Patches are a software update. It’s important to update software as soon as a patch is released as these vulnerabilities are on sale for attackers and may be exploited within hours to days. Where this is not possible, compensating controls need to be considered.
Patch everything, including operating systems such as Windows and router software, as well as applications such as antivirus, word, mobile apps. It is also a good idea to run the latest version of software on all devices and machines.
As an individual, when you are prompted to ‘update’ a program, clicking ‘update’ straight away is a good option. Larger organisations, however, need to have a patching regime to ensure a bad patch doesn’t wipe out the organisation.
Note that not all patches are provided to you as an automatic update so your IT Security supplier will need to have a patching process in place that:
- lists all the software you use, and
- searches for updates or new software versions.