What is firmware?
Firmware is software installed on an electronic device to manage basic hardware functions, such as data processing and communication with other devices. More than understanding how it works, it is important to know the role of firmware in IT management. Read this article to learn more about this topic.
Firmware provides basic operating instructions for hardware installed on a device, ensuring its coordinated operation and communication between hardware units.
Firmware has the following components:
- Bootloader: firmware component that runs during the boot sequence;
- SETUP: program to set the parameters stored in the configuration memory, which is also known as CMOS;
- CMOS: memory on a device that stores all information altered in SETUP;
- POST: a diagnostic program that runs when a digital electronic device is turned on.
Importance of firmware in IT management
Firmware allows the information technology (IT) team to access basic settings of a computer and customize its operation in order to increase performance, enable or disable hardware functions, and implement security solutions, making it a very important tool to help optimize corporate equipment.
How and why you should update your device firmware
Firmware has a different update cycle from software and operating systems, as these updates don’t have a defined periodicity.
However, firmware is not updated automatically. The IT team is responsible for monitoring, downloading, and installing updates on every device or network, as recommended by the manufacturer or supplier.
Also, some good practices can be adopted for firmware updates:
- Keep the device connected to the power source during the update process;
- Use the correct firmware version;
- Install updates only from the device manufacturer;
- Check the update version number that matches the device reference code.
Several benefits can be obtained with a firmware update:
- New features
A firmware update can offer new features such as native virtualization, overclock modes, compatibility with new storage models, and much more.
Another advantage of updated firmware is that it improves device performance and helps fix bugs that may be affecting the device performance.
Firmware update is essential for IT management as it helps fix bugs and low-level security breaches, preventing cybercriminals from exploring vulnerabilities in computers.
Firmware in IT management: understand this relationship
One of the most well-known firmware issues is malware, which is malicious software intended to attack the system, damage devices, change the operating system settings, and steal user’s information.
In this context, the role of good IT management is to reduce these threats by ensuring that various performance elements are monitored.
This way, good processes and constant reviews of electronic devices are key elements to achieve excellent results and the desired levels of data security.
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