Software Patches are Important to Your Company’s Security!

In the animal kingdom, nature is always changing, by adapting to meet the needs of the environment it’s faced with. Whether it’s a clever defense mechanism for a herbivore to fend off potential threats or a busy beaver architecting a home for itself, wildlife has no shortage of survival tools. Technology has adopted a similar pattern, by becoming flexible enough to change its architecture and defense protocols to meet the needs of your business’s digital habitat in the form of software patches.

Developers are working around the clock to ensure your software is keeping up with digital trends. Whether it’s in the form of new features, performance optimizations, or behind the scene bug fixes, technology is always growing. As a result, your computers, applications, and other devices will ask you to install updates every now and then. While these notifications may seem safe to push off, we wanted to explore the different reasons why updates matter and why it’s important to keep your tech up to speed.

For instance, if your company webpage allows your clients to sign in and store personal information, your customer’s data may be at risk if your technology is not up to date. Every day, new exploits and vulnerabilities are being discovered, documented, and ultimately addressed by—you guessed it—patches! Last year’s Equifax breach is estimated to have affected approximately 143 million people’s personal information. The harsh reality is that this breach was entirely avoidable. Security reports reveal that the patch to correct this security flaw was available months before the incident—meaning Equifax failed to update their systems and ultimately left the company and their customers unprotected.

We tend to think that only the mega corporations, like Equifax, are at risk for this level of cybercrime. Unfortunately, companies of all sizes are breached daily—whether it’s an anonymous ear monitoring all your emails or whether it’s your customers’ private data being offloaded and sold on the Dark Web.

What does this mean for you? Most security risks and major data breaches are avoidable by keeping your software applications, webpages, and computers up to date with the most recent patches. Just like the diligent beaver preparing its home and maintaining it throughout the seasons and the defense mechanism of a chameleon’s camouflage, sometimes the best defense is a good offense. By keeping your machines patched and up to date, not only will your systems have the latest architecture for their operating system, but known security exploits and patched vulnerabilities will no longer be something to be concerned about.

Sometimes, though, it’s not always as obvious as your Windows or Mac device prompting you to update. Certain applications may be less obvious depending on your settings (especially for webpages and applications like Adobe). It’s important to check for updates every so often to make sure all your bases are covered. If that sounds like a hassle or maybe you’re not sure if your webpage developer is staying on top of the patches you need, it’s important to double check. And, if you’re still not convinced, give your friendly neighborhood IT Radix a call. We’d be happy to discuss managing and maintaining your patches for you.

Technology is a moving target, and it’s always nice when someone has your back.

Learn more about our IT management and support plans here.

First published in our June 2018 IT Radix Resource newsletter