Gartner Research

What Networking Leaders Need to Know and Do About Spectre/Meltdown

Published: 01 March 2018

ID: G00352084

Analyst(s): Neil MacDonald , Joe Skorupa , Andrew Lerner

Summary

A new class of processor vulnerabilities — referred to as spectre and meltdown — targets a processor design flaw present in nearly every network, security and computing device. I&O leaders with responsibility for networking should develop and follow a pragmatic, risk-based plan for remediation.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges

Introduction

Analysis

  • The Risk Is Real, but Don't Panic
  • Develop a Risk-Based Rollout Plan for Patching Open Platforms, Recognizing That, in the Short Term, Performance May Suffer
  • Don't Upgrade Without a Clear Business Need, Even If Your Vendor Tells You Patches Are Available
    • Prioritize Upgrades for Internet-Facing and Cloud-Resident Systems, as They Pose the Greatest Risks
    • Don't Forget About Virtual Appliances
    • Baseline the Performance of Installed Appliances to Measure How Much Margin Exists in These Systems
  • Apply Mitigating Controls for Network and Security Appliances That Aren't Patched
    • Develop a Strategy With Your Procurement Organization to Deal With Suppliers Whose Products No Longer Meet Their Published Specifications

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2019 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Purchase this Document

To purchase this document, you will need to register or sign in above

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.