How to Keep Software Updates and Patches Current

How to Keep Software Updates and Patches Current

Software updates and patches are key elements of a layered approach to cybersecurity. Updates can add new features, remove outdated features, fix bugs, and optimize software. Often, they fix security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals.

Why You Should Keep Updates and Patches Current

The biggest and most obvious reason is that patches fix security vulnerabilities in your software. Since many vulnerabilities are only discovered after they’re exploited by cybercriminals, it can take time to develop the fix. Once the patch is available, it only makes sense to apply it as soon as you can.

When a patch is released, the vulnerability it corrects is disclosed to the public. That disclosure can be an open invitation for cybercriminals. They’ll go on the prowl looking for unpatched systems, either using manual scans or computer bots. By keeping updates and patches current, the hackers are more likely to pass you by.

Your company’s reputation could be damaged by any breach. But if you’re breached due to a vulnerability that has a known patch to fix it, the task of defending your actions to clients and regulators becomes more difficult.

How to Keep Updates and Patches Current

  • Make sure your IT provider applies patches from Microsoft and other key software vendors on a regular basis. They should apply critical security updates right away. If patches are being applied during off hours, follow their instructions, such as leaving your computer turned on, to make sure your machine doesn’t miss the patch.
  • If your IT provider doesn’t manage patches for you, set all computers to automatically update. Remind your team to avoid using the “Remind Me Later” button.
  • Set browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.) to automatically update.
  • Set your phone and tablet to automatically update.

Always be careful online. An exploit could infect your computer simply because you unknowingly viewed an unsafe website, opened a dangerous email, or played infected media. Avoid being an unwitting accomplice to hackers.

The number of new security alerts that emerge every week can be overwhelming. Managing updates and patches effectively is a key part of the toolkit that helps keep your systems more secure. The other tools and approaches you use (MFA , password managers, zero trust, and more) along with your ability to identify potentially dangerous emails and texts gives you the upper hand.

If you’d like to know more about how CRU Solutions can help keep your business safer, contact us.