What is patching?

A patch is an update to software or an operating system that corrects an existing problem (Lifewire). Software companies provide patches when they discover that their program doesn’t operate the way it should. They also prevent criminals from exploiting vulnerabilities.

Different kinds of patches solve different problems:

  • Critical patches offer significant benefits, including improved security, better privacy, and greater reliability. These are typically applied on a set schedule and can be well planned for.
  • Patches that are graded as important but non-critical will enhance the system and are applied on an as-needed basis.
  • Optional patches typically relate to drivers or new software but are equally important to ensure your computer operates at peak efficiency and security.

What happens if you don’t patch?

The number one reason to patch is to protect your computer (and other devices on your network) from vulnerabilities. Malware and viruses take advantage of unpatched software to steal data and resources, and decrease the performance of your computer.

Not applying patches also causes you to lose out on new features and performance benefits. As software programs mature, they also evolve to account for new industry standards, programming efficiencies, and streamlined user interfaces. Taking advantage of these updates will allow your team to be more productive.

Is your business practicing regular patch management? 

Patch management often a neglected task for many organizations – but it’s critical to keeping your business secure.  While software patching can be tedious, ignoring it can put your system at risk for cyberattacks and data breaches.

One of the benefits of utilizing Onward as your Managed Service Provider is that we have automated tools that perform patch management.  This means that critical updates are pushed to supported servers and workstations automatically on a weekly basis.

If managing your businesses IT infrastructure presents an ongoing challenge for you, reach out to the Onward team to discuss how our Premier IT Support plan can relieve your worries.