Why it’s important to update your system regularly

loughtecBlog: IT support | Virtual Desktop | Cyber Security- Loughtec: NI / ROI / UK

Getting an alert to update operating systems and computer software always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. Maybe you’ve got to send that quick email first or write up that report? More often than not, you’ll probably put off downloading the latest updates for your computer until the next day, week, or even month.

It may seem tempting to delay downloading update software, but failing to do so leaves you open to huge security risks and means you’ll miss out on improved functionality. While the latest updates are great for the everyday person, the importance of this can’t be emphasised enough if you’re a business owner.

Hackers and cybercriminals are more active than ever

The main reason anyone has for downloading and installing the latest update(s) is to stay protected from security threats. Older software will continue to have the same bugs and exploitable holes in the code that allow hackers and cybercriminals to get up to no good. This is made even more serious by the fact that all of these exploitable entry points have generally been made public after the release of updates.

As quickly as software providers find ways to fix exploitable holes in their software, hackers have found new holes. It’s a never-ending game of cat and mouse that software companies are caught up in with cybercriminals to protect their consumers. Don’t put your computer systems at risk by failing to utilise the latest software update or you may live to regret it.

Your documents are at risk without the latest updates

When you consider how nearly everything is stored digitally in this day and age, your documents suddenly seem far more at risk than ever before. Certain malware can wipe your documents as well as transmit it from your computer to a remote server.

The Sony Pictures hack in 2014 highlights the severity of these kinds of attacks. Confidential information, including private employee information, salary information and unreleased movies were stolen before being released onto the web. In addition to this, a sophisticated malware then erased Sony’s computer infrastructure.

More recently, WannaCry and ransomware style malware have been holding personal and company documents hostage until payment has been received. Making sure you update operating systems and update software can help to mitigate the risk you’ll face from these kinds of threats.

Your automatic updates may have been disabled

Believe it or not, but hackers do have the ability to turn off your antivirus software remotely. Additionally, you could face an inside attack and have your antivirus software turned off manually. This could become extremely serious as it would mean hackers and cybercriminals have easier access to your computer while also having the ability to roam freely. This is a great motivational reason to check for the latest updates as you’ll always have peace of mind when it comes to this type of attack.

You could pass on malware to friends and colleagues if your computer is infected

Whilst the heyday of email viruses has come and gone, there is still a prevailing risk that you should be aware of. Viruses can quickly spread via private and work email networks, USBs, flash drives, and removable hard drives, making outbreaks spread quickly. Installing the latest update software for your operating system and antivirus program will allow you to get real-time alerts when you receive dangerous files, emails, and attachments. Depending on the severity of the attack, you could save yourself some explaining as well as any costs for damages.

You’ll miss out on new and exciting features

Thankfully, software updates don’t all revolve around doom and gloom, as developers are always working to improve functionality on all kinds of apps. From the moment an app is released, developers are constantly looking to add new and improved features to make the end-user experience that much better.

This is crucial for businesses as updates to sales and marketing software can help to drive growth and maximise ROI on purchased software. Luckily for you, many apps have an automatic software update option available, so you can receive the benefits of developer improvements as they’re released, without having to remember to update them. But, don’t forget to check that your automatic updates are still enabled on non-security applications from time to time.

LoughTec has an extensive track record in assisting customers with their IT infrastructure across several sectors, including pharmaceutical, education, health, agri-food and security. LoughTec’s team of experts specialise in cybersecurity, managed IT services and remote working solutions.

For further information on how LoughTec can assist you, call 028 8225 2445, or email info@loughtec.com.