Acme Business updates software and patches on our machines regularly – as well for our managed IT services clients. No matter if you manage your business IT in-house or work with a managed IT provider, we advise that every business, organization (and even household) adopts this policy – following a regular update schedule and ensuring any new update with patches from OEMs are installed promptly or automatically.
Without this regular maintenance, unpatched vulnerabilities and unfixed software in your devices will leave MASSIVE vulnerabilities in your network and the software you need to operate daily will slow and eventually fail. And as you know, hackers and other cybercriminals hunt specifically for vulnerabilities to exploit.
We also recommend regular data backups. (Related reading: Why Data Backups are Important for Your Business.) Good news: managed IT services take care of all this for you, so you can focus on your business growing and thriving.
Make Sure Your Software is ALWAYS Updated with Managed IT Services
While often overlooked or put off until later – the “remind me later” button is just as popular as “snooze” on morning alarms – they’re incredibly important. And it’s important to note, they’re just as important for mobile devices.
What Are Patches?
Software patches are essentially operating system (OS) and software updates that fix security vulnerabilities and glitches within a program or a product. Typically, vendors release these to fix performance bugs and provide enhanced security features.
They’ll often pop up in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. They notify you there’s a new update or patch to your operating system or program – like Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite, QuickBooks, or whatever else you may use. Most often, they prompt you to take action now or later, which segues nicely to the next point.
Manual vs. Automatic Updates
Some devices can’t update on their own. These manual updates require a user or administrator to visit the vendor’s website to download and install the software files. For those devices, we’re sure to install updates as soon as possible to protect your business against attackers who would take advantage. That’s why we update them regularly because exploits and vulnerabilities can still be used for years.
Most people are familiar with using automatic updates, which typically require only user consent when installing or configuring the software. Some updates, however, may require administrator consent. After the consent, the updates often can be pushed to the system automatically.
End-of-life software (EOL) is when vendors discontinue support for a software program. Keeping that software active is a risk to your business and network systems because it can allow an attacker to exploit security weaknesses that used to be supported, but are no longer.
It may also affect other business functions because unsupported software can be incompatible with current software. That can hinder progress and productivity when they don’t work together. (Helpful hint: If you unknowingly have EOL software operating in the background, the incompatibilities may not be apparent.) So the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends simply retiring all EOL products, as their name suggests: at the end of their useful life.
Things to Watch Out For
Phishing emails and scams are still a threat, so if you receive a suspicious email, text message or other notification that claims to have a software update file attached, DO NOT CLICK IT! This goes for both manual and automatic. It will most assuredly have malware and will cause more problems than solutions.
With automatic updates be sure to use trusted network locations, like home or work. DO NOT use any untrusted locations like a hotel or coffee shop. If someone absolutely must update their device, do it over a VPN connection to a trusted network.
Let’s Plan to Install Regular Software Updates & Patches
Acme Business knows that new vulnerabilities are constantly emerging, but the best defense against attackers exploiting them is to keep software up to date. That’s why it’s one of the best practices out there.
We understand in the day-to-day management of your business, you’re always steering the ship. You’re busy balancing budgets, assigning staff responsibilities, coordinating compliance, doing payroll, directing marketing, etc.
How often are you thinking about updating software and patches? Or how often are you thinking about directing someone else on your team to do it? Probably not very often, if ever. So let a managed IT services provider like Acme Business guide the process with an experienced hand – or manage all of your business cybersecurity requirements outright.
Call Acme Business at (716) 372-1325 and connect with us on LinkedIn. Our experts can tailor managed IT services to your unique business needs.