Basic Input/Output system (BIOS) definition
The first software that runs when we turn computers on is a basic Input/Output System or BIOS. BIOS initiates immediate system hardware component testing before handling the control to the operating system. Regarding cybersecurity, BIOS can become a target for hackers, meaning that hackers can alter BIOS and gain access to a system. The worst-case scenario is that modified BIOS can undermine the operating system and other crucial security measures.
See also: BIOS rootkit
Common BIOS applications in cybersecurity:
- BIOS firmware updates: Regular updates and the latest security patch installations to the BIOS can safeguard the system from common vulnerabilities and ensure that attackers cannot exploit outdated software and compromise the entire system.
- Secure boot: Secure boot feature is when BIOS ensures that only trusted software can be enabled during the boot process, which provides a reasonable measure against rootkits and bootloaders that target to compromise the system’s integrity.
- BIOS passwords: Setting up a strong password on the BIOS can secure users from unauthorized access while booting up the computer or changing various BIOS settings for further exploitation.