Why Are Security Patches Important?

Emma Shaw, Marketing Manager

As more and more cyber-attacks are reported on, so too is the importance of ensuring machines are regularly updated with the latest antivirus software.

 

These software updates or ‘patches’ are perhaps one of the single-most important cyber security tools that the everyday user needs. 

A patch is a small piece of software that a company issues whenever a security flaw is uncovered. The patch repairs the flaw, keeping hackers from further exploiting any weaknesses. The recent WannaCry ransomware exploited a flaw with severe consequences for some before developers could create a patch.

Regularly allowing your device to install patches can be annoying and disruptive for some. However, updates can be scheduled to run at a time that will not disrupt your work flow.

Patches push out fixes to bugs detected and create a safer environment for your computer. Viruses and malware are always on the lookout for security holes to exploit and gain access to your data. To achieve this, you need to perform recommended updates. 

Microsoft had already issued a patch only a matter of weeks ago, for the hole that led to WannaCry, but many users had either not installed it or did not have automatic updates activated on their systems.

Patching is a necessary measure to keep software and machines updated. By updating to the most recent version could save your computer and your data.

If your computer seems to be working fine, you may wonder why you should apply a patch. By not applying a patch you might be leaving the door open for a malware attack. Malware exploits flaws in a system to do its work. In addition, the time-frame between an exploit and when a patch is released is continually getting shorter.

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Photo credit: perspec_photo88 via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

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