Your IT services firm is telling you that your computers need to be “patched.”  What does that mean and why is it important to your business?

What a Patch Is

Patches are software updates that help prevent or fix problems, improve how your computer works in ways youcan’t see, or improve your user experience by adding program enhancements that you can see.  Microsoft releases patches weekly for its various products.  Companies like Adobe or Firefox  release updates less frequently.

Patches need to be downloaded and installed on your machine.  This can be done either automatically (through settings), or by your IT provider, who can determine which updates are most important and ensure that the updates are applied across your network.

What a Patch Does

A patch may correct a simple bug in the system, such as fixing a feature or adding menu color choices.

More and more frequently, patches are being released to correct security flaws in the software.  Sometimes, security flaws are discovered by the developer and an update is issued before the risk is exposed to the public by a hacker.  Microsoft is one of the largest targets for hackers, but no software is 100% immune.

Why Patches are Important

Timely patch installation is one of the best defenses against network breaches.  IT experts agree that installing patches is an essential practice, in fact first on the list even before antivirus software, for protecting data and helping users stay safe online.

If your IT provider does not regularly install updates on your network, now’s the time to find out about a Microsoft patch service (which is routine for CRU Solutions managed IT services clients).  If you handle your company’s IT yourself, make sure you are applying the Microsoft patches as they are released to avoid missing out on new features in addition to security fixes.

If your business needs help managing IT, contact CRU Solutions.