It’s time to update!
“A new update is available”, most users have seen this notification or a variation of it on their devices. One day the phone needs to perform an update, and the following day the personal laptop or the workstation at the office notifies the user about an outstanding update. These updates can be quite time consuming as an update can take a few minutes, and the process itself can require a restart. If at home or work, the notification usually pops up at an inconvenient time. Users are most likely too busy to perform the updates right away or fear changes that might apply while performing an update. Amongst other things, this is one of the reasons why users postpone updates regularly, sometimes even for months. Unfortunately, waiting too long can lead to security issues and open doors for hackers, which put users private or even company information at risk.
End of 2017, Equifax, one of the largest consumer credit reporting agencies in the US, announced a data breach. The attackers were able to gain access to the company data to a well-known vulnerability issue within the web application. Unfortunately, this vulnerability exposed the home address, phone number, date of birth, driver’s license numbers, and social security numbers from almost 150 million Americans. About 8000 Canadian consumers were affected. The breach could have been prevented when the authorities would have had applied a fix, which was already available two months before that incident.
Smaller companies usually underestimate the risk of so-called cyber attacks as they assume they aren’t big enough or do not have many valuable data to be a profitable target. Unfortunately, this is exactly one of the reasons why those businesses lack security and become an easier target for criminals. Besides the costs to address the issue, a breach can cause reputational damage that some businesses will never recover from. Another important aspect is that companies have to consider their professional environment. If a system is infected, it can spread out and affect colleagues, clients, and vendors.
One of the main challenges for 2020 will be the upcoming changes for Windows 7. After ten years, Microsoft announced the end of support for the 14th of January. This does not mean Windows 7 will stop working, but Microsoft won’t provide any security updates, fixes, or technical support. This will put users and companies running Windows 7 into high-security risk. According to Netmarketshare, about 33% of Windows users have not updated their system yet.
Software updates offer different advantages as developers continuously try to improve their software by adding new features, repairing or removing bugs, and, most importantly, protect against new security risks. Applying updates in a reasonable time can prevent data breaches for all kinds of businesses and secure systems against vulnerabilities that might be exploited by hackers or viruses. Please reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding your system. Our experts will be happy to discuss your concerns and review your system.