For Windows machines, it’s a common hassle: You fire up your computer with a full workday ahead of you and instead of diving right in, the operating system needs to update. This means a few minutes of staring at a blue screen and a swirling icon while your coffee gets cold and all the things you need to do have to wait. It may be tempting to click the “remind me later” button, but you shouldn’t put off updating your system for very long. Software updates are critical for keeping your network secure and your data safe.
Just consider the WannaCry ransomware attack in May 2017. The WannaCry cryptoworm found its way into thousands of computers that were running older, unpatched versions of Windows and close to the end of their useful life. This attack affected computers across 150 countries and would have spread indefinitely if Microsoft wasn’t quick with a follow-up patch. This is one recent example of why patched computers are safe computers.
Updates Help Patch Holes in Your Network Security
We learned a lot from the 2017 WannaCry attack, but the flip side is that hackers have learned too. Software vulnerabilities, holes, flaws, and weaknesses in your security are their bread and butter. It’s easy to write the code that helps them exploit these weaknesses, but software updates make them impossible to implement.
Malware exploits unpatched systems and can infect your computer if you visit infected websites, open a phishing message, or play infected media. Once you enable it, it’s free to steal data stored on your device, create copies of itself to send to other users, allow an attacker to gain control over your network, or encrypt your files and hold them for ransom. Updates are critical for your system to adapt to these malware attacks because they contain the code that can counter such malicious invaders.
Software Updates Protect Your Data
Any information that hackers have access to on your computer is potentially valuable—from keystrokes for passwords, to pictures, to browser history, to emails. Everything is worth something either to steal from you, or to use your identity to steal from others. Your identity can even be sold on the dark web to enable others to commit crimes. With the right network security that is carefully administered and constantly updated, this shouldn’t be a concern.
You Must Protect Everyone Else’s Data Too
This mandate includes your vendors, employees, and customers. If one of your devices gets a virus, it can spread the malware to other computers. Updates eliminate this danger by eliminating the malware, or patching the hole used to exploit your system.
SBT Partners Is Your Cybersecurity Expert
Managed services providers like us absolutely have to be cybersecurity experts in today’s climate of cybersecurity breaches and data loss. Not only do we need to know what it takes to protect your network, but we also need to know what to do in case your security is compromised. Call us today and tell us your security issues. We can make sure your have the right defenses in place and that your Windows systems are updated and secure.