2.8 min readBy Published On: January 2, 2020Categories: Cybersecurity News

Find out why keeping your system up-to-date is vitally important in today’s business landscape.

computer software updates

Which would you rather lose: 30 minutes of your time or $3.92 million?

Unless you’re Jeff Bezos – who makes almost $9 million per hour – you’re probably going to say that losing 30 minutes of your workday is worth the six-figure payoff.

That’s what your hardware and software vendors save you every time it sends a security update. According to IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of an enterprise-level data breach is $3.92 million

At the same time, it takes between 10 and 30 minutes to update Windows. A significant majority of data breaches and cyberattacks happen because hackers discover and exploit system vulnerabilities before users update their systems.

Keeping your system updated can mean the difference between stable business growth and a reputation-smashing data breach scandal.

Computer and Software Updates Keep You Safe

Hardware and software updates improve your organisation’s front-line defences against cybercrime. In order to understand why this is the case, we need to look at how cyber criminals perform technical exploits in the wild.

Here’s a simplified step-by-step rundown of a generic exploit response:

  1. Someone discovers a vulnerability in a common business system like Windows, Microsoft Office, or even SAP.
  2. Cybercriminals find out about the vulnerability and begin incorporating it into their attack strategies.
  3. Cybersecurity professionals find out about the vulnerability (either on their own or by observing it in use) and start coding a patch that addresses it.
  4. The software manufacturer obtains the patch and sends it out to all of its registered users.
  5. Users that download and install the update are safe from that specific vulnerability. Users that don’t are still vulnerable.

Since cybersecurity is such a dynamic field, there are always new vulnerabilities being discovered and new patches being created to thwart them. Users have to download and implement those security updates to enjoy optimal protection from cyberattack.

Case-in-Point: Equifaxcomputer software updates

The American credit reporting agency Equifax made global headlines in September 2017 for the accidental exposure of 143 million highly sensitive data records. This did not happen as a result of some hidden zero-day vulnerability – it was a mundane exploit that took advantage of a loophole the company had known about for months.

Equifax employees neglected to install their vendor’s software updates. The Apache Software Foundation (Equifax runs on the Apache Struts platform) had given the credit reporting agency ample time to patch the system’s vulnerabilities.

Equifax’s slow response to its software vendor’s security patch release has led to a long and arduous public scandal that cost the company $1.4 billion plus legal fees.

Prompt System Updates Keep Users Protected

Updating software, hardware, and operating systems can be a nuisance. Nobody likes to sit and wait while productivity pressures mount, and no work gets done. But it’s a small price to pay to avoid seeing your team at the centre of a multi-million dollar data breach lawsuit. System updates protect users and keep complex systems running safely.

SMB Solutions Cloud Services now has a range of MSP services available to include keeping your software and computer up to date. Get in touch with the support team today to learn more about our MSP packages available now.

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