“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” That saying applies in many places, but NOT to computer hardware and software. It’s clear that many of today’s cyber attacks prey on vulnerabilities present in old software and hardware. This is especially true for operating systems such as Microsoft Windows.
It may not be “broke”, but it’s still old and very likely out-of-date. “Working” does not mean “secure”. Old software and hardware simply do not have the latest defenses like security patches and advances in firmware to keep you safe from new and ever-evolving threats. And depending on how old, some products are no longer supported or able to be upgraded at all.
At ETS, we run into all types of software when troubleshooting for clients. It’s not uncommon for us to see people working on outdated, unpatched Windows operating systems or other software that is sometime 6 or more years old! You’ve probably heard this before, but it always bears repeating: Keep your software updated and patched regularly and automatically, and upgrade to newer software versions as frequently as you can. This should feel especially critical after seeing how missing OS updates have fueled massive ransomware attacks last year with both WannaCry and Petya.
We also see this when it comes to hardware like servers and PC’s. And hackers have found security weaknesses in them as well. Another effective way to increase your security is to update any computers in your business or organization that are more than 3 years old. New desktops and laptops will come with the new and better parts, such as better memory, network interface cards, hard disks, and processors such as the latest Intel Core ones. These processors can help your operating system and security software products run more efficiently.
And also keep in mind that often the latest software will not run on outdated hardware. Are your old PCs or servers holding your security up because they won’t run the best protective measures?
So we encourage you to commit to software and hardware updates as a regular task. You really can’t go wrong with it as you’ll be increasing your security as well as your productivity, with the latest tools and fastest speeds.
Not sure where to begin? We’d like to help you by providing an asset management report of your installed software and hardware. With this report, we can help you to begin updating your software and hardware to strengthen your cyber security defense.
Contact us for more information.