Most people know of software updates because of the annoying popup bubble that appears every now and again prompting them to download one.
Much of the time, they ignore it – but that’s a costly mistake.
The chief concern of any modern business owner should be cyber safety.
Not downloading the newest critical software patches can be critically catastrophic, opening your business’ precious data to newfound vulnerabilities discovered by hackers. The consequences of a data breach can be severe, including stalled operations, loss of customer information, loss of customer trust, lawsuits, and even bankruptcy.
It is not to be taken lightly.
What are software updates and patches?
Software is operated by computers, but it is made by humans. Software engineers cannot predict every potential vulnerability and hackers come up with creative ways to infiltrate systems. When this happens, the software experts must revise the coding and programming so hackers can no longer have that leverage.
In addition, software creators can improve their software in other ways to give users better functionality and user experience (UX). For example, they might update certain features or loading speeds might improve with better optimization.
Why are they important?
One word: security.
Hackers are internet predators; they seek out any program weaknesses so they can attack it with malicious software (aka malware). They seek these weaknesses in software that’s widely used because it provides them with a larger pool of possible prey.
Common software that your business uses may be targeted regularly. Fortunately, the good news is these large-name software companies invest heavily in staying abreast of any newly uncovered vulnerabilities and create “patches” to cover them up.
If your company doesn’t regularly download updates, it won’t reap the benefits of its revisions.
Prevent malware and ransomware from infiltrating your business
When malware is accidentally loaded into your computer and network, hackers can then control your devices, files, and data. They may gain access and power to do just about anything. They might steal bank account information, or commit crimes in the name of your employees or clients.
If they steal data that you want back in a ransomware attack, you might have to pay the criminals a ransom in order to retrieve it again. They can do this because they know how valuable your data is to your company.
One example of how significant these software updates are is Patch Tuesday by Microsoft.
Every second Tuesday, Microsoft releases its newest security fixes or “patches.”
Since its inception, it’s been a consistent point of interest in the tech community. Other third-party apps like Mozilla and Adobe have followed suit by delivering updates the same day. On March 2021’s first Patch Tuesday, 89 vulnerabilities were discovered by Microsoft and shut down. The seriousness with which Microsoft addresses any found bugs or threats goes to show how important software patches are and why updates must be installed as immediately as possible.
Receive the best software enhancements
Aside from ensuring cyber safety, installing updates will give your software other advancements.
Have you ever noticed an app or program behaving more slowly or crashing more frequently than your friend’s?
That’s probably because your friend has an updated version.
Software engineers continually improve coding and design so that users can have better experiences using the product. This may also include a new look that’s more user-friendly, or additional features capable of new tasks. This is especially important for businesses because highly efficient programs help facilitate highly efficient teams. When software runs smoothly, so do tasks.
Further, new tools may be available that can perform functions that weren’t possible before. For example, many software programs for businesses have begun to incorporate AI (Artificial Intelligence) features.
The benefits of implementing software updates and patches
You must keep up with software updates as regularly as possible. When you need to keep track of many different software updates, it’s best to have a designated person take care of it; better yet is to have an IT expert handle it. Many businesses choose to outsource IT support for tasks just like this, which require constant upkeep and monitoring.
With such a vitally critical task, it’s a relief to know someone else can oversee it. As IT companies build their reputations on ensuring data protection for the businesses they serve, you can be sure they prioritize cybersecurity and always know when important updates are administered.
This means that you and your team can focus on other tasks.
They’ll also put additional safety measures in place for your company; in the rare chance a hacker could install vicious malware, you’ll have additional protection.
For example, your IT team may have installed powerful anti-malware that can detect it, if for some reason your software updates weren’t enough. They may also segregate information to certain users within the network so that exposure to malware by one user will not expose all data.
Another form of protection they may use is data encryption, ensuring sensitive data is further safeguarded by extra passwords. Perhaps most importantly, your IT team will educate your staff on data safety precautions, such as the simple yet effective tip of creating strong passwords.
Software updates and patches are a software company’s duty
Businesses today know that staying cyber safe is important.
Hiring outsourced IT professionals is a great way to ensure this crucial priority is properly attended to, without wasting your company’s resources. They know how necessary it is to update the software so any new bugs are eliminated immediately.
While keeping your business data safe with updates, you can also improve your users’ experience with the software. Patches and updates are always part of a software company’s guarantee to provide you with the best and safest version of itself.
Make sure your business takes advantage of it.