So you’re working intently on your final paper that’s due tomorrow and suddenly there is a slight notification that says, “A new update is available…” what do you do? Take it as a sign to procrastinate some more and click on it! (Well if the deadline is today then perhaps click on it after you submit).
Unpatched software is a case where the name is self-explanatory, and it doesn’t just apply to software! It can be to update the operating system (OS), applications like Word, anti-virus, firewall/router, iOT devices, phones etc. I recently read a statistic that around 80% of attacks are through such unpatched/non-updated software. Unfortunately it’s also easily prevented if we take the initiative. For example, companies like Microsoft give a great amount of detail behind their patches if someone wants it. An attacker can simply exploit that software vulnerability knowing that not everyone must have applied the necessary patches.
Many like Firefox and Chrome have the option to automatically update – this is recommended so it’s one less item to think about. Others like iOS updates have to be done manually. A perk of these updates is that they are (mostly) free! So for free you are able to enhance your digital security….what’s stopping you? HERE is where you can find information about the top 30 targeted high risks in terms of patching from United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). It’s a great starting point!
Personally, I am just making a list of what all can be updated and then ensuring they are updated twice a month or so. There are obviously more aggressive approaches that can be taken by corporations and much more laid back approaches depending on what you use. However, the bottom line is to: