Making sure your computer updates are done regularly is a large component of cybersecurity. Good software developers regularly send out updates for their software.
These computer updates can be:
- to patch bugs
- improve overall performance
- lockdown any potential security exploits.
Your computer’s operating system is the foundation that the rest of the computer’s software is built upon. This too regularly receives updates from its manufacturer. Make sure your computer updates are up to date. We can also help you automate the process:
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Let’s take a look at the order of importance for computer updates as it relates to security.
Priority 1: Operating System Updates
Both Apple and Microsoft send large computer updates to their customers. Apple tends to deploy these in larger, whole version updates annually. Smaller occasional software updates happen occasionally. Microsoft on the other hand sends out a wide range of updates, due to how varying the computers which run Windows may be. Windows users may receive hardware-specific computer updates along with, quarterly or monthly updates security patches.
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Drivers are the software that allows your hardware to communicate properly with the rest of the computer. Having up to date drivers ensures that the hardware is running as fast and consistently as possible. Without the appropriate driver updates, you may receive constant BSODs or Blue Screens of Death until the problem is resolved. Many Windows users are familiar with the feeling of dread when these screens come up and then the computer abruptly shuts down.
Windows is the largest operating system in the world and is constantly under attack. These security updates are required to make sure any exploitable code within the operating system is fixed. Without these updates, a hacker may be able to gain access to your computer, personal information, or malware that can be installed which will wreak havoc on the system.
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Priority 2: Antivirus Updates
Your antivirus software is your main defense against malware infections. As new malware threats are released, their file names are added to the list of things the antivirus needs to look for. This list is called the antivirus definitions and helps the software define what is a benign file or a virus. Without up to date definitions, your antivirus is flying blind and is almost useless. That’s why it is so important your antivirus is one of the first computer updates you prioritize.
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Software developers will rebrand or release new versions on a yearly basis of their products. It may be worth upgrading to these newer versions if the old one is no longer receiving as many updates or support.
Priority 3: Other Software Updates
Commonly used software such as Java, Flash, .Net Framework, and DirectX are called runtimes. These runtimes are required dependencies for some software to run. Though they are often updated by Windows updates, you may need to update them manually if a specific software seems to be having issues.
Any software which holds personal or a customer’s private information should be prioritized. The financial incentive is the reason why most hackers spend hours at their craft. In general hackers want information that can be easily turned into money with a little bit of fraud.
Tax-related programs for example contain more than enough information for someone to commit identity fraud. Although operating system updates and antivirus updates are crucial, you shouldn’t be running any outdated software if you can avoid it.
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How Can RMM Software Help?
RMM stands for Remote Monitoring and Management. This software allows for the security status of your computer to be constantly watched and maintained by your Managed Service Provider (MSP). One of the main features of RMM is patch management that is maintained automatically on all software.
What makes patch management important? Unless you’re regularly checking each individual software for updates, there’s a good chance something’s out of date. Any software which is out of date poses its own risk but those which contain important personal or customer information carry with them a huge liability. RMM software such as Syncro checks for updates automatically but importantly, still with the oversight of your MSP.
Unfortunately, not all Windows updates are created equal. Some create problems. Although it’s a good rule of thumb to always do your Windows updates, it can be a roll of the dice on whether specific hardware is adversely affected by them. For normal consumers, this may be an inconvenience but not a huge deal.
However, for a business that downtime can translate to thousands of dollars in lost income. Having an MSP put an embargo on incoming Windows Updates and screening beforehand, may save you some headaches.
RMM software also integrates well with antivirus software and allows for quick remote access for your MSP to provide technical support. Having these services running in conjunction makes sure your computer is secure and your work unimpeded.
Keeping up with your computer updates may seem like a chore that you would rather just forgo. We at Rush Tech Support strongly advise you to take these threats seriously. If you feel you aren’t up to the task or would rather hire a professional, give us a call at (888) 965-0171 or drop us a note here.