You hear about it all the time -- the need to install some important new security patch, questions over which patches are necessary and which aren’t, and even the occasional report of a buggy patch that does more harm than good. But what exactly are patches all about, and why do they matter so much to your IT system’s well-being? Here’s an overview of the subject from your Austin IT managed services team at Gravity Systems.
Patches live up to their name by covering over “holes” or vulnerabilities in a software program or operating system. This kind of vulnerability may come to light long after the product has been released, thanks to a conscientious programmer (or civic-minded hacker) who discovers it and, in some cases, demonstrates the problem by publicly exploiting it. Some programs are secure enough at the time of their release, only to become increasingly vulnerable as technology advances.
When the manufacturer discovers a vulnerability, it will release a patch for users to download and install. This new bit of software adds the necessary protection to make the program secure enough for safe use once again. It’s worth noting that some vulnerabilities are considered more dangerous than others. You may see an update listed as Low, Moderate, Important or Critical. Low updates may be up to the computer user’s discretion, while Moderate updates should probably be installed. Important and Critical updates must always be patched ASAP.
It’s all too easy to let a significant patch slip past you when you’re busy conducting your daily business tasks. That’s why you should outsource this function to our managed IT services team. We can perform any necessary patches and other essential upgrades remotely as soon as they become available, helping to ensure your system is always updated and secure. Contact us today to learn more!