Are organizations keeping software up to date and maintaining security patches on a scheduled basis? The answer may shock you. According to Veracode’s latest research, most businesses will not patch critical security breaches after 3 full months. Reading and typing that number is a scary aspect to think about. In today’s blog post – we’ll discuss the importance of patching vulnerabilities and implementing a cyber security defense.

The Importance Of Patching

What exactly is software patching? Wikipedia describes software patching as a set of changes to a computer program or its supporting data designed to update, fix, or improve it. This includes fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, with such patches usually being called bug fixes and improving the usability or performance. For example, all software come standard with updates. A developer will push out updates to better improve existing software. Here’s another example. Microsoft Windows pushes out updates on a monthly, sometimes weekly, basis. For this purpose Microsoft is distributing operating system (OS) updates that help patch bugs, plug security holes, and improve Windows performance. For this reason Windows consistently notifies Managed IT Service providers of patches and which updates to implement.

As a Managed IT Service provider – we know how important it is to remain up to date on patches. Specifically when the updates pertain to Windows. However there are instances when specific Windows patches hinder a network or software. Conflicting patches will break software or worse the OS.

Software patching is one large aspect a business should not treat lightly. As a result, all businesses, no matter what size, need to remain proactive and maintain a patching schedule. If your computer system has not been updated in awhile, now is the perfect opportunity to assess what actions need to be taken. Similarly a Managed IT Service provider will perform these tasks on the customer’s behalf.

unpatched vulnerable laptop with two individuals viewing content

Hackers Going To Hack

As long as a business has customer data, hackers will try to obtain said information. Data has become the new gold mine. Hackers will look for exploits in a business’ internal system. For example, if a business does not have regularly scheduled patches, chances are the system will remain exposed. An alarming statistic reveals that 70 percent of bugs remain unpatched four weeks after disclosure. If a business is leaving the company’s system vulnerable – the probability is high that hackers will target the business. If you’re reading this and think your business is not a target, think again. About half of every cyber attack that occurs are targeted towards small businesses. Yikes!

Patching is an essential aspect for software and devices. Any patching vulnerability leaves the door open for malicious attacks. In order to prevent such attacks, implementing a regular patch schedule will help decrease the possibly of outside intruders. On the other hand, delegating the task to a Managed IT Service provider will help alleviate the business’ time and improve security.

The importance of allocating resources to perform patches on a business’ network is imperative. A lot components work together to make a computer system work smoothly. Keep all components updated to help maintain a stable and functioning network.

Cyber Security Defense

The term cyber security has become a buzz word for all businesses. In short, Cisco’s definition of cyber security is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. For example, if a business were to ignore a critical patch for Windows or MacOS, chances are high that the device that has not been patched is left exposed. A vulnerable device is like a shark smelling blood in the water. The shark knows there’s a good chance the vulnerable prey is right for the taking. In short, do not let malicious entities prey on your system by leaving your defense down. A good, strategic defense starts with planning.

First be sure all devices have been or are being patched on a regularly scheduled basis. A patched device is a happy device. Second, all applications like Microsoft Office, Adobe, and any other software are patched and updated on a continuous basis. Applications need patch love too. Lastly, hardware patches like firmware updates are key. Firmware patches are located in specific devices like printers, scanners, and cameras. In addition providing cyber security training to the company employees will help keep all network equipment safe from potential threats.

A quality managed service provider will tailor a cyber security defense to the business. For example, there are hardware options that help protect and secure a network from outside interference. Is your business safe from outside attacks?

When was the last time you performed a cyber security audit? Cyber audits provide a peace mind knowing what elements of the network are secure and what actions need to be implemented to increase security.

Wrapping Up

Unpatched vulnerabilities is an issue a business need not be in. In fact, a business that doesn’t implement patches and updates will be regretting life down the road. Stay informed and keep all network devices patched. Looking to outsource the work to professionals? For this purpose a Managed IT Service provider is the right solution for your business.