Patching – What, why and how.

Written by Billy


You may be used to ‘patching’ your clothes or even a bike tyre – but what does it mean when we ‘patch’ your tech? Is it broken? Are we covering something over? Read on and all will be revealed….

What is a patch?

In the early days of computers updates would be issued on a paper tape or punch cards. To apply the update users would literally have to apply a patch to the original material.

Nowadays, we use the term to describe an update that fixes a particular issue, most usually a security vulnerability.

Some patches are designed to replace existing files on your computer and some will add new files. You should never avoid an update to avoid using space on your machine.

Why do we need patches?

You know how it goes when you buy an app from the app store – after a few weeks there is an update, a ‘bug fix’ – because regardless of how well tested that app may be the real test comes when it is being downloaded and used by hundreds, maybe thousands  of people simultaneously.

Similarly, Even if a piece of software is released without any immediate problems it is only a matter of time before cyber criminals find a way in.

But raising an alert about a vulnerability comes with its own issues….

Because as soon as someone in the cybersecurity community finds an issue with software and raises an alert, they aren’t just letting the developers know – they are drawing attention to it for cyber criminals to exploit.

This is why patching is so important – to patch up the vulnerabilities and keep the integrity of the software.

What happens if I don’t patch?

Without patches your data is open to attacks from cyber criminals – this can be anything from data theft and corruption to sabotaging of your services. Each of these attacks has a knock on effect for your business. Many of them costly.

How do I make sure I’m fully patched?

Most software and applications will alert you to updates – don’t ignore them! Even your mobile phone operating system needs updating (though many choose to ignore it!)

One of the services TwoPoint Zero offer is regular checks and maintenance to install necessary updates and keep your team fully covered.

We can even run updates, before you are alerted, on a large scale so that no machine is left unprotected.