System Security – One Patch at a Time

patch system security kansas city

You are probably no stranger to those pesky pop-up windows asking you to update your software. And if you are like most people hitting “remind me later” has become a regular occurrence but did you know that is leaving your organization at risk?

Why are these software updates so important? Here are the top 4 reasons not to put them off:

1. Updates help patch security flaws

Hackers spend countless hours trying to poke holes in the hypothetical walls of your software. Why? Because hackers love security flaws, once they are discovered they can quickly be used to target a variety of businesses running the same software. They will write code to exploit the vulnerability, the code is packaged into malware and sent to you via bad email links, compromised messages, infected media etc.

Software updates often include software patches that will cover the known security holes to keep the hackers out.

2. Software updates protect your data

You probably keep a lot of business and personal data on your devices. If a hacker is able to access the data – it will likely end up on the dark web bought and sold until you are attacked.

Think of it this way, when developers discover a weakness in the code, that weakness is like a gaping hole. That hole is like a window, allowing hackers to reach in and cause all kinds of chaos. When the developers identify that hole, they create new code as a patch to shore it up.

3. You deserve the latest and greatest

Updates not only patch security flaws but they allow the software to make updates adding new features and improving existing ones. These updates will help boost speed, increase efficiency, and improve the overall use of the platform.

When to patch?

When asked when to patch and how often, a cybersecurity zealot would say always! As you might have guessed, that’s not exactly feasible in terms of actually putting it into practice. Most cybersecurity experts would agree that you should patch at least once a month for optimal security.

Whatever you do, don’t skip a month. Security patches don’t just put a bandaid on some bad code, they help protect vital and valuable data. Also, keep in mind, it’s not just about you and your data, your customer data is also at stake.

Protecting your customer data should be as important to you and your company as protecting your own financial information. Patches can’t protect a system from everything, but they are still an integral component in any cybersecurity strategy or topology.

One thing you should know about patches is that they are most effective when applied regularly. While it might seem like a nuisance, patches need to be done, and they need to be done monthly.

At this point you may be asking yourself, “how do I ensure that my team is not procrastinating?”, great question. Patch management has become such a critical piece of the cybersecurity puzzle that organizations now offer patch management software. A patch management software will ensure that all devices on your network will be forced to update patches pushed out by your administrator. In most instances, a small countdown clock will appear letting a user know the amount of time remaining before the device manually restarts, typically within 72 hours, if the user does not restart within that timeframe the device will proceed to restart on its own – doing away with the procrastinators opening you up to security flaws.

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