Emerging Markets Law

Cyber Hygiene: Upgrade Your Software, Too

Data security is a multi-part process for most organizations. Today's installment of cyber hygiene habits for 2015 reminds us that updating software is a critical step in securing our networks. 

In the increasingly difficult maze of network security, we often overlook one very straightforward path: updating software when prompted is an easy way to stay ahead of threats that can come in via network connections. Anti-virus programs, operating systems, applications and programs, etc. all are subject to constant updates to improve features and functionality. They also are updated to defend the attached machine(s) from emerging harms such as new viruses, malware, intrusions, and security holes. Developers routinely improve their offerings by making them secure (or more-secure) against the latest threats seen online. Making sure to say "YES" to prompted software updates is an easy way to take advantage of the state-of-the-art in security features. (If you need more incentive: doing so regularly also makes update times shorter, because there is less work to do at each interval than when updates are done only infrequently.)

Of course, updating software is of no use if your hardware is so dated that it hasn't enough memory, processing power, or other compatibility with the latest software installs. This is a big reason why yesterday's suggestion was to make sure to keep current with hardware upgrades, too.

Consider the cost in technology and installation to be an investment in the longevity of your business. Data breaches can cost in the millions of dollars to address. No system is foolproof; but taking several steps together, such as updating both software and hardware, training employees, auditing your data practices, and so forth, is like adding links to a chain. The longer the chain, the harder it is to cut through it. 

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