The Importance of Patching your Computers and Software

March 8, 2021

As new technology rolls out each day, it becomes a race between the good guys and the bad guys – with security experts on one side of the ring and hackers on the other. As attackers come up with their own ways around newly implemented defensive measures, it’s up to cybersecurity companies to keep up by finding new ways that can shut down these exploitations. Sometimes what seems like an impenetrable defense ends up just being a temporary solution at best because, before long, hackers are back again with even more tricks.

That said, in many cyber-attacks, the culprit is not an elite hacker but a careless user. In fact, most law firms only update their software on a yearly basis, providing criminals with easy access to breach law firm security.

A study shows that only 21% of computer users take software update alerts seriously. Reason? Some don’t see the essence of it, while others simply won’t sit through the slow process of software download and installation. This explains why Petya and WannaCry terrorized Windows users months after Microsoft released patches for the ransomware.

When you update your law firm’s operating system and software, you are safeguarding it from malware. Regular updates on the latest patches help keep cybercriminals at bay.

Patches Fix Most Cybersecurity Issues

A security patch is a small bit of software issued by a company to fix a security flaw. Patches target only one component of the software and do not always require the user to restart the application or PC following the update.

Security flaws or software vulnerabilities can affect your system in many ways. They could allow attackers access into your PC, where they could install ransomware and encrypt your files or lock you out of your own computer.

Vulnerabilities in law firm security systems can facilitate unauthorized access into sensitive client information, which may lead to file loss or data distortion. This may portray your company as reckless and incompetent and even put you on a collision course with the law.

While running updates and executing other security measures is mostly about protecting your company and its reputation, your clients, friends, and partners may also benefit from your law firm security habits.

The Panamian Law Firm Mossack Fonseca was breached due to unpatched software and had 2.4 Terrabytes of data stolen.  The firm has since closed.  

If your devices are compromised, everyone you interact with online is at risk of being attacked.

Why You Should Consider Cloud-Based Software

As stated above, regular updates are an essential part of any effective cybersecurity strategy. Software as a Service (SaaS) companies saves you the hassle of looking for updates, sorting them out, installing them, and paying for them – which can be quite time-consuming!

Vendors want clients to use the latest versions of their software, and updates are paid for in your monthly subscription. Your company will also be up to speed with updates, which will put you through a more straightforward learning curve compared to one huge update.

Lastly, your company doesn’t require any special IT infrastructure to run a SaaS update. All processes and functionalities are cloud-based and taken care of by your vendor, meaning you have no hardware issues to worry about.

The Bottom Line

Managing your law firm’s security can be a daunting task. Though it may seem like you’re safe because you’re not a big company, the internet is an ever-changing place and this poses potential security risks for you. To mitigate these risks, make sure that you are always using the latest software versions to stay ahead of any bugs or exploits that could harm your business. If managing your own software isn’t something that interests you, cloud-based services are the perfect solution! The benefits far outweigh any downside while still giving yourself peace of mind in terms of data security. NetDocuments (a cloud-based legal document management system) has been in operation since 1999 and has never suffered a data breach.