One of the best ways to stop cyber attacks is to update your computers or devices operating systems.
The operating system (OS) is a highly complex and sophisticated collection of software that most people take for granted. It generally provides the visual interface that you use on your desktop, laptop, or mobile devices. Due to the complexity of an OS, it is likely filled with undiscovered security holes, not to mention more new security holes pile up when new features or updates are introduced. It’s up to the software vendor to release fixes and patches regularly to keep up with newly discovered holes and vulnerabilities.
There is a recent example of a super-vital security patch to an operating system that was issued out, but many business computer’s weren’t set up to update for some reason. In April 2017, an exploit for Microsoft OS’s (Windows XP to Windows 10) allowed anyone directly connected to the internet with this OS to be immediately and automatically hacked- this allowed hundreds of thousands of computers to be infected by Ransom-ware software. This crippled hospital computers causing chaos and delaying vital medical procedures, and additionally disrupted power utilities, airports, public transit, and banks around the world. Find out more about these incidents here.Home and Workplace Security Architecture Risk Assessment
It is of vital importance that you keep your operating systems up to date. A majority of cyber attacks are prevented with just an update! Most operating systems automatically attempt to update themselves or require you to approve updates as they come. We recommend you update your machines and devices as soon as updates become available, particularly security updates.
Do you get notices from your computer that it needs to update. Do you keep pushing the delay button. You’re not alone, this delaying behavior likely happens to almost everyone. But think, that delay could be what’s keeping your computer from getting it’s much needed security patches that will stop cyber attacks that conquer all. A simple solution is when it asks to install patches or restart to apply patches, just restart after your done working on your machine to apply them- this should work regardless of if you delayed the updates or not. Do not keep postponing updates to your operating systems!
So we don’t re-invent the wheel, here are some guides on setting your operating systems to update themselves if they don’t already do that:
More Assurance with Additional Automation
You can automate the checking of updates for all your software, with some updaters checking your computer’s operating system too. If you don’t automate, you may not be able to keep up with updating all the different pieces of software on your systems, to include the operating system. 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. Invaluable!
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, try Mac Update
Updating has the ability to stop cyber attacks, especially those new attacks that affect unpatched and older operating systems. It’s a simple fix if you have it continue to be automated by the operating system itself. It’s important that you don’t delay!
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