To celebrate Cyber Security Awareness Month, CyberTalk.org will be publishing dedicated blogs throughout October. Each week, we will be sharing blogs that correspond to four key cyber security behaviors, as identified by The National Cyber Security Alliance. Today’s blog describes the purpose and utility of updating software, and provides insights into how individuals and organizations can better manage software updates.
It happens all the time – You’re working away and a message pops up saying “update needed, please install this software update.” Because you’re pressed for time, you click ‘cancel’ instead of ‘install’ and promise yourself that you’ll get to it later. But later rolls around and you’re still working, and that software update lingers in the far reaches of cyber space.
Software updates can eat away at our time, which is why we’re reluctant to move forward with them. They also might not seem all that important. But this is a false assumption, as failure to update software leaves doors open for cyber criminals. In turn, your business account credentials, business data, personal login information, or personal data may be at risk.
In 2016, the popular ride-sharing service Uber suffered a stock valuation drop after a third-party vendor experienced a breach due to an unpatched vulnerability. In other words, the vendor failed to install a software update. Uber went from a company worth $68 billion to a company worth $48 billion, highlighting the importance of software updates.
Some of the most harmful malware attacks exploit software vulnerabilities in applications that we use everyday, including operating systems and browsers. These programs require regular updates to ensure that they remain functional, safe and stable.
While you might have the knowledge or resources to easily contend with malware on a device, the colleagues or business associates that malicious software may spread to might not have the same savvy or support. Thus, software updates aren’t only about protecting your devices – they’re also designed to assist you in protecting others.
In addition to resolving security vulnerabilities and safeguarding devices, software updates can also improve our experiences with systems and software, enabling us to get the greatest possible value from our technology.
Software updates commonly include feature upgrades, allowing for more seamless user experiences or compatibility with different devices or applications. Updates can also remove outdated features.
Although some software updates are manual and require individual installation, in some cases, it’s possible to select auto-updates on devices. This can help ensure that your software stays current, and can save time and effort.
Software management tips
- Update software as updates are rolled out. This will protect your devices from the latest cyber threats and improve your experience with the technology.
- Where possible, consider selecting auto-updates. For systems that cannot auto-update, make it a habit to regularly check for updates.
- Prior to downloading software, read reviews to ensure that it is safe to download. Hackers may attempt to inject malicious code into software, with the ultimate goal of stealing your information.
- Keep up with the latest information about cyber threats in order to protect your devices from the latest vulnerabilities.
Protecting digital resources from sophisticated malware and other threats has become a challenge due to the volume of the devices and systems that we manage. In today’s threat landscape, installing software updates can proactively prevent security issues; from hacks, to data breaches, to identity theft. Ensure that vulnerabilities are addressed efficiently and effectively.
In addition to updating software on a routine basis, antivirus represents one of the many tools that individuals and organizations should use in order to keep safe. Because conventional antivirus solutions are no longer adequate, next-generation antivirus includes anti-ransomware protection, advanced phishing protection, and more.
Get protected. If you’re looking for next-generation antivirus for your devices, learn about best-in-class products here.
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