There is nothing more annoying when your working on your computer and that popup appears saying “Reboot Now to complete the patch”. Thankfully some vendors have got wise to this over the years and have added changes to update at reboot/shutdown or allow to to choose a time. Annoying as it is, these patches are important and should not be ignored or delayed too long before applying.

Padlock Gates

When you think about patching/upgrading what do you think of?

  • PC/Laptop/Tablet
  • Mobile
  • Network

The typical focus of home users is around the end device we use rather than the other parts of the homes IT infrastructure.

A lot of home users these days rely on service provided network equipment such as routers from their internet service provider, but are these kept up to date? A recent study by Which found that millions of routers are not updated to the latest patches or had weak passwords and providers have been stated that they monitor and update their routers.

If you have your own router on the end of a connection, time to check when it was last updated. If its a managed device you can usually log in to it and check the last patch applied date. Is it being updated?

A recent discovery of FragAttacks (attacks that exploit security vulnerabilities that affect Wi-Fi devices) have shown that it is possible to steal data from any WiFi network that’s not patched, however its not an easy attack to recreate and vendors have been issuing patches to protect against this. This highlights the need for patching and updates to not just your end user device, but network devices as well.

As per a previous blog post – Good practices to adopt are

  • Check the manufactures website for firmware or driver updates on a regular basis – All devices within the home
  • If the device software allows a check to be made for updates on a regular basis make use of the tool
  • Use strong passwords
  • Change any default passwords
  • Don’t use the same password on different systems
  • Use passwords on your video calls
  • Use a VPN if working from home
  • Turn on two factor authentication on applications that allow it
  • Use Anti-virus and malware apps

If this is all second nature to you that’s great, however it may not be to others. Reach out to your family and friends and talk them through what they need to do so it becomes second nature to them.

You are only secure as your last update/patch!

Further Reading