The Importance of Security Patches

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Most of you will be aware of software updates, usually on your phones or laptop.
An update will normally run quietly in the background, and you might only become aware of it when your device asks you to ‘Restart’. We know that can sometimes be annoying, especially if you are in the middle of a conference call or a piece of time sensitive work. However, it’s really important to install updates and security patches, and we recommend all our clients do it.

What are updates for and why do we need to install them?

Sometimes, updates bring new features or fix minor bugs on our phones or laptops but most of the time what’s being installed is a security patch to keep your device and network safe.

These security patches are generally made by the software developers, for example Microsoft, when a vulnerability has been discovered in their software. Often they are discovered during testing, but in some cases one might be discovered when hundreds or even thousands of devices are hacked!

Don’t postpone or cancel them!

It’s very tempting when you get that pop up to press postpone or cancel, but it is becoming more and more important to install these security patches as soon as you are able to. If you work on a network, if these security patches aren’t installed on every machine connected to it, then this gives cyber attackers an opportunity to access your systems.

Whilst the human factor still plays a large role in successful cyber-attacks, it is still incredibly important that our systems have the very latest security patches in order to defend against these attacks.

Do you remember Wannacry?

This was a worldwide cyber-attack in May 2017 by the WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm, which targeted computers running an old version of the Microsoft Windows operating system, encrypting data and demanding a ransom payment in Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

One of the highest profile victims was the NHS. They had an out of date system which hadn’t been security patched for some years and as a result, fell victim to this attack[ks1] .
This attack cost the NHS almost £6m, the bulk of this was caused by the cancellation of 13,500 appointments. This cost and number of cancelled appointments happened despite the fact that the attack was resolved within 12 hours.

A recent study by IBM the average cost of a data breach in the UK came in at $3.68m, and while you may think this is restricted to larger corporations its worth noting that with the current GDPR laws ANY business is subject to fines based on their turnover.
So with 57% of breaches being attributed to poor security patch management its more important than ever to make sure you have efficient patch management in place.

Installing security patches can be easy

This is where Wessex IT comes in. We have the up to date information on what patches and updates there are for your system and can instigate installation to help you protect your systems. We make sure that your software is staying up to date – and importantly, help to ensure that these updates don’t impact the day-to-day running of your business.

Sometimes we might need some help from you – for example, we might need access to one of your systems. It is essential that you prioritise these requests so you don’t have a security vulnerability to worry about.

We are here to help

Are you finding security patches and updates are installing at inconvenient times? Or your team is not installing them when they should? We can fix that. Give us a call to discuss what we can do about it.

Book a discovery call, or just get in touch.

Let us tame your IT

To discuss any of our services please call and speak to a member of our friendly team on 01403 29 29 30 or head over to our contact us page.