There are thousands of hackers who get up every morning with ONE goal in mind: to find a new vulnerability in a commonly installed software (like Adobe, Flash or QuickTime) to access your computer. That’s why these companies frequently issue patches and updates for KNOWN security bugs; and once a KNOWN vulnerability is announced via a patch, hackers get to work like crazy trying to figure out how to use the vulnerability and access those users who are lazy about installing updates. That’s why it’s important to update installed software programs as soon as possible.

Of course, if you’re an IT Wellness Care client of ours, we’re monitoring your network for these updates and handling them for you; but your home computers, smartphone and other devices that may NOT be under our protection probably need a little attention.

Why do companies send out patches? According to Wikipedia, “A patch is a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data, to fix or improve it. This includes fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, with such patches usually called bugfixes or bug fixes, and improving the usability or performance.” Many people never install the patches. All the hackers have to do is wait for an announcement from Java or Adobe about a patch and they go to work exploiting that vulnerability on unpatched machines. Cisco issued a patch for their firewall software vulnerability. asks “Why patch? If your computer seems to be working fine, you may wonder why you should apply a patch. By not applying a patch you might be leaving the door open for a malware attack. Malware exploits flaws in a system in order to do its work.”

There is one thing to consider before applying patches. Some patches have unintended consequences. In their attempt to correct something, the patch causes another issue they weren’t intending. One of the services your IT Managed Service provider should offer is patch review and management. There are services which review updates and patches to make sure they fix what was needed and do not have unintended consequences. Once an update is cleared, it can be safely installed on all your systems. Ask about IT Wellness Care which includes patch management.

BTT can set up a way for you to protect your network; call our office if you would like us to set that up: 888.477.9895.

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