Why businesses need to keep software updated

Why businesses need to keep software updated

Software updates are often inconvenient. That is simply the honest truth.

It can be extremely frustrating when you are trying to start an application or even power on your computer or mobile device only to find a notification or pop-up advising you that a software update is available.

What do you do when this happens? If you are like many people, then you likely often ignore the prompt to install the software update. Well, we are here to tell you that is exactly the opposite of what you should do.

Yes, downloading and installing the update may take anywhere from a few minutes to much longer, especially in the case of larger updates, but there are many reasons why taking the time to perform the updates is the best and safest course of action.

Cybercrime is on the rise

One of the main reasons behind why a software provider even releases updates is to fix bugs that may represent security issues or because some other security vulnerability was identified and resolved.

Protecting your business or organization from cyber attacks and cybercrime needs to be a top priority in today’s ultra connected world. It’s getting harder than ever, though, as reports of cybercrime have only increased in the last few years.

According to the FBI, there was a 300% increase in reported cybercrime since the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, no industry is safe – and cybercrime is an expensive risk with a price tag that is expected to reach $10.5 trillion per year by just 2025.

Your employees use a lot of software

Now, knowing that hackers and other wrongdoers are increasingly searching for ways to cause trouble for businesses just like yours, consider how much software you and your employees use on a daily basis.

The average worker uses 9.4 different applications every day just to perform their regular office duties. Each of those applications and programs could have potential opportunities for cyber criminals to exploit.

These security holes are certainly not left open on purpose. In fact, most developers are not even aware the gaps exist. When they do find them, the developers act swiftly to patch them.

This is when they release software updates.

Software updates can address security flaws

Many developers are able to release updates for their software or applications before a hacker even knows a security issue exists and exploits it.

But hackers are constantly looking for weaknesses in software. If they find a flaw and take advantage, even after an update has been released, then your company’s data – including your customers’ and clients’ sensitive data – could be at risk if you do not keep all of the programs and applications you use up to date.

In fact, it’s important to update software to prevent security breaches because it is often the case that an exploit can infect your device and spread to others on the same network without any specific action you take aside from allowing the bad code, corrupted file or other virus-containing threat access to your device. All it takes is clicking a bad link in a compromised email message, visiting an infected website and downloading or playing media containing the virus that is seeking to attack outdated software.

Software engineers are aware of the risk their applications may pose for users, so they are constantly monitoring and looking for ways to strengthen security on their end.

The only thing is users, such as yourself and your employees, have to hold up your end by keeping software updated for increased security.

Software updates make programs better

Not only do software updates offer better security, but they also make the programs and applications your workers use on a daily basis better in general.

These updates can make life easier for you, your business and your customers by offering more efficient, better operating programs. Updates can often include tweaks and additions that result in an application running more smoothly, faster and more efficiently to reduce things like data or battery usage.

This helps your business run more efficiently, too, which you can then use as a tool to deliver faster, more efficient services to your clients and customers.

Updates add new features

Just as you are always looking to improve your business or organization in one way or another, so too are software developers always searching for ways to make their product better.

Software updates are frequently used to roll out brand new features that might solve a problem you have or open doors to more opportunities for you to serve your customers better. The new features could also address internal inefficiencies that can be a source of frustration.

Some new features may also make the software you use work better with other software that you use. This can come in the form of integrations that, again, may open the door for better efficiencies, more seamless communication and better overall compatibility between different applications.

Older versions of software may lose support

As more software updates roll out, it’s not uncommon for older versions of the software to lose support altogether. This is often the case with larger applications, including computer operating systems. The software companies want to run their business as efficiently as you do yours, so they will usually elect to drop help and support for users who are still clinging to years-old versions of their software.

Luckly, this is usually communicated quite clearly to you, their user, so there normally isn’t any urgent risk of this happening to you – unless you have been neglecting software updates for a long time.

How ANP can boost your business’s tech

Staying on top of software updates can be daunting for even small business owners. But, as hopefully this post has demonstrated, it’s critical that you take steps to keep everything up to date in order to enjoy more efficient, faster and more secure service from these applications.

Advanced Network Professionals can help provide many managed IT services, including recommending the software for your business and helping you keep it updated.

Request a quote today to explore all of our IT solutions that can make your life easier and your business stronger.

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