January 11, 2018 – As many of you know, there has been a large issue discovered which affects virtually all modern processors. The exploits which can take advantage of this are called Spectre and Meltdown. The details and scope of Spectre and Meltdown are outside the scope of this update, but if you would like more information on them, you can read it here: Spectre and Meltdown Explained
The fix for these issues is applied at the operating system level. Microsoft, Apple, and Linux have all developed fixes and those are currently being deployed. However, the fix which Microsoft has developed affects some third-party antivirus products. To make sure that your currently installed antivirus is compatible, Microsoft has developed a registry key which must be set before your system will resume Windows updates (any future update – not just Spectre and Meltdown – because all Microsoft updates are now cumalative).
Network Solutions, Inc. is currently using Bit Defender, Trend Micro, and Panda Antivirus for our customers. In the past, we’ve also used Vipre. We wanted to share the impact of these updates on these products for our customers.
Bit Defender – This is provided to our MSP clients. Currently, this antivirus solution is still undergoing testing. However, if you are currently an MSP customer, no action will be required on your part as our technicians and patching solution will take care of everything.
Trend Micro – The majority of our customers (home and business) are currently using this solution. Currently, Trend Micro has stated that their software IS compatible with the patches provided by Microsoft. However, they have not yet automatically added the registry key necessary for these patches to be automatically deployed to all of their products. Most of our business customers currently use Worry-Free Business Security Services which has NOT yet automatically deployed the registry key for updates. Our consumer or standalone version of Trend Micro is Trend Micro Internet Security. We have tested the product in-house and determined that it *does* deploy the registry key and therefore will allow Microsoft patches to be received. Their official statement can be read here: Trend Micro Security Update
Panda Antivirus – Some customers have opted to stay with Panda Antivirus and we do fully support this. Panda has stated that all of their products currently automatically add the registry key when updated so Microsoft patches will continue normally without user action (as long as the antivirus is up-to-date). Read their statement here: Panda Advisory
Vipre Antivirus – This is a legacy solution which we are no longer actively selling. Currently, Vipre is still in testing for some of their products but have deemed most compatible. They have stated that once a product is determined to be compatible, they will automatically set the registry key. Their full statement can be found here: Vipre Blog
If you have any questions or concerns about your antivirus or system updates, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-547-6817.