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Microsoft Releases Security Patch due to Looming Threats

Could last month’s WannaCry Ransomware attacks be considered a “warning shot” in the war of cybersecurity? Microsoft seems to think so.

On June 13, 2017 Microsoft released new security patches with the purpose of protecting computers from the “elevated risk for destructive cyberattacks.” The looming threat is so imminent that Microsoft not only sent out the update to supported versions of Windows, but toWindows XP and Windows Server 2003 as well. This is especially notable because these two operating systems are no longer under support of Microsoft, yet received downloadable protection anyways.

It is currently unknown if Microsoft has a confirmed suspicion of an upcoming attack from government officials or security researchers. But it seems this patch is more than just a routine security update. Eric Doerr, general manager of the Microsoft Security Response Center, states that security updates “address vulnerabilities that are at [heightened] risk of exploitation due to past nation-state activity and disclosures.” This means it is likely Microsoft has received some type of warning of future strikes.

As the battle of of cybersecurity continues forward, it is important to protect yourself and your computer with all the shields possible. So keep on the lookout for critical updates to assure software safety.

Protect Your Devices with Routine Updates

If you have a smartphone, computer, or just about any other tech device, you’re all too familiar with push notifications or messages prompting you to update. And whether the update is needed for adding features, fixing bugs, or larger scale program and security improvements, studies from Pew Research Center among others show that nearly 50% of people choose to delay updates simply because it’s not “convenient” in that moment.

We get it. Maybe you’re working quickly to meet a deadline, send an email, or just want to finish that video you’re watching on your phone. Regardless, the last thing you want to do is stop what you’re doing and wait for that time-consuming update to run its course. If you’ve experienced this, you’re probably more likely to select the “remind me later” option rather than “update now”, without much debate.

While lack of convenience or bad timing has a lot to do with why we choose to delay or ignore updates altogether, it’s becoming crucial now more than ever that we break that cycle. Whether you realize it or not, ransomware strikes are causing even the larger players in the tech world to rethink security. From Apple, Microsoft, and their competitors, no one is immune to a cyber attack. And with ransomware and cyber security breaches on the rise these days, yearly software and security updates just don’t cut it anymore.

We can only do our very best to put the right systems and practices in place to stay ahead of malicious activity, and ultimately, keep our data secure. So, next time you get interrupted with that update reminder, take a second to ask yourself, “Can I spare some time?”

Have questions about updates? ABS can help. Our trained team of IT professionals know what to look for when updating your devices and work systems, and will get you on your way to working as safely and efficiently as possible.

Disclaimer: If you’re a BYOD company, be sure to ask before updating on your own. Your company may have specified rules, restrictions, & policies in place.