Your reading of this blog emphasizes that you know how important it is to manage software updates.
However, most of us would have probably experienced this: receiving a software update reminder and choosing the “remind me later” option. However, when we do this at work, it can cause significant problems later on. This is a lesson many of us have learned the hard way.
So, the question arises: how can we be more proactive in managing software updates?
The question can be further broken down into subsequent questions:
- How to manage software updates effectively?
- How do MSPs Assist in Proactive Software Update Management?
How to manage software updates effectively?
Effective Software Update Management is fundamental for maintaining strong cybersecurity practices. It addresses vulnerabilities in your security and resolves operational issues to ensure your applications run seamlessly. If you’re considering establishing a software update policy for your organization, explore the following best practices:
Make an Inventory.
Start by compiling a thorough inventory of your system’s software and hardware components. With this information, you can more effectively pinpoint vulnerabilities in your network, enabling you to prioritize the most critical patches.
Assign Risk Levels
Determining the systems at higher risk of attacks allows you to prioritize those that need immediate attention. Applying patches ( software updates) to the wrong systems is a time-waster and increases your vulnerability to potential threats.
Use the same software version for everyone.
Using multiple versions of the same software increases your risk exposure. For instance, it’s not advisable if one team member uses Windows 8 while others use Version 11.
Cybercriminals rely on the inability of companies to update software frequently. Their strategy is to encash this lethargy. Hence, it is recommended to update software frequently.
Test the Software Update.
Occasionally, software updates may unintentionally disrupt other aspects of the software, resulting in a faulty patch. To mitigate this risk, performing testing following the update is wise.
Harnessing the Expertise of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for Proactive Software Updates.
Every task comes with its own set of difficulties. When it comes to effectively managing software updates, the challenge lies in the sheer number of software applications that require monitoring.
Every software application has its vulnerabilities that require addressing through a specific update.
Software like popular web browsers, email clients, and PDF viewers must be closely monitored.
Sometimes, internal employees cut corners on this because they have other tasks or think they can get away with not complying with patch updates 100%.
Let’s take a closer look at how DecodingIT, as an MSP, handles the maintenance of your technology.
Test the Patches before Installing.
Before rolling out a new patch to the entire organization, it undergoes a testing phase, often called a ‘test run.’
Allow me to clarify the reason behind this.
Applying a new patch can sometimes introduce problems in previously functioning areas. You might have a system running perfectly fine, but issues can arise when you update to the latest patch.
We conduct patch testing to identify any potential issues.
DecodingIt operates around the clock, and to minimize disruptions, we schedule patch updates overnight.
This means that the computers must remain on throughout the night.
If you’re worried about electricity costs, there’s a solution for managing that, too.
This can be handled with a wake-on-LAN feature in the power settings. This feature puts the computers into sleep mode.
However, this will enable us to send a command to awaken the computers when necessary.
There may be situations where patch updates cannot be executed overnight due to offices operating continuously.
In these circumstances, we don’t reboot the system immediately after the patch update. Instead, we remind users through a pop-up to reboot the system at their convenience for the patch to take effect.
If the user is busy, they can snooze the pop-up notification for an hour or two. However, to ensure that the patch update is properly executed, the system should be rebooted within 24 hours. Therefore, the Managed Service Provider (MSP) ensures their policy is followed through pop-up messages.
Tap into a diverse team of IT experts.
Managed Service Providers such as DecodingIt harness a diverse team of IT experts from various domains to handle unforeseen challenges during patch updates.
We utilize a threat intelligence network to address and resolve the latest security threats promptly.
So, when threats like zero-day attacks emerge, they receive information ahead of the curve, enabling them to alert their clients promptly and potentially avert incidents.
Do You Wish to Ensure Your Software Stays Current?
Effective software updates can safeguard your network and ensure seamless business operations. Nonetheless, poor management in this aspect may result in downtime or leave your systems vulnerable to known threats. Enlisting the support of a dependable IT team or MSP is crucial to sidestep these issues and maintain up-to-date software across your organization.