If your organization’s cybersecurity strategy doesn’t focus on patching, you’re inflicting vulnerabilities on your business. It isn’t unusual for software and devices to experience security flaws as a result of errors. Errors are present in almost all kinds of software. When they’ve been identified, patches are released to overcome the security flaws they introduce. Usually, patches become available after the vulnerability is exposed. By acting quickly, you reduce the likelihood of massive data breaches and business downtime.
Although your IT team probably works tirelessly to protect your system, hackers are working just as hard. They’ll continuously look for security holes that they can exploit. When one becomes apparent, they’ll leap at the opportunity to take advantage of it.
One great example of this is the Equifax data breach, which is costing the company at least $575 million. The breach was a direct result of an unpatched piece of software. Equifax was aware of the need to patch two months before the breach occurred. As a result of their failure to act, they exposed customer data and faced significant fines.
IoT devices are a notorious source of vulnerability for the users and those around them. Attackers can soon identify those that are vulnerable. Once they do, they can attack the device, or they can launch attacks on others. IoT devices are a particularly tempting source of DDoS attacks.
By protecting your IoT devices, you keep yourself and those around you safe. DDoS attacks can result in a significant loss of business. Additionally, when they occur they perpetuate the idea that a business is unreliable and vulnerable. By protecting your devices and the ones hackers can launch attacks on, you become a good team player in the world of patching.
When it comes to cybersecurity dangers, unpatched apps are a troublesome accident waiting to happen. One big threat is unused software. When you don’t use some of your software often or you’ve stopped using it altogether, you may forget to update it. If you’re not updating your software regularly, you’re exposing yourself to security vulnerabilities.
Failing to update software doesn’t just introduce security risks. It also means you’re noncompliant. If you expose client data and it’s later discovered that a lack of software updates compromised your compliance, you may find it difficult to recover from the financial aftereffects.
The Wannacry ransomware incident acts as an excellent example of the risks unpatched software can pose. As a ransomware attack that savaged organizations around the world, it was able to take hold by exploiting unpatched software vulnerabilities. On average, ransomware attacks can cost businesses $133,000.
Most businesses now rely on portable electronic devices to some extent. Whether that’s a cell phone or tablet, allowing yours to remain unpatched provides cyber attackers with a port of entry.
Typically, operating systems will announce when updates are available. If you receive that notification when you’re in the middle of using your device, it might disrupt what you’re doing. As a result, it’s tempting to ignore the notification until later.
Unfortunately, cyber attackers become aware of the need to update an OS at the same time as you. They’ll begin looking for unpatched devices to target immediately. In addition to making sure you perform updates regularly, ask your employees to follow suit.
Unpatched software introduces dangers to businesses in lots of ways. If you’re going to avoid the significant loss of business and money that comes with failing to patch, you need to act quickly.