Why Patching is Important
What is patching? Patching is another term for software updates. According to Wikipedia, a patch is “a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data, to fix or improve it.” From time to time, you may see an icon pop up prompting you to update Java or Adobe, etc. Or you’ll go to shut down your computer but your operating system may have other ideas while it is installing updates. It can be annoying and inconvenient but patching is important to maintain your system’s health and security. It should not be ignored!
In his e-book ‘Cyber Security Principles’, Garrett Gee points out that “the top cause for a computer to get exploited is from running older versions of software which in turn have known vulnerabilities in them.” As a business owner, it is extremely important that you lead by example. If you do not have software updates running automatically, mark a date on your calendar to regularly check for patches for the software and applications you use. Or better yet, schedule a monthly meeting with your IT department to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Mobile device operating systems and applications are often updated automatically. Recently, Samsung announced that it would begin sending monthly updates for several of the Galaxy family of devices. These automatic updates can be convenient, but users would be wise to still periodically check on the status of important apps.
A great way to stay informed about software updates is to subscribe to security notifications from your software vendors such as Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle and more. Similarly, when looking at adding new software and applications to your business systems, consider the vendor’s reputation of communication with customers, frequency of updates and general after-purchase support. Holding vendors to higher standards will reinforce your proactive approach to keeping your company’s systems secure and protected.