Updating is of vital importance in figuring out how to stop cyber attacks!
It’s important to update all your software on your computer aside from your Operating System software. Over the years, there definitely has been software vulnerabilities that hackers have taken advantage of from some of the most used software, including web browsers, web browser extensions, office productivity software, and more.
The cost of not updating the software that you use all the time could be an entry point for a malicious hacker or malware into your business and it’s accounts.
If updating sounds like an obvious thing to do, you’re right, but many do not do this. Some of the greatest malicious hacks are because of outdated software. Think Equifax… even though this large company has the resources and money to pay people to make sure that updates are done to their technical systems, a missed update caused the most massive and damaging security breach ever, affecting hundreds of millions, maybe even you.
Another one that may be more relate-able to small businesses was the incredible macOS root vulnerability that allowed almost anyone with physical access to a low-privileged Mac to freely create a super user to do anything they want, or more dangerously, possibly anyone to gain access to the Mac remotely (through the internet) and create that super user with no obvious indication to the owner of anything happening. Then there’s Krack and Blueborn. All these immensely serious vulnerabilities discovered can allow cyber criminals to gain access to your computers or networks remotely and can generally be stopped by simply updating your devices and software. And vulnerabilities are discovered everyday!
Make a list of all your most used programs that you use (like Office software, Accounting software, web browsers, etc.). And every week, make an effort to update these pieces of software, often done through the program’s “about” screen or a separate updater program that it comes with. Many times, these pieces of software might have automatic updating features- in this case, we recommend you to set them to automatically update when there is a new update available if not done already.
We recommend that you automate the checking (and installing) of updates for all your software, to include your computer’s operating system too for some of the updaters. If you don’t automate, you may not be able to keep up with updating all the different pieces of software on your systems. Some pieces of software update all your software on the computer it’s run on, while others are more enterprise, automatically updating all other computers connected on a network all together.
- We like to use Updapy, a simple and free notification tool that is completely online with no software to download. You pick the software you have from a comprehensive list and it notifies and gives you a link to download the newest version of that software. No automated software updates however.
Automated updates- This is really how you stop cyber attacks! If you want to have this process automated for most, if not all, of the software you have on your computers, check out these vital tools:
- Ninite is a popular updater and can even push updates to all your other computers.
- Sumo is another popular updater with many awards
- Patch my PC
- For Mac OS X, consider Mac Update
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