Updates – And why they matter

Updates are a cornerstone of IT security. Therefore, you should always install updates immediately, especially security updates.

Software is never free of errors. For commercial software, one assumes an average of 15-50 errors per 1000 lines of source code. Windows 10, for example, consists of about 50 million lines of source code. The probability of errors is corresponding.

Attackers try to exploit these errors in the source code of the software, for example to gain access to IT systems. If errors become known, the producer usually closes the vulnerabilities by means of patches / updates. It is therefore important to apply patches/updates quickly in order to prevent attackers from gaining access.

What you should do

  • Enable automatic updates whenever possible.
  • Switch on the function “Notify me about updates”.
  • Only use software that is still supplied with updates by the manufacturer, i.e. that has not yet reached the so-called end-of-life. (For Windows 7, for example, end-of-life was in January 2020 – Now you should think twice if you are still using Windows 7!)

A short video on the importance of updates

What is a zero day exploit?

If you've ever wondered what's behind the term zero day exploit….

This refers to attacks that exploit vulnerabilities even before a software producer has identified the respective vulnerability or is able to provide a patch for it. Such zero day exploits are particularly feared because it is almost impossible to protect against them. However, immediately applying updates as soon as they become available helps to reduce the attackers' time as much as possible. You can find more information in this article.

For more tips and instructions on how to enable automatic updates in the most popular operating systems, visit the BSI website.