Patches and Updates

Why Updates and Patches should be installed on devices

This is a widely discussed subject with many different viewpoints on why you need to complete updates and install patches for both your devices and software. Here are some reasons why you should be completing these updates and patches, with some examples of why they were done and the results.

This year in August, Microsoft found a vulnerability in its print service in Windows that would remove the need to authenticate a user account which would give them full access to the computer and eventually network. 

This was quickly patched however implemented a new issue for those who did go through the update where from a technical perspective you couldn’t add printers from networked devices anymore and it required to add them in manually. This was patched again a week later and resolved this, but this was a necessary patch to occur as it removed a vulnerability that was in every Windows network environment and could have devasting effects to a business if the vulnerability was exploited.

Although updates and patches can on rare occasions create new issues for a computer system it is essential that they’re carried out as they are also fixing other lingering issues going on which can be as simple as a shortcut doesn’t work, to a security fix that prevents a vulnerability from occurring in your business environment.

Another case of why updates and patches are necessary is back in 2017 there was the WannaCry ransomware attack that was worldwide in its devastation affected over 200,000 people and well over 300,000 devices.

This devasting ransomware attack was so successful due to many businesses still being reliant on old software that only run older Operating System environments; including Windows XP, 7, 8 and pre 2008 r2 Server editions that hadn’t received any updates due to these Operating Systems being outdated by over a decade and no longer supported by Microsoft.

It is incredibly important to keep your devices up to date with the latest updates, patches, and operating systems so that you’re always able to receive new updates to keep your business environment secure and running smoothly.

To check for any updates on a Windows device is to go the Start Menu (Windows icon) and search for Windows updates and then check for updates.

If it is for a particular piece of software e.g., Office this can be found by going to:

File > Account > Click on “Update Options”> Update now

For other software it can often be found in the “About” drop-down menu.

If your software is specifically designed for your business, you’ll need to contact your software developer or vendor that has put this together for you as they will periodically release patches for it.

As mobile phones have taken over our lives and become our go to devices for both our personal life and work life, they’re becoming another security risk for both businesses and you personally.

It is best to always keep your mobile device up to date with the updates that are released to it as it will provide necessary security updates that will help protect your device. It is also best if you’re using a work phone to confirm if there’s any additional security software that can be used on your phone to help protect you and the business more.

For Android Devices: Settings > Software Update > Select “Download updates manually”

This is usually set to download updates automatically.

Apple Devices: Settings > General > Software Update 

Whilst in the Apple Update section we suggest turning on the auto update

Staff training is the most crucial security step to keep your business secure and this should be looked as a training cost rather than another IT cost as it is training your staff to be the last line of defence against malicious emails and other documents that are sent to them, which will prevent outages to your business which will cost significantly more than the training that you put into your staff.

If you’d like any security training or further information on the importance of completing updates and patches, please don’t hesitate to speak with our sales team found on our Contact Us web page.