The software in your network can range from your operating system (Windows or Mac OS) to the applications you use. They are everything you interact with on your computer.
The developers of this software often release updates. These are, usually, for one of three reasons: Security, Fixing Bugs or Increased functionality. Today we learn the importance of installing these updates and not just clicking the “Remind Me Later” button.
Cyber criminals who build viruses are constantly learning and examining the software we use, for vulnerabilities. No matter how hard our security developers work when they build a program or operating system, Cyber criminals will find a way to get in.
Once the software company finds a vulnerability (known as a hole) in the system, they change the software to plug this hole. This is released to us as an update. So if you have not updated your version of Windows in a while... You could be more vulnerable than you think.
This is especially important for you anti-virus program and your Operating System. If you are using an older operating system then the software company may have stopped releasing security updates for it. This is what Microsoft did for Windows XP back in 2014. Think on this: If you are running Windows XP, Cyber criminals have had 3 years to find the best way into your system, with Microsoft doing nothing to stop them.
Software can have issues that the software company does not notice until after the software has been released. Maybe the program crashes if you perform a certain action or does not interact properly with your anti-virus program.
In this instance, the software company will want to solve the issue and release this as an update.
Sometimes a software company may think they have a better idea after they have released the software or want to add other features. An example of this is in the iPhone operating system (iOS); this can take the form of an increased amount of emoji’s to use!
How do I make sure these are implemented in my network?
On your home PC, so long as you are connected to the internet, your software will let you know that it needs an update installing. Click the box and let the computer get on with the rest. It may need to restart but its very simple.
When servers and multiple devices have to interact with each other in a network, this can make software updates a little trickier. One update in one program can cause it to stop communicating with other correctly or an update can be applied incorrectly and not installed on all the devices in a network.
Having a dedicated Network Manager to fix these issues as they arise can mitigate these problems.
Outsourcing your IT support to a provider who manages this releases your staff to simply use the IT.