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Intel (INTC) Releases Patches to Fix High-Severity Glitches

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Intel (INTC - Free Report) recently issued three security updates to address the high-severity issues impacting Intel NUC firmware, Intel RAID Web Console 3 (RWC3) for Windows, Intel Accelerated Storage Manager in Intel Rapid Storage Technology Enterprise.

The critical bugs primarily affected Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC) mini PC kit system firmware. Markedly, NUC finds ample application in PCs and facilitates memory, storage and other processing capabilities. This boosts performance of media centers, digital signage systems and kiosks.

We view the company’s attempt to fix the flaws as a commendable step. Additionally, the company has rolled out security updates and advisories pertaining to five medium and three low severity errors.

Users are expected to review and update the affected systems with the patches, failing which chances of “escalation of privilege, denial of service and/or information disclosure” are rife.

Intel has been increasingly focusing on hardware security with promising initiatives. For instance, the company unveiled Intel SGX Card (or Software Guard Extensions) to strengthen data center hardware architecture with security capabilities.



These initiatives instill confidence in the stock. Notably, shares of Intel have gained 2.4% in the past month against its industry’s decline of 0.4%.

Noteworthy Security Initiatives

Intel is striving to enhance capabilities of its Threat Detection Technology (“TDT”) to improve hardware security in servers across virtualized data centers. Notably, the company has extended TDT support to Linux platform.

Further, Intel recently rolled out "Host-based Firmware Analyzer" tool to provide software capabilities to TianoCore community with an aim to support open-source based advanced applications.

Wrapping Up

Increasing risk of sophisticated data breaches and malware boosts demand for robust hardware security capabilities. Moreover, the growing need for efficient, cloud-capable and secure data storage solutions adds to this demand.
 
Per Gartner data, cloud managed service providers are projected to triple by 2020. The research firm also predicts that “through 2022 at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”

Intel is focusing on identification of flaws in its hardware and providing sturdy solutions to fix them. We believe Intel’s initiatives to fortify hardware-based security capabilities with system updates boost the company’s brand value.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Intel carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks worth considering in the broader sector are eGain Corporation (EGAN - Free Report) , Rosetta Stone Inc. (RST - Free Report) and j2 Global, Inc. (JCOM - Free Report) , each sporting Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for eGain, Rosetta Stone and j2 Global is pegged at 30%, 12.5% and 8%, respectively.

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