Apr 15, 2023
Which patches are critical? When do they really need to be applied? That’s where our new PatchAware™ features come in. We’re monitoring the thousands of patches that are issued every week, and will tell you which patches are the most critical to install right now.
This week’s tip, 9 years after it was discovered, is the “Heartbleed” bug. It is still one of the most significant threats to online security. It gives the bad guys access to sensitive information from affected systems.
This article highlights the importance of upgrading software and keeping it up-to-date with regular security patches to protect against Heartbleed and other vulnerabilities.
The Need for Upgrading Firewalls and IoT Devices
The need for upgrading firewalls and IoT devices is a clear one. As the number of connected devices continues to grow, so do the risks associated with them. A lack of proper security can lead to a variety of problems:
• Ransomware attacks on hospitals or other critical infrastructure
• Hackers stealing sensitive information from companies and individuals alike
• Cyber criminals compromising payment systems and draining bank accounts
Understanding the Different Types of Patches
There are three types of patches:
• Critical Patches - These are security updates that address vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to gain access to your system and steal sensitive data. They're important to install as soon as possible.
• Non-Critical Patches - These usually fix minor bugs or add new features, but they don't affect your security. You can wait until you have time to install them later on in the day or week if you want!
• Hotfixes - Hotfixes are temporary fixes for critical issues that arise after a patch has been released; they're only available while the issue is still occurring in the wild, so they may not be available for long periods of time
Best Practices for Upgrading Firewalls and IoT Devices
To ensure that your firewall and IoT devices are kept up-to-date, you should:
• Keep track of patches. Use a patch management tool to monitor for updates, and deploy them as soon as they become available.
• Ensure that all networked devices have an active subscription to the latest version of their operating system or firmware. This will ensure that you're protected against known vulnerabilities in these products' code base. If a vulnerability is discovered after an update has been released but before it has been applied, then users may be at risk until they apply the patch themselves (or their IT departments do so).
The Benefits of Regularly Updating Firewalls and IoT Devices
• Increased security: Updating a firewall's software is a great way to ensure that you're using the latest version of the software. This means that if there are any bugs or vulnerabilities in the old version, they'll be fixed and patched up before they can be exploited by hackers.
• Improved performance: Another benefit of regularly updating your firewall is that it can improve its performance over time. This is because newer versions of firewalls often come with new features and functionality that weren't available in previous releases, so updating allows you access to these improvements without having to buy an entirely new device!
• Reduced downtime: Finally, keeping up-to-date with all the latest patches will help reduce downtime due to hardware failure or other issues associated with older versions of software running on your network equipment (like routers).
What to Do if You Encounter an Unpatched Vulnerability
If you encounter an unpatched vulnerability, it's important to
take action immediately. First, identify the affected devices and
determine whether they are critical to your organization's
operations. If so, consider shutting down those devices until they
can be patched; otherwise, continue using them as usual but monitor
their activity closely for signs of compromise.
If you have any control over the patching process for these devices (for example if they belong to a third party), inform them about the problem and encourage them to prioritize fixing it as soon as possible. If there isn't anything else that can be done at this point besides waiting for patches from vendors or manufacturers before implementing them yourself--which may take weeks or even months--make sure all relevant parties understand how serious this issue is so that everyone knows what steps need taken next time something similar happens again in future!