Securing and Upgrading Firmware

Securing and Upgrading Firmware

Some BIOS firmware can detect intrusion by inspecting the contact status on the motherboard. If this feature is enabled in the BIOS and the sensor present on the chassis is linked with the contact on the motherboard, then the cover removal will be detected and the BIOS will log it. Because of the CMOS battery, this can happen even if the system is off. The BIOS will notify you of the intrusion at the next boot-up. Unless additional intrusion is detected, no notification is shown over subsequent boots.

The primary role of BIOS is to secure the system. Initially, the BIOS permitted setting of two passwords — supervisor/access password and the user password. The user password is required to leave the initial power-on screen and start the booting process of an OS. You need to know the supervisor password to enter the BIOS configuration utility. It is always beneficial to set the supervisor password. But in public systems, the user password should not be set because in unforeseen power cycle, the systems will have to boot on their own.

The firmware that is encoded in the motherboard chip may require update. This upgradation of firmware is required so that the motherboard can support the hardware that is newly installed. But updating firmware is a risky option and you should always note the name of the BIOS manufacturer and the model of the motherboard before updating the firmware. The name of the BIOS manufacturer and motherboard model will be required to install the required software for upgrading the firmware. You can install the software from the manufacturer’s website. But remember that the firmware should be updated only when there is a problem in the system hardware or if additional functionality is required in the computer system.

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