Why you must monitor and regularly apply software patches and updates.

Software is written by humans—Humans make mistakes.  Many of these mistakes cause flaws in the software. These flaws are sometimes called exploits, since hackers can find them and exploit the lack of security to create programs that alter or change a computer. This is what we refer to as malware or viruses.

Software Exploits

  • They make up many of the viruses and malware that we see today.
  • Hackers can take advantage of flaws in software code to create these viruses.

There’s a lot of room for flaws and holes in software security.

Think about this:

  • The newest version of Windows (Windows 10) has over 50 million lines of programming code.
  • The software that runs Facebook has about the same.

Even if they were 99.9999% accurate, there would still be over 50,000 errors!

So, how do the companies that write these programs (like Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, etc.) fix these potentially disastrous errors?  They develop patches and updates and make them available. If you don’t apply them, you’re left vulnerable to hackers, malware and viruses. Hackers watch for businesses and individuals who don’t apply these patches.

But, what happens when there are errors or flaws that developer don’t know about?  These are called Zero-Day Exploits.

  • An exploited vulnerability in software that is unknown to a developer/vendor.
  • A patch is only released after a hacker takes advantage of the coding flaw.
  • Immediate update or patching is required.

If your computer is hit with a zero-day exploit, you’ll either be locked out of your files, or information will be taken from you such as bank-account numbers, credit-card information, client data, passwords, and other confidential data the criminal can use to steal money from you.

This is why it’s important to update your operating system, as well as other software like:  

  • Internet browsers (Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.).
  • Productivity software (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Acrobat Reader, QuickBooks, etc.)

All of these updates must be done on a regular basis. Many small and mid-sized businesses mistakenly believe that these programs are being updated automatically, or that their staff is doing it.

This is why it’s important to have a trusted IT Advisor like a Managed Service Provider who will ensure this is being done on a regular basis. Without updates being applied within one day of them being released, your business is vulnerable to these cyber crimes.

Contact RCOR and we’ll look at your current update procedure to ensure you’re not “left out in the cold.” Call us at 919-313-9355, or email: tim@rcor.com