Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) recently unveiled its 10th generation server, the HPE ProLiant Gen10.

Both organizations promise that their products will provide healthcare systems with more comprehensive protection and vital security, ultimately saving money and time. Their latest server platforms incorporate a “silicon root of trust,” an enhanced security methodology that makes them virtually impossible to compromise. They constantly monitor for cyberattacks and then take action when necessary.

In the past, cybersecurity’s emphasis tended to be centered around software. And for a long time, that was the right tactic. But today, organizations need to be sure they don’t also forget hardware-level security issues. The newest generation servers are tackling that problem.

“We believe security should be built into the hardware layer versus added later,” Noreen explains.

He refers to it as the technology’s “immune system”—a built-in and critical component for detecting and thwarting an attack. An important component of these next-generation servers is how they’re positioned to address the threat of ransomware attacks, which continue to grow exponentially. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that locks up a system and demands payment before it will unlock the system and allow users to regain access. Some ransomware even encrypts files and scrambles the information contained within before demanding a ransom and releasing a decoding key for the user to un-encrypt their files.

An organization that’s vulnerable to ransomware attacks could be looking at a demand for huge amounts of money—and no guarantee that they’ll actually get back all their data from the individual or group holding it hostage. That’s why the latest generation of servers were specifically designed to thwart that problem.

Bob Moore, director of software and product security at HPE, noted that with the HPE Silicon Root of Trust, an industry-first silicon-based security solution, the HPE ProLiant Gen10 servers improve security by ensuring they do not execute compromised firmware code. “If any ransomware or malware is somehow inserted in the server, it will be detected because it doesn’t match the fingerprinting that we’ve put into the silicon,” he explains.

Moore noted that rapid recovery is another key feature of HPE’s latest generation servers. If an attack occurs, the server can quickly go into recover-and-restore mode so the system doesn’t remain down for long.

“We can facilitate a restoration of the operating system, applications and data,” Moore says, adding that each piece of firmware will be carefully checked to make sure they’re completely free of malware during the process.

Dell has a similar approach, which Noreen calls “health insurance for your motherboard.” This intrinsic feature, called Easy Restore, enables an organization to easily retrieve information stored off the motherboard from another part of the system. That way, if the motherboard has to be replaced, the internal service processor simply asks the user if missing information should be restored and then initiates the process to get the system functioning again. “This allows you to easily engage with the new motherboard,” Noreen explains.

Imagine the repercussions of a security event: What would happen in your hospital or healthcare organization if the servers were compromised and went down? At best, it might be inconvenient. At worst, it could be terribly expensive and harmful to countless individuals whose information was compromised.

Ultimately, you want to be confident that your technology investments will protect your organization financially and also protect the health and safety of your patients.

“We can preclude lengthy outages,” Moore says. “We can prevent the need to pay ransom. And we can prevent the costly nature of downtime, planned and unplanned, which is especially critical in healthcare because you are literally dealing with life and death.”

Both Dell and HPE pledge to continue seeking ways to stay one step ahead of anyone who might try to undermine the safety and security of an organization’s data.

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