#9134 - Featured image illustrations_Why It’s Important to Stay Up to Date

Why It’s Important to Stay Up to Date

It seems like there’s always a new update for our devices, applications, and everything else connected to the Internet. It’s so easy to ignore the “Update Now” push notification and tell yourself that you’ll get to it later. What’s the worst that can happen?

Updates for operating systems, cloud services, and firmware are like patching any gaps in a fence that surrounds your house. Without those updates, your fence is vulnerable to outsiders, and without that update, your sensitive data is up for grabs by hackers.

60% of the data breaches in 2019 resulted from a cybercriminal using a hole in people’s un-updated software. If these people had installed the upgrade, they would have prevented the hacking. And taking the time to update is much cheaper than having to deal with a cyberattack.

Aside from security, updates have numerous other advantages, including:

  • New Features
    • Since updates are just bits of code inserted into your IT’s infrastructure, they can be used to help users have a better experience with the software. This enables you to boost your workplace productivity without having to buy a new set of devices.
  • Bug Fixes
    • Now and then, programs will have minor user experience glitches, also known as bugs, and updates can fix those bugs.
  • Compatibility Enhancements
    • If one system updates, sometimes programs that can be used on that system will issue compatibility updates to ensure that users can still use the app at peak efficiency and with ease.
  • Performance Upgrades
    • Updating a platform for performance may mean tweaking the code to improve the optimization, so the application runs faster or more smoothly.

Other than keeping your data secure, not updating your systems can have many severe consequences, including:

  • Compliance and audit failures
  • Damage to your brand reputation because of extended downtime or lost data
  • Fines for compromising your customers’ sensitive information
  • Decreased reliability in the system
  • Inability to scale
  • Staff frustration

How to Update

Most of the time, you’ll be given a prompt when it’s time to update. But just in case you miss or dismiss the nudge, you should know how to update your software manually.

  • Operating Systems
    • Before you update your operating system, you’ll want to back up your device just to be safe. Some updates take a few minutes and others take a long time, so it’s best to have the device plugged in.
    • Windows 10 and macOS give you the option to schedule your updates in the settings/system preferences applications. With Windows 10 and iOS, you can automate your updates each time a new upgrade is released.
  • 3rd Party Applications
    • Each application you use within your operating system will need to be updated periodically as well. Unless you are trying to use the app, you may not know as soon as an update is released, so it’s best to go to your device’s app store and check for updates.
  • Firmware Updates
    • Firmware updates improve the hardware components of an IT infrastructure, like a router, server, BIOS controller, or graphics card. You usually won’t get a notification that it’s time for a firmware update, so it’s best to check any notification areas on your device for firmware update options.
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