Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Importance of Patches

In connection to Microsoft’s release of two critical patches yesterday, I will write about the importance of patches. When a person uses the word patch in reference to computers, that person is noting the software. The statement, “Patching the software,” illustrates there is a small program that needs to be installed for a particular software to fix a glitch or a security vulnerability. Now days, every software manufacturer releases patches for their software; most likely, numerous times for each version.


The important aspect of this point is the security vulnerability and the required rapid response from PC users. To demonstrate a point, black hat hackers (hackers with malicious intent) wait for patches to be released. Once released, they analyze the patch to detect the security vulnerability and determine a way to exploit this vulnerability through un-patched users. The detrimental effect from the exploited vulnerability is limitless depending on the amount of information that is on the computer or that you provide during a session of surfing the Internet.

Research studies [1] state the average user has one patch every five days to install. The difficulty in keeping track of this amount of patches is understandable but being defenseless is far too risky. Fortunately, there is a solution.

I personally use FileHippo Update Checker and I have Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) to supplement every once in a while. Click here for a reference website listing the top software update tools for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It would be advisable to scan your system once a week and update the necessary software the program lists to bring up-to-date. Both programs give you links to the download file for greater convenience. With Windows automatic update [2], these tools are a great way for your system to be up-to-date.

  1. Typical User Patches Every 5 Days
  2. Windows Automatic Update

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