Chinese computer hardware giant Lenovo has had a rough couple of weeks. First, reports emerged about some of the company’s consumer notebooks, which since September 2014 have come pre-loaded with Superfish, a third-party adware that made customers vulnerable to so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks that could de-encrypt or compromise secure data from banking and e-commerce sites—all in the name of loading customized ads onto the sites you visit.
In January, Lenovo began disabling Superfish, announced it would no longer pre-load the software on new computers, and then built a program to remove all traces of it from existing machines. But on Feb. 25, Lenovo.com was hacked, presumably because of public criticism of the company and its perceived sluggishness in responding to the Superfish issue. No breach of Lenovo’s internal network was discovered, and users were only redirected to a hacked site for a short period of time.
Still, the incident added insult to injury for an already embarrassed Lenovo. But instead of highlighting the negatives of the situation, let’s take this as an opportunity to highlight the positives of developing a relationship with a trusted IT provider.
1) Before you make a purchasing decision, enlist the help of a trusted IT advisor. CMIT Solutions maintains close relationships with major software/hardware companies. So when you’re ready to make a business investment, not only can we help you choose the right equipment for your needs, but we can also provide long-term assessments of security and risk.
2) Proactive IT services can minimize the risk of adware, spyware, and malware. Many Lenovo customers had the Superfish adware running on their notebooks for months. CMIT’s remote monitoring and maintenance solution provides around-the-clock antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware support that specializes in catching and resolving such problems.
3) Working with a trusted partner means you don’t have to panic when situations like these arise. Technology changes faster than any other aspect of our modern world. But at CMIT Solutions, our network of technicians were checking the status of all clients’ systems—Lenovo notebooks or not—as soon as news of the adware situation broke. As a business owner, you can’t keep up with every new security problem: that’s what we’re here for.
4) Case in point: the problem isn’t just limited to Lenovo. Superfish worked with other third-party vendors to handle secure SSL connections between Internet browsers and websites. Facebook revealed that more than a dozen other applications used the same third-party SSL software as Superfish, which means this security issue could spread (similar to last year’s Heartbleed vulnerability). A trusted IT advisor knows to check those issues, too.
5) It all comes down to trust. Even though Lenovo emphasized that only consumer notebooks were loaded with the aforementioned adware, every computer user is right to suspect that they may have issues, too—especially because loading so-called “bloatware” like Superfish on computers is common in the consumer PC industry. So are you going to trust the multinational company selling you a laptop at a cut-rate price? Or the local IT provider you can meet face to face to assess your business needs and compare different types of systems?
CMIT Solutions treats the purchasing decisions of its clients like we would our own: with meticulous care, objective scrutiny, and an eye toward efficiency, security, and return on investment. Contact us today to learn more about how we worry about IT so that you don’t have to.