Whether you use Windows, macOS, or Linux, you rely on your operating system for everything you do on a computer. But when you see pesky notifications reminding you to update your system, it may make you wonder if you really need those frequent restarts.
Why exactly do you have to update an operating system, and what happens if you don’t? Here’s all you need to know about what an operating system does, why updates are important, and what to do
What is an Operating System?
Your operating system is the core of the software systems on your computer. This massive application is responsible for providing all of the basic services that come with your machine. It manages your hardware, provides a graphical interface for you to use, and even allows other pieces of software to be run inside it.
OS updates are released on a regular basis, and they are designed to achieve a range of different goals. Some OS updates are made because the developers want to add advanced features that weren’t possible in the past. Other updates are made because developers need to respond to new viruses and vulnerabilities in their systems. Some will even be made to make sure that software is compliant with local laws.
Do We Need Frequent OS Updates?
Most of the time you’ll be automatically notified of new OS updates, but you will have to restart your machine and wait for the new changes to be set up before it can be used again. If you’re busy, and your system is working fine, it can be tempting to dismiss those notifications and keep running your current version. But there are some reasons why you should always update.
OS updates are crucial for a number of reasons. It would be impossible for developers to keep their operating systems secure without regular updates. Alongside this, though, OS updates also introduce new technology and software options, giving other developers the ability to push further with their work. In short, OS updates improve security, functionality, and enable customers to save money instead of buying an entirely new OS.
Failing to keep your systems up to date can result in severe problems. In May 2017, a computer virus known as “Wannacry” shook the world. Government organizations, the UK’s NHS, and a host of other groups fell victim to this automated attack. But why did so many high-level institutions get hit when normal people didn’t? It’s all because they had been using outdated operating systems.
Alongside the risk of viruses like this, failing to keep an operating system up to date can make it hard for employees to be productive and lead to security breaches that impact your customers. This makes it absolutely crucial that you are on top of updates, even if it means getting some help along the way.
How to Get Updated Protection
Managing updates internally can be a huge amount of work. The experts at Iron Edge, a managed IT provider in Houston, recommend that you get a professional assessment done to evaluate your security. This enables you to have your updates managed by a third-party and ensure that your systems will always be up to date.
It might seem crazy that such big organizations left themselves vulnerable to attacks. But in actuality, this can be a surprisingly complex job. Older machines may not be able to run the latest OS versions. These outdated versions will eventually stop getting updated, which could mean that you no longer have protection from security threats.
Businesses with a lot of computers would waste huge amounts of bandwidth and data if they updated each machine on its own. This means that most companies will choose to use a server to deploy updates, forcing them to rely on an engineer to help them out.
If you’re not sure if your company or organization has updated operating systems, look today. This could mean the difference between your office being a success story or the next victim of a cyberattack.