The Importance of Software Updates and Patches

By Rick Juarez-

In our experience, most people consider patches as just an annoying pop up they get on occasion. I am guilty of doing the same. Fortunately, I work with a bunch of techies who know why patches are important. Let me share why with you.

The questions you need to ask yourself to see if you are vulnerable to hackers and exploits are simple: Do I or my coworkers read email? Is anyone ever online looking at websites or checking social media sites? Are we on a wireless network? Are we the only ones in the building? Is the closet where all the phone lines and wires going everywhere have a door, or is it even locked? For the vast majority of you, the answer is "Yes" for 3-5 of these questions.

So, what does this have to do with Patches you might ask? Simple, according to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team or US-CERT, "Cyber threat actors continue to exploit unpatched software to conduct attacks against critical infrastructure organizations. As many as 85 percent of targeted attacks are preventable [1]. Timely patching is one of the lowest cost yet most effective steps an organization can take to minimize its exposure to the threats facing its network."

The most commonly exploited software is some of the most common software used by business: Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe and Open SSL. Certainly, yours uses at least one. We know that the process can be daunting. Patches can affect the performance of third party software that your company may rely on. That's why is important to not only patch the applications, but be ready for any unforeseen issues. If you don't have a knowledgeable IT person on staff managing these risks, companies like Modo Networks exist to help you in a situation when you are not ready to hire a full time IT professional, or your IT Staff needs to focus on strategic planning and need expert support.

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