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Managing Automatic Updates: Balancing Security With Convenience


Running automatic updates for applications and operating systems helps protect your company’s digital devices, but those updates can harm productivity if not well managedUnpatched software is the single biggest security risk in the workplace, so it’s essential to get those updates installed as soon as possible.

However, ASAP updates can be a substantial disruption to work if they run at a bad time. Your business can take advantage of tools, services and techniques to streamline the updating process to minimize the time your software is vulnerable without disrupting work.

General Tips for Updates

Your employees don’t want their computers to get hung up for 30 minutes running through updates in the middle of the workday. However, turning off automatic updates can leave devices vulnerable for a long period of time. The following tips will help streamline the update process for your business:

Use Software Update Management tools and Desktop Management Services whenever possible to automate the process.If automation is not an option, have employees shut down computers at the end of the day and run any updates from notifications.

Use the automated system to push updates at a time when employees aren’t working.

  • Automated updates should run at least once a week, but twice is better.
  • Run updates for individual programs as soon as possible, and only push “later” when busy.
  • Don’t avoid installing updates because of fear of incompatibility: IT will have to work around incompatibilities as they arise.

Mobile Device Updates

Android and iOS devices tend to balance convenience and security with updates. Application stores and service providers generally notify users and implement updates in a timely manner. Apps will update in the background when the device is not in use, and the device will alert the user of a pending operating system update and let them choose when the update will run.

The problem with smartphone updates comes from the limited amount of space on the device. If the phone doesn’t have enough space to download the update, the automatic update won’t work, and employees will fall behind. The most viable way to work around this issue is to buy devices with plenty of built-in storage.

Operating Systems

Computer operating system patches are among the most important updates your business needs to run for security purposes. Windows 10 embraces this concept, but the well-intended nature can be a usability nightmare for users who aren’t under the protection of a Software Update Management system. Windows 10 can be pushy with updates (to the point where there’s a meme in the mix.) An unwanted Windows 10 update can be a massive pain to employees in the middle of the workday because it can take a half hour or longer to complete.

The problem stems from Windows 10 Home’s omitting the ability to adjust the how the automatic updates system works. Professional and Enterprise version users can adjust the system to prompt the user to schedule the update install, so your workplace is better off upgrading any computers running the Home edition. Microsoft usually sends out updates on the second Tuesday of each month which inconveniently situates the update in the middle of the week and can turn a required reboot into a substantial disruption.

If your Bay Area business is trying to get a better handle on IT security by keeping up with software patches, the desktop support and management experts at MPA can help. Contact us today to learn more.

 

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