b2ap3_thumbnail_updatesoft400.jpgKeeping your software up to date is one of the most important things you can do to secure your system and give your business the competitive edge. However, staying on top of these upgrades is a big maintenance job that’s easy to neglect when things get busy. A system with neglected upgrades could spell trouble for your business.

The larger your company’s I.T. infrastructure is, the more complicated it is to track what applications need upgrading on your workstations. This task becomes even more complex when a business is mobile and utilizes employee’s personal devices. Hosting your critical applications on your servers makes the task of upgrading a little bit easier because you don’t have to worry about visiting every workstation to perform an upgrade; but it’s likely that not all apps used are hosted on your server because your employees will download and install personal apps on their workstation. These downloaded applications are a security risk because it’s impossible for you to prevent vulnerabilities if you don’t know the applications exist!

Why Outdated Software is a Security Issue
Outdated software is a security risk because upgrades will fix security vulnerabilities. Hackers pay close attention to the release of security patches because they will alert them to the vulnerabilities in previous versions. Armed with this knowledge, a hacker will then write code to attack computers running the old version.

These viruses can access your company’s network from an outdated operating system (like Windows XP set to expire April 8, 2014), business software, or even a mobile app. With this in mind, you can see that there’s much more to having strong network security than having a firewall. If your employees are doing unapproved practices like downloading outdated apps, then they may be putting your entire business at risk.

Using Old Software can Hinder Workflow
Another issue you may experience from not having all of your company’s software upgraded to the latest versions is a break in workflow. There are many applications that will create documents and files that aren’t backwards compatible, and if two employees are working on the same project, and one worker is using the latest program while the other is running the older version, then compatibility issues may develop when the older program attempts to open a file created by the newer one. The best way to prevent issues like this is to make sure that, when you upgrade software, you upgrade every copy of it on your network, including the mobile versions.

Do You Have Time to Upgrade?
Having to juggle all upgrades on every piece of equipment is time consuming and easy to put off, especially when all of your applications appear to be running smoothly. The longer you delay upgrading means the more vulnerable your network becomes to online threats. You need to make upgrading a priority. Don’t underestimate the security and productivity benefits of running up-to-date software.

Finding time to upgrade your system and keep up with network maintenance can be difficult, but it’s essential. By outsourcing your I.T. with Iron Edge, we can perform all the important upgrades for you with our managed I.T. services. Our ManagedIRON platform allows us to monitor your network in order to find outdated software and security vulnerabilities, and remotely upgrade them. This allows you to focus on your business; instead of having to worry about making sure every user on your network is using the latest versions of software. To learn more about Iron Edge’s managed I.T. services, call us at 832-910-9222.

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