5 ways patching can make or break your business

5 ways server security patching can make or break your business:

Businesses often ignore server patches or updates until they encounter issues. When it comes to server security best practices, regular server patching is always at the top of the list. Making sure your servers are up to date with patching helps you to avoid headaches and unforeseen expenses in the future.  Here are some of the benefits you will gain and risks you can avoid through regular patching. 

Performance

The most common reason to create a security patch is to remove bugs that did not exist when the software was developed. Bugs can cause poor performance in servers, intermittent crashes and damaged data. Software bugs can cause servers to slow down and when they go unnoticed, they can result in system downtime and cost you money. Applying patches means you will gain access to software or operating system improvements that will help your system perform more efficiently. 

Support

A problem may occur where your ICT support team needs to escalate a support request to the manufacturer or software developer. It may not be possible to escalate support if you have unpatched servers, software or hardware.  The manufacturer or developer will usually ask that you apply these before they will offer support.

Malware

Malware, short for malicious software, is a blanket term for viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and other harmful computer programs hackers use to gain access to sensitive information and wreak havoc on businesses. Patch updates apply not only to servers, but end devices such as desktops and laptops. Most of today's malware works by exploiting holes in unpatched software such as Internet related software and web browsers with old versions of Java. Here is how it can impact your business:

  • Take control of your computer or network
  • Steal sensitive passwords
  • Alter and delete files, causing loss of any information that is not backed up.
  • Send malicious e-mails on your behalf
  • Install pop-up messages
  • Lock your computer or encrypt your files directing you to a criminal asking for payment

 If you are not sure if your laptops and desktops have the latest patching, contact your provider and have them run a full audit of the devices on your network. 

Ransomware

Ransomware is a program that takes control of a computer by encrypting files or blocking access to the infected system. Cyber criminals hold the system (or select data) hostage until a ransom is paid - often in the form of untraceable cryptocurrency. Businesses are at risk of lost files and information, lost productivity, IT costs, and the direct financial cost if paying the ransom is the only way to recover the information. Ensuring systems are patched, including hardware, operating systems and applications,  is one of the steps you can take to reduce your likelihood of a ransomware attack. 

Personal Data Breaches

A personal data breach happens when personal information is accessed, disclosed without authorisation, or is lost. This can occur from accidentally sending the information to the wrong person, to having a USB, laptop or phone stolen containing the information, and finally from having a database or software hacked. In a report from the OAIC; in the period June to December 2020, 58% of data breaches were caused by malicious or criminal activity.

Personal data breaches hurt your company’s reputation and can cause your client financial loss.  Since 91% of data breaches involved contact information, and also financial details such as bank account and credit card numbers, personal data breaches may cause your client financial loss through activities such as un-authorized credit card transactions and identity theft. Under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, you must inform a person if their personal information has been leaked or lost, and organisations may also be issued with fines. With today’s technology, both hackers and developers are getting good at data access and security. Following server security best practices ensures that your servers are always safe from emerging hacking trends. 


There is little to lose, and everything to gain from effective patch management. For cyber criminals, unpatched systems provide a simple way to deploy cyber-attacks and malware.  By having a plan to apply patches, you can go a long way to protect your organisation from cyberattacks designed to take advantage of known vulnerabilities. If you need help, our team can ensure that your systems are safe and secure, and you are getting the system performance you need. Contact our support team for a full security audit.. 


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