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BIOS Protection Guidelines for Servers



Andrew R. Regenscheid


Modern computers rely on fundamental system firmware, commonly known as the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), to facilitate the hardware initialization process and transition control to the hypervisor or operating system. Unauthorized modification of BIOS firmware by malicious software constitutes a significant threat because of the BIOS’s unique and privileged position within the PC architecture. The guidelines in this document include requirements on servers to mitigate the execution of malicious or corrupt BIOS code. They apply to BIOS firmware stored in the BIOS flash, including the BIOS code, the cryptographic keys that are part of the root of trust for update, and static BIOS data. This guide is intended to provide server platform vendors with recommendations and guidelines for a secure BIOS update process.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-147B
Report Number


Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), information security, patch management, server security, firmware, root of trust, root of trust for update


Regenscheid, A. (2014), BIOS Protection Guidelines for Servers, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 20, 2024)


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Created August 28, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018