So what is patching, what gets patched and what difference does it make anyway??? Every computer has a compilation of software programs residing within, and those programs perform a myriad of functions. From the operating system right down to the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) or the more current UEFI, all software needs to be potentially updated from time to time.
The purpose of these patches is generally to improve the performance of the system – but in some cases, the patch is designed to fill a very specific hole. As you are aware, cyber-security is paramount due to the evil lurking on the internet. Viruses, worms, malware, bots and ransomware – you name it, they are out there; they want to slither into your computer, your network – they want to crawl through that hole.
The term Zero-Day refers to known issues with software programs. The developer or some other entity identifies a weakness in the software and that hole is subject to be exploited by cyber-criminals, it’s that simple. Now the race is on, will the developer create a patch for that vulnerability before the exploitation can occur? Maybe, but the real question is, who will apply the patch and who won’t? Without a standard way to ensure patching, each workstation in a business is subject to the whims of its user; and we know how people are, don’t we? And lest we forget, servers are surely at risk.
Your operating system has issues, your browser has holes, your desktop applications are suspect, plug-ins are targets – maybe Adobe, maybe Java – certainly Microsoft; all have a need to be patched. Having an automated way to do this is best – some programs do that, some don’t – and unfortunately, some patches break things. Nonetheless, you can clearly see that patching any and all programs is a protection against the internet evils of our day.
If you need help with this, INCS can identify issues within your work environment. We utilize programs that apply patches as they become available, but first, they are tested and blacklisted if necessary. It’s automated and ensures systems are not riddled with the kind of holes the bad guys are looking for.