Managing General Software Updates & Patching

April 23, 2021

Managing General Software Updates & Patching



Notifications for new updates can get annoying, but they are absolutely necessary. We’ve all ignored update notifications or saved them for a later time, but what we may not realize is that we’re opening up our systems to some major security risks by doing that.


The longer you wait to update a system, app, software, platform, or device, the higher your chances are of facing a potential breach or attack.



What Benefits Do Updates Bring?


Keeping all of your apps, devices, software, and other systems up to date not only brings a ton of benefits to you, but it also ensures your security is performing at the best of its abilities. Updates can remove bugs, patch up vulnerabilities, and remove outdated features. 


If you can keep all of your systems updated to the latest versions, this closes off a ton of opportunities for a cybercriminal to infiltrate your systems and steal your data. Additionally, staying updated can increase the speed of your applications and systems and ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible.



What Happens If You Don’t Keep All Systems Updated?


It’s important to keep all ends updated and not just the ones you think are most important. If you have one outdated app on your phone, this could be the singular entry point for a cybercriminal to access your work data, emails, contacts, sensitive financial information, or even private government documents.


Your information could end up getting sold on the Dark Web which would allow other cybercriminals to target you for future attacks. 


Alongside that, you could face a ransomware attack which could lock or encrypt all of your data where a cybercriminal will demand payment in exchange for your data. This can be an extremely costly event to recover from, and in many cases, individuals may end up never getting their data back.


Although these events affect you directly, think about all of the other people it may also affect. Your business or work information could be compromised which could affect client and coworker safety. As well, your family members and friends’ information could get leaked leaving them in precarious positions.



What Are Patches and Why Are They Important?


You may have heard of the term patches or patching when it comes to security. Essentially, when system providers detect holes, bugs, or potential exploitable vulnerabilities in their systems, they will actively attempt to find a solution for the issue and this is referred to as a patch. 


It’s crucial for these providers to patch up system vulnerabilities fast as each minute that passes could open up a ton of new risks for their platform and for their clients. 


Patches are only effective if users of the platform participate in the updates. If the clients of these software providers fail to update their systems after a patch was created, they may still face the risks of the potentially exploitable vulnerability. 



Main Takeaway


Overall, the main takeaway we’re getting at, is to keep all of your systems updated constantly. Don’t click ‘remind me later’ when a notification for a new update pops up.

Most updates these days will only take a matter of minutes, and by taking the time to update, you could be saving yourself from a major headache in the future.



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