The Importance of Keeping Your Software Up to Date

Jan Lucki
Jan Lucki Head of Development | Back-End Development Team

The world wide web is full of wonders, but it has a dark side that we don’t often talk about. Information has value, and threat actors are hiding around every corner.

What is a threat actor?

A threat actor is an individual, or group, that prowls the web, usually using bots (scripts that automate certain tasks), in search of vulnerable targets. Their motives can range from data theft, to spreading viruses or malware, or to simply disrupt services and cause chaos.

The statistics

Data breaches are unfortunately a common occurrence.

In July 2020, a research team estimated that more than 15 billion exposed credentials from over 100,000 separate data breaches were in circulation on the dark web. A 2019 report estimated that websites are attacked on average 62 times per day, by a fleet of more than 330 bots. These numbers are likely to have risen significantly since then.

Now all that sounds scary, but by knowing what we’re up against we can better protect ourselves. Security is a wide ranging and ever evolving topic that we can’t cover in a single article, but we can start with the basics: keeping software up to date.

How are websites put together?

Websites are built from many different moving parts. They’re not unlike an orchestra that comes together to perform a symphony.

On top of the bespoke code that we develop for you to match your business needs, your website might be running on a server with its own operating system and software, unless you’re taking advantage of serverless infrastructure, and it will be running language interpreters, frameworks, libraries, and other dependencies.

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What are the benefits of updating?

All this software is regularly maintained. By keeping up with the latest versions, by performing timely updates, we take advantage of all the latest software developments. This includes bug fixes, better stability, improved performance, potentially new features, and, critically, all the latest security updates that have been added on since the software was first installed when the website was launched.

With this, we ensure that we close the door on any known vulnerabilities that threat actors might exploit.

So what does this all mean for you?

We are security conscious at Rawnet. We know the statistics, and we have first hand experience dealing with the darker side of the web. Our developers keep on top of the latest developments in security, we leverage the latest technology, and we always look to stay one step ahead of threat actors.

There’s a lot that goes into keeping your website and data secure, but it’s vital not to forget the basics. With the many moving parts that need to come together to bring a modern website to life, and the threats that exist on the web, it’s more important than ever to keep your software up to date.