Why is it important to have my computers serviced and updated on a regular basis?
Operating systems, such as Windows, OSX and other misc. applications, are used by tens of millions of computers and devices around the world, making them a huge target for cyber-criminals. Criminals and security researchers are constantly reviewing and testing the code, looking for defects that can allow a hacker to take control or damage your computer or steal your personal data.
When a glitch is discovered, the software vendor issues an update or a patch to fix the problem. It is like a recall to replace a defective part on a vehicle, machinery or device. Failure to apply these updates or patches potentially leaves the system vulnerable to attack or to be compromised, as these hackers use these same updates to reverse engineer ways to take advantage of these vulnerabilities.
Your organization may think that they are not on the radar of hackers. Why give them the opportunity and take the risk of being exposed?
On occasion, an update will cause an unanticipated compatibility issue with a particular application, and the application developer normally addresses the issue promptly. The solution is not to stop updating the system indefinitely. This potentially could leave the system vulnerable and could make the entire network vulnerable to infection or attack if the computer is networked. As a last resort, if postponing updates is required, it should only be for a short duration of time. The ideal approach would be to ensure that the system that is not updated is not used for other purposes, removed from the network, and not exposed to threats to which it may be vulnerable.
We do recognize that applying updates to systems that have not been properly maintained and updated properly may cause some frustrations, inconvenience, and perhaps even consternation, to users who were faced with cosmetic changes, or a change in settings. However, any problems beyond this are less related to the updates themselves, and more to the lack of proper maintenance or updates to the systems as a whole.
The theory that if it’s not broke don’t try and fix it is a common analogy with today's end computer users. End users can become a custom to working through glitches, errors and performance issues and not notice how slow and unreliable their computers may be. As a result, they lose productivity and eventually little problems become bigger ones resulting in failure and downtime. Taking a proactive approach by having a computer IT professional maintain their computer could potentially avoid such circumstances, keep them productive and prolong the life of their computer.