One constant in the technology world is the need to update operating systems and software to install security patches, bug fixes, and feature updates.
Often, users are in the middle of something when an update request comes through And they click “later,” not wanting to wait for a reboot or be interrupted.
But the more time that goes by before that security patch is applied, the more risk your device is for a security breach.
60% of data breaches in 2019 were due to unpatched system vulnerabilities.
Some of the biggest data breaches in the news were the results of unpatched software.
For example, the Equifax breach a few years back that exposed the personal information of millions of consumers was due to the fact that a patch had been released a couple of months earlier, but never applied.
The importance of those patches being applied to all computers throughout an organization is the reason many North Carolina businesses use managed IT services with patch/update management.
What’s the Difference Between a Patch & Update?
A security patch is a code fix to close a newly found system vulnerability that allows hackers to breach a system. They’re often found via penetration testing or once a hacker has exposed a software code flaw.
Software updates often include vital security patches inside them. An update can include:
- Security patches
- Feature updates
- Bug fixes
- Compatibility enhancements
So, all updates need to be applied because any of them can include security patches to seal a weakness. Additionally, they often include bug enhancements that can improve the speed or performance of a particular software.
Why You Need to Use Patch/Update Management
The cybersecurity landscape only seems to get more dangerous each year. Software firms are also up against the need to bring out a new feature or product as fast as possible.
Which can often lead to vulnerabilities that need to be patched later.
Here are several reasons it’s a good idea to use managed services for your patch management to ensure. They’re being applied to all devices in your business in a timely manner.
Improve Performance Issues
Users of Office 2016 that often edit Word documents that use custom XML values may have noticed a problem with software delays and freeze ups.
A patch recently released (KB4484439) by Microsoft fixes that problem, as well as a problem with Skype for Business 2016 hanging when a device is awakened from sleep mode.
One other problem the patch fixes is a bug in Excel that causes it to freeze after the user uses Control+Shift+Arrow keys to scroll when sharing in Teams.
This is just one example of how one patch can fix several performance issues in a platform like Microsoft 365 that could be impacting multiple workflows.
Improve Security Protection
One of the biggest reasons to install security patches and updates as soon as they’re issued is to ensure your device does not have any vulnerabilities that can be exploited by a hacker.
A recent example of security flaws that need to be patched includes several Adobe products.
A patch released recently addressed several issues and severe security vulnerabilities that would allow an attacker to execute their code on a Windows computer.
Recent patches address those security flaws in:
- Adobe Bridge
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Prelude
- Adobe Reader for mobile
Gain New Features
Updates also often include enhancements to software, adding new capabilities and new productivity features.
These not only can increase the value of your subscription they can also boost productivity. And in some cases save you money that you’d normally spend in other services.
For example, around the time that Microsoft changed the name of Office 365 to Microsoft 365, they also added multiple new features to the platform.
Users that didn’t update Microsoft 365 missed out on a lot of cost-saving enhancements, including the following.
- More Stock Resources: Tens of thousands of stock photos, videos, icons, and fonts were added to the platform for no additional cost. This means that businesses could save money they would’ve spent purchasing stock images/videos elsewhere.
- Editor: Another fairly recent feature edition is Editor in Microsoft Word. It can take the place of a third-party grammar editor, checking things like clarity, conciseness, and punctuation.
- Outlook Calendar Enhancements: Recent updates for Outlook included enhancements to make your calendar better. Such as a time bar indicator and badges to indicate meeting sessions.
Hardware & Software Compatibility
Patches can also include compatibility enhancements to allow software to use a new Windows feature. Such as Dark Mode compatibility.
Hardware and software integration and compatibility can improve your workflow and ability to fully utilize Windows features in a software.
Have Your Updates & Patches Handed Automatically by RCOR
Take the headache out of update and patch management by signing up for managed IT services with RCOR. We’ll handle them all for you behind the scenes, so your team can work uninterrupted.
Contact us today to learn more. Call 919-263-5570 or contact us online.