The Importance of Software Updates
Although software update notifications can seem pesky, ignoring them could bring dire consequences. In 2017, the credit report company Equifax suffered an attack that stole personal information from around 140 million Americans because the company ignored a vulnerable issue for two months.
Overlooking updates to the company’s computers, software, and network could lead to a similar attack or other setbacks. Here’s why updates are so important and ways to stay updated.
Benefits of Regular Updates
Security Breach PreventionNo software is entirely bulletproof; they all have security flaws that hackers can take advantage of to steal data or damage a system. Software updates include patches to repair these security flaws protecting a system against known threats.
Improved Infrastructure OperationsWhen software developers constantly secure the software, they also improve it with each update. Whether fixing a bug or adding a feature, these improvements affect how users interact with the software. These are a few ways software updates can affect how the program is used.
Compatibility UpdatesOften, software interacts with other programs on the computer. If one software is behind on updates, it may not function with other parts of the system. Ensuring all of the software is up to date keeps the entire system running smoothly.
Software Bug FixesEvery program has bugs. Bugs are minor issues that make the technology harder to use. Examples of bugs include error messages and frozen loading screens during routine user actions. Software updates often include patches for these bugs, which keeps the company working efficiently.
Full Software UtilizationUpdating software allows the company to take full advantage of what the software offers. Software is constantly evolving, offering new and better features. Staying up to date on those can improve efficiency. Also, just like old versions may become incompatible with newer operating systems, software that isn’t updated can have features that stop working.
Consider the learning curveRegular updates allow the user to learn in small steps rather than in giant leaps. Update to update these changes aren’t noticeable; however, when a user has to jump from version one to version three, those changes can make it feel like a completely different program. This slows the team down as they have to relearn it.
How to Stay up to DateTo start making regular software updates, there are a few options.
Change Company PolicyA company policy will enforce the importance of software updates and make sure employees don’t brush them off. By creating a clear update policy, employees will know exactly what’s expected of them and be held accountable for any security breaches.
In the policy, make sure to include specific guidelines such as what systems and how frequently they must be updated.
Send RemindersAfter creating a company policy, use your preferred method of communication to send update reminders to your team.
Enable Automatic UpdatesMost software systems have an option to automatically download and install updates, which you can have the team enable. You could also use 3rd party softwares (such as Windows Server Updates Services) to push the updates to your employee's computers.
About Vladimir ZrajevskyVladimir Zrajevsky has nearly 20 years of experience in computer and information sciences. He is the president of Fatech IT Advisors, a multiservice IT solutions and professional service provider based in Herndon, VA.