How do you perceive software updates? Are they a disruption from your daily tasks, or do you take that to improve your systems’ performance? Well, either way, it is imperative to understand the essence of the updates regarding the safety of your devices from different security flaws.
If it is your first time to encounter those “frustrating” pop-ups, do not worry. It doesn’t mean your software is now useless, or you will lose some of your data by switching to the latest version, NO. Software developers are always working to improve their programs’ features and content so you can have the best experience. And that’s actually where patching comes in.
But before you ask, patching implies the process of launching numerous functionalities to software that is already in the market to upgrade its performance. If you’ve been using Windows over the last couple of years, I am pretty sure you can easily relate. On January 14, 2020, the tech-giant withdrew all support and updates from Windows 7, including security updates—which means it is no longer safe.
So, why should you care about software updates and patching?
Keep personal data and that of your enterprise safe
In this day and age, we keep almost all our documents and credentials in soft copy. All the invoices, non-disclosure statements, memoranda, business plans, and other confidential documents are most probably stored in computers in your business. That’s why you don’t want to run outdated software on your devices.
Consider ransomware, for instance. With an unprotected system, you can install the malware unknowingly and expose your data to hackers. After gaining control of your computer, they may demand a ransom before handing it over to you. Or worse still, they may threaten to expose it to the dark web.
Your customers deserve utmost confidentiality
No customer will take your brand seriously if you are using outdated software to manage their credentials. They will quit as soon as they find out. Note that every client who shares their details with your brand expects nothing but the highest confidentiality level. Exposing their data to hackers can get your business in significant legal trouble.
Perhaps we can learn something from the widespread Equifax data breach of 2017. The company failed to update its credit reporting system that had some security flaws in their web application. Two months down the line, hackers gained access to their database and ran off with clients’ credentials. The data included social security numbers and home security numbers.
As compensation, the Federal Trade Commission ordered that the company pays USD 125 to all affected customers, or offer free credit monitoring to them for ten years! They complied with the latter.
Mind about those around your network
Within your enterprise, everyone has a responsibility to safeguard their colleagues against malware. A single unpatched device may get infiltrated with worms and, in turn, transfer them to others in the same network. You may even end up infecting devices of your family members, friends, or business partners.
Well, perhaps you use the best software in town to keep your systems safe. But honestly, antivirus software does not guarantee 100% safety. Taking advantage of patches any time you see them is the best way to keep your environment safe. That is why you never want to click that “maybe later” button when prompted to update.
Deploy the latest technologies in your enterprise
Software updates are not all about addressing security flaws, NO. As we mentioned earlier, patches come with many additional features. Even though most of these features are may not be visible at first sight, trust me, their performance cannot be the same. You may begin to experience better speeds, less or no program failures, and general safety.
If you find the updates recurring quite often, consider configuring your device for auto-updates. But the bottom line is, never skip an update—the integrated features are always great and for your best interests.
Software updates will boost your productivity
There are a couple of ways in which patches can better the productivity of your enterprise. As we have pointed out, software updates come loaded with more than just security updates. And of course, great functionalities will translate to better user experience and ultimately great results from employees, right?
Again, now that you are safe from malware and attacks from hackers, you can be sure of your business activities’ uninterrupted flow and reduced downtimes.
Updates also block any loopholes that may leak your data or give hackers access to your devices. In the end, you will be safe from unnecessary losses.
Safety against third-party loopholes
Apart from just updating your company’s software, it is good to be aware of third-parties—or business partners’ versions. For instance, if you have a vendor who manages some critical part of your enterprise, you need to be sure to use updated software.
If they happen to access your database using outdated browsers or other software, that could pose a significant danger to your business. Intruders can easily take advantage of the loopholes to access and take control of your systems. So monitoring their devices is something you don’t want to assume.
Software updates for the Internet of Things (IoT) safety
As of 2020, over 50% of the world’s population has enough infrastructure to access the internet. Actually, in the US, statistics show that 85.8% (313m) of the population uses the internet every day.
From the figures, it is logical to say the average person can access the internet every day. And that is through their mobile devices, computers, smart TVs, or other smart gadgets.
Now, while this is excellent news, cybercriminals can take the opportunity to rip off unsuspecting users—those who are unaware of the essence of software updates. That’s why, as an entrepreneur, you don’t want to be classified here because the effects can be terrible on your end.
Software updates can patch those security flaws!
Think of software updates as going for medical checkups to a doctor even when you are okay, or adding more oil to your car when heading for a long journey. Regardless of how big or small the updates are, you can only be on the safe side with the latest versions.
Patching will help seal all security flaws that may encourage cybercriminals to prey on your precious assets. So you can be sure both your devices and data will remain safe. Again, your business operations won’t be suspended over sudden loss or manipulation of data.
In case you haven’t been using a patch management system, this is the time you need to try it out for the seamless management of updates. However, before installing the updates, it is good to test and examine them. Finally, using devices directly supported by the manufacturer is another great tip to ensure automatic updates whenever there is one.