How HPE’s Manufacturing Process Revolutionized Server Security

Securing servers isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. Enterprises not only need to worry about online threats like DoS, DDoS, and ransomware attacks but also about tampering throughout the supply chain. One of the most notorious examples was the Big Hack, where Chinese spies installed microchips into US companies’ products to create a backdoor.

The abundance of threats throughout the supply chain and online has increased the surface area that providers need to protect, and many vendors are struggling to keep up. However, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has protected servers against these modern threats by rebuilding security measures from the ground up, protecting hardware at the firmware level, and implementing extensive factory controls. 

Today, HPE uses a bottom-up strategy to protect servers, securing everything from applications to hypervisors, hardware, and firmware. The all-encompassing approach has made the company’s series of Proliant servers, one of the top enterprise computing solutions on the market. 

At the heart of HPE’s firmware-level security is the iLO5 chip. The iLO5 chip is manufactured directly by HPE and is protected with a silicon layer so that it can’t be tampered with or hacked. The chip creates a digital footprint, so when a server boots, the user can validate the firmware and BIOS are original and authentic. 

As Fernando Saldana, Solutions Architect for Computex Technology Solutions, explains, the chip “ensures that there is no tampering, corruption, or anything on the firmware, BIOs, and the systems that are critical to the server.” 

While hackers can still tamper with the machine, the chip provides recovery options so you can restore the last known legitimate BIOS firmware and reset to factory settings if the hardware becomes compromised. The firmware-level approach is more effective than that of competitors that provide a hardware root of trust like Intel Boot Guard because the user can verify the device’s firmware. 

HPE has also implemented security measures throughout the supply chain to secure its products further and reduce the likelihood of tampering. For example, the provider now only does business with HPE approved suppliers, maintains an approved vendor list, and proactively investigates breach allegations. Inside factories, HPE protects products with restricted parts access, CCTV cameras, security guards, background checks, motion detectors, and alerts. 

HPE’s approach is all about ensuring that the products that HPE customers receive are ready for operation out-of-the-box, with the correct firmware. The Proliant series of servers stands as a compelling choice for enterprises that require secure servers resistant to modern cyber threats. 

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