How Important Are Windows Updates?

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We’ve all seen the notifications for when Windows Updates are available, and I’m sure most of us have thought to ourselves “Again?! I only just installed one last week!”.

Have you ever thought to yourself why they pop up at what seems to be the most inopportune moments, and with such importance?

What is a Windows Update?

Windows Update is an inbuilt Microsoft service used for periodic updating of system files, to patch known issues and vulnerabilities with Microsoft products. This includes the Windows OS itself, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Edge, etc.

Each Microsoft Update is assigned an associated Knowledge Base number (KB) which gives further information on the updates. Updates are classified as one of four types:

Critical Updates

  • These fix major issues, found across all Microsoft Products, that cause errors or unexpected functions. Alongside Security Updates, these are the highest priority updates to apply and should be done as soon as possible.

Security Updates

  • Security Updates are applied to address security vulnerabilities which can allow a system to become compromised. Security updates have five different levels of importance; Critical, Important, Moderate, Low or non-rated. Security updates classed as Critical are the most important updates for your system and ignoring these can leave your server or computer vulnerable to hackers and other malicious attacks.
  • Security updates are provided with a Microsoft Security Bulletin number (MS) for further details.

Software Updates

  • Applied to cover non-critical problems, often applying feature updates and addressing minor bugs.

Service Packs

  • Service packs are an amalgamation of all updates up to a certain date, for a specific piece of software or operating system, typically including feature updates.
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How can I ensure that my systems are secure?

All recent Microsoft Operating Systems have in-built automatic updating features, which allows you to schedule and download high-priority updates.

If you are managing multiple desktop computers and even servers, the most efficient and effective way to stay up-to-date is to offload what can be a mammoth task to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Managed Service Providers employ professionals with years of experience maintaining, reviewing and applying Microsoft patches to a vast range of different environments.

Using monitoring software MSP’s are able to monitor patch statuses remotely and schedule regular patching cycles to ensure that all critical and relevant patches are applied as soon as they are available. If issues are to arise from any patches pushed by Microsoft, your MSP is able to analyse the issue and determine which patches can be causing the issue and disable them, or roll-back where necessary.

By removing the burden of responsibility internally and placing it in the hands of experienced professionals, you can rest easy knowing that your systems are receiving the best in pro-active care.

If you are interested in what Advance can offer in this scope, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.