Why Are Software Updates and Patches Important?
Devices take up more of our time than ever before, and sometimes it can become easy to simply click “remind me later” on a software patch or update. In an organization, this is a serious mistake.
In 2017, Equifax experienced a data breach that potentially impacted 1.43 million Americans because they skipped installing a free patch for a web application. Software patches plug these security holes and prevent computer viruses from spreading. These patches are often free and have new features that can help your organization achieve its mission and stay relevant with updated technology.
Would you skip patching a dam that has a hole? When you invest the time to update your company’s devices, you prevent a potential flood of security, compatibility, and usability problems due to missing updates.
What Is the Importance of Updating Operating Systems?
The operating system (OS) is the heart of your computer software. It affects your security, compatibility, and features. What happens when something goes wrong or patches freeze? Here are three main reasons why you need to update your computer’s software:
- Security breach prevention: An operating system’s complexity and size enable security vulnerabilities to slip through its defenses and create software bugs. If a threat goes unpatched for 90 days, most hackers will know how to exploit the problem at that point. You also need to be able to document and justify your decisions to a forensics team if a breach occurs.
- Software compatibility: When you skip updating your operating system regularly, this can impact compatibility with popular software and cause significant issues over time.
- New and improved software features: Popular OS options like Microsoft Windows place critical feature updates in patches. For example, patches have brought new start menu customization and the ability to open all your tabs at once.
Why Is It Important to Update Third-Party Applications?
Even the most well-protected OS with updated system software is vulnerable to attacks from third-party applications.
There are two key reasons why security patches are important for third-party applications:
- Ransomware: Risks from third-party vendors account for over two-thirds of all data breaches today. Why? Third-party applications often interact with the internet, making them highly vulnerable to ransomware. Hackers know companies often overlook updating various programs that don’t seem important.
- Popularity: Cybercriminals want to exploit the most vulnerabilities as possible simultaneously. They are constantly searching for popular third-party programs and will jump on an opportunity to hack millions of users who delayed updating their software.
Need More Help?
If you’re reading this article and feel overwhelmed by numerous software updates and patches, we’re here to help. We would love to partner with you and instill confidence in your device security. Send us a message through our contact form, or call us at 877.780.2446. Learn more about our managed IT services.
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