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The Importance of Keeping your Software up to Date.

Sep 25, 2023

Update existing features, patch security flaws, add new security features, fix bug issues and improve performance.

It’s important to keep your software up to date. Updates enhance existing features, patch security flaws, add new security features, fix bug issues and improve performance for devices.

For cyber security awareness month, our cyber security experts have explored the importance of keeping your software up to date and have put together some useful information on how a managed IT support service can help you keep your software up to date.

What software updates do and why they’re important 

Software updates are when new updates are available for your devices’ software that either fix or improve it. Small software updates fix bug issues and patch security flaws that were missed in the previous update. Big software updates usually offer new features or improve existing ones, while also fixing bug issues and patching security flaws. 

Enhance and add new features

One of the purposes of updates is to enhance and add new features to your devices but there’s more to software updates than you might think. Software should be updated whenever a new one becomes available to enhance existing features, not only when an update includes a new feature.

Patch security flaws and add new security features

Software updates patch security flaws that may be present in previous versions. They also add new security features that can keep your devices better protected from cyberthreats.

When a software update isn’t installed, security flaws are not patched this can open the backdoor for cybercriminals. They make it easier for cybercriminals to infect your devices with malware and ransomware, increasing the risk of having your data stolen and your accounts compromised.

Fix bug issues

It can be difficult for developers to identify every bug before they release the update to the public. Once an update is released, these remaining bugs are easier to identify and fix because users report them. However, even after being identified, bugs are not fixed until the new update is released for users to install on their devices.

Improve performance

Since software updates add new features, improve existing ones and fix bug issues, they can ensure your devices are running smoothly because of overall performance improvements. You may notice that your device will start to run slower if you wait to install software updates.

How a managed IT support service ensures your software is up to date

Software Inventory Management

Managed IT service providers maintain an inventory of all the software applications and systems in use within an organisation. This includes operating systems, productivity suites, specialised software, and more. This means they know what and when your software needs updating.

Patch Management

This involves regularly monitoring for and applying patches, updates, and security fixes provided by software vendors as soon as they are released. These patches are crucial for closing known vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors. Continuous monitoring of software systems helps identify outdated or unpatched software.

Automated Updates

Managed IT services often employ automated systems that can schedule and deploy software updates during off-peak hours. This minimises disruption to daily operations.

Vulnerability Assessments

Regular vulnerability assessments and security scans are conducted to identify weaknesses in the software and network infrastructure. These assessments help prioritise which updates are most critical.

Vendor Communication

Managed IT services have established relationships with software vendors. This enables them to receive notifications about critical updates and security patches directly from the source.

Compliance and Regulation Adherence

Managed IT services ensure that the software used in an organisation is compliant with industry standards and regulations. This may include ensuring that specific security patches or updates are applied.

Detailed records are maintained regarding the status of software updates. This documentation can be used for compliance purposes and as an audit trail.

Backup and Recovery Planning

If an update causes unforeseen issues, managed IT services have backup and recovery plans in place to quickly restore systems to a stable state.

Proactive Monitoring for End-of-Life Software

Managed IT services are vigilant about identifying software that is approaching end-of-life or end-of-support. They will work with the organisation to plan for necessary upgrades or migrations.

Keeping your software up to date is one of many cybersecurity best practices that you should follow in your organisation. By working with a managed service provider, you can ensure you’re your organisation's software is kept up to date, which is critical for security, performance, and compliance with industry standards.

At SystemLabs we provide managed IT support as well as network and firewall support services to help you keep your software and networks up to date and protected.