Why software updates are fundamental to the security of your computer

Every business needs secure IT but for smaller businesses without in-house expertise it can be difficult to keep all the equipment up-to-date and secure. 

A software update, sometimes called a patch, is a free download that is critical to the security and performance of your computer.  Hackers are constantly writing malware to attack operating systems like Windows and commonly used software like Adobe, so software companies regularly supply updates to protect against these attacks.  Many people wrongly assume that because they have ticked the automatic update box that updates will happen routinely, but this process can easily be interrupted by a corrupt file or glitch in your computer.

Why are updates important?

  • Updates provide critical security patches that protect against hackers and computer viruses
  • Some of the most harmful cyber attacks take advantage of software vulnerabilities and software that has not been updated
  • They introduce enhancements to your software such as new and improved features
  • Software updates will improve usability, compatibility and performance of the software enabling you to work more efficiently

How do you check the update status of your computer?

  • To check your Windows updates: Windows Start – (pc) settings – update & security
  • To check Third Party Software updates take the recommendations from the software vendors or install a proactive monitoring solution.

If updates are available you can restart your computer or schedule your restart when you won’t be needing to use your computer, but never ignore an update. If the last update is over a month old you may have an update issue, as most updates occur on the second Tuesday of the month – Patch Tuesday.

Windows updates can be quick or frustratingly slow, a complex update can take considerably longer but other factors may affect progress such as; the quality of your internet connection, downloading when everyone else is or maybe your files are scattered and your computer needs defragging or a Health Check.

Beware of old operating systems which are no longer supported by Microsoft such as Windows XP. Whilst they may support your old software they leave you vulnerable to viruses and malware as they don’t have the latest software updates.

Good practice

Update Management System

Carry out an audit of your IT hardware and software and make a plan of how to manage it. Updating software can be done automatically but it will need to be checked regularly to ensure that updates have been carried out.

Standard update procedures

Have a standard procedure across all your IT and ensure updates occur regularly and around the same time.

Updates usually will install without a problem but occasionally you will get a conflict with other software, if you have a lot of computers in your business it makes sense to test the updates before rolling them out across the company.

Cloud software

If your software is via cloud services, updates will be applied automatically.  However, it will not include your Windows Operating System updates that are not in the cloud.

MDM

If you use mobile phones and tablets across your business ensure that you keep them up to date too.  Mobile Device Management software can help manage updates across all or some of your devices.

Proactive monitoring solutions

Our Bronze Plan will manage all the updating of your operating systems and third party applications and will monitor your systems 24/7.  It will also provide protection against viruses and ensure backups are performing successfully.

For practical advice on managing your updates and IT security please contact us or call for a chat on 01603 451810.