SECURE OUR WORLD WITH UPDATES
October marks the annual observance of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a joint effort between government and private sectors aimed at equipping individuals with the knowledge and tools to safeguard their personal data against digital threats. In its 20th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month has witnessed significant growth, transcending geographical boundaries to become a global celebration. With our increasing reliance on technology, the imperative to fortify and evolve our cybersecurity practices has never been greater. This year, under the banner of ‘Secure Our World,’ a fresh awareness campaign takes centre stage. The campaign’s mission is to promote cybersecurity insights and best practices throughout the year, catering to a diverse audience, and emphasizing the importance of continuous vigilance in our digital lives. Secure Our World focuses on four key elements of cybersecurity: passwords and password managers, multifactor authentication (MFA), phishing, and updates. As CSAM draws to a close, we take a look at why software updates from an essential part of your cyber hygiene.
WHAT ARE UPDATES?
An update is like a breath of fresh air for your software – it’s the new and improved version that replaces the old one. Let’s take updating your operating system as an example. It’s like giving your computer a makeover with the latest drivers, cool system tools, and extra security. The best part? Most of the time, these updates come at no charge from the software makers. All software and hardware eventually need a little sprucing up. Usually, the update party comes to an end when the company goes out of business, stops caring about the product, or decides it’s time to end support – the product’s end-of-life (EOL). For computers, the operating system is the star of the show when it comes to frequent updates. Other programs that frequently undergo updates encompass web browsers, office software, hardware drivers, and printer-related software.
WHY ARE UPDATES IMPORTANT?
As threat actors keep getting creative in their quest to snatch information and infiltrate systems, there are some easy tricks up our sleeves to thwart their plans. One of the simplest moves is to keep your software updated – it’s like a shield against their mischief. Here are three good reasons to apply software updates ASAP:
- Patch security flaws – The top priority for immediate software updates is security. Software vulnerabilities serve as gateways for cybercriminals to infiltrate and compromise a user’s computer. These vulnerabilities are essentially like open doors, providing threat actors with the opportunity to inject malicious software into individuals’ systems. Malware, once unleashed, grants threat actors control over computers and facilitates data theft. It can also encrypt files, documents, and other applications, rendering them inaccessible. Security patches play the role of locking and securing these open doors within the software, effectively shielding devices from potential attacks.
- Protect your data – Once a threat actor manages to exploit a software security weakness, their primary goal is to hunt down personal data like financial details, passwords, usernames, or any documents holding sensitive information. These cybercriminals gain access to personal accounts and then peddle this sensitive information on the dark web, where illicit transactions occur. By keeping your software up to date to bolster security, you significantly enhance the protection of your data against such breaches and theft.
- Get the latest features – Installing updates not only enhances security but can also bring fresh features while bidding farewell to outdated ones that have outlived their usefulness. In the ever-evolving world of technology, updates serve as the gateway to the latest improvements and functionalities. For instance, consider Zoom updates, which have introduced a central library for polls, the ability to toggle chat notifications, post-main session access to breakout room activities, and seamless integration with Box and SharePoint for Windows users. These updates keep your software relevant and ensure you’re equipped with the most up-to-date tools and features.
Installing updates also improves performance by fixing any bugs and ensures that the software works with the latest technology and hardware.
UPDATES IN 3 EASY STEPS
About 40% of individuals admit to occasionally, seldom, or never installing software updates. Yet, one of the simplest methods to safeguard your accounts and data is to ensure your software and applications stay up to date. Updates are regularly released to rectify software issues and fortify defences against known vulnerabilities. Keeping your software up to date is as easy as 1-2-3:
Stay Alert – Keep an eye out for notifications from your devices and applications indicating the availability of the latest software updates. Nevertheless, it’s essential to periodically check for updates manually. These updates cover a wide range, including operating systems, programs, and apps. Be especially diligent in installing ALL updates, with a keen focus on web browsers and antivirus software, or any apps that house financial or sensitive information.
Don’t delay – Once a software update, particularly a critical one, becomes available, ensure you install it without delay. Cyber attackers won’t wait for your convenience, so it’s best not to dilly-dally either!
Activate Automatic Updates – Simplify the update process by activating automatic updates. With this feature enabled, your devices will take care of installing updates as soon as they are released. It’s as easy as that! To activate automatic updates, navigate to your device settings, typically located under the “Software” or “Security” section. Set it and forget it!
THE CYBERSECURITY NARRATIVE
The CSAM narrative emphasises that cybersecurity doesn’t need to be intimidating. It can be simple to adopt secure habits, providing you with peace of mind for your online life. You can maintain this perspective by practising the following principles:
Positivity – Rather than resorting to fear tactics, let’s focus on the advantages of reducing cyber risks. Strengthening cybersecurity safeguards what matters most in our lives.
Approachability – Cybersecurity might appear complex, but it’s fundamentally about people. We make it relatable and show how good cyber hygiene is accessible to everyone.
Simplicity – We steer clear of technical jargon and ensure that acronyms are defined.
Back to basics – Even adhering to the fundamental principles of cyber hygiene establishes a strong security foundation.
The key message is that cybersecurity is not a one-time task It’s a year-round commitment. Let’s use CSAM to establish a cybersecurity program based on strong fundamentals and prioritise it every day of the year.
PROTECT IT BETTER
Some of us are lazy, some are forgetful, and a few just couldn’t be bothered. Not a good idea when it comes to updating your software. As we said, the easiest way to take the hassle out of updates is to set them to automatically take place. And that’s exactly what Zhero will do to give you peace of mind. Our Protect IT Better solution has been carefully crafted and developed to proactively nurture and build a sustainable cybersecurity environment giving your business a competitive advantage. Moreover, Protect IT Better uses holistic monitoring and reporting to ensure that you are always protected against all cyberattacks. Do you want to crush your IT chaos? Of course, you do. Contact Zhero today and we’ll show you how to do it.