Outdated software is an open door for hackers.
That's why, as annoying as it can be, it's a good idea to push that upgrade button for your phone's apps. It's even MORE important to patch and update the software and hardware you use to run your office.
I don't know of many IT professionals who enjoy patching servers and software. It's boring. Server restarts don't always restart properly. Depending on the type of business you're in, you might have to come in on the weekends or late at night so you don't interrupt operations during the day. A patch to one software program could conflict with another program and cause one or both to crash.
And, of course, users complain – “I need 30 more minutes to finish this and then I'll apply the update. I promise!” – and they have to deal with those complaints.
Not patching and updating isn't an option because that exposes your business to a higher risk of being hacked.
However, patching takes a lot of time out of an IT pro's day. Security vendor Prevoty surveyed IT and security professionals. Of the 1,000 pros surveyed, 52% said they updated applications at least once per day and often more than that.
Hackers Are Lazy
For any non-IT pros reading this, a few quick points about why patching is critical to network security and keeping your data safe:
- Patches close known security holes.
- Hackers target those holes with viruses and ransomware because they know people don't patch religiously.
- Many of the ransomware attacks that make major news exploit software weaknesses for which patches already exist though could prevent those attacks.
Basically, hackers can rely on human nature to do their work for them as they breach your security and pluck your data for sale or for ransom.
What's the fix? Patch your software!
Make Patching a Priority, But You Don't Have to Do It Yourself
Automating patching can relieve some of the burden on your IT staff, but you still have to track inventory, possibly test beforehand, and then verify they're working.
Having your IT team continue to patch and manage your network is like having your HR director change the light bulbs in your office. Sure, they can do it, but in the time it takes them to find a ladder, find a new bulb, etc. they're time could be much better spent.
Managing a network and associated patching is just keeping the lights on. Your IT team has better things to do with their time – like taking a strategic look at your infrastructure or looking at how to streamline business processes with automation.
Regardless of how you handle software patches, make sure that you do! Your office and vital business information will be much safer from hackers when you close that door in their faces!