Why Updating Apps is Mission Critical

If you roll your eyes when you get notified of software updates then this blog post is for you. Software vulnerabilities give hackers a secret entrance to your device and critical information. Thankfully, software companies are great at patching known vulnerabilities but it’s up to the end-user to update their software in a timely manner. The importance of updating apps was recently discovered with the software Zoom.

Does your business use Zoom for virtual meetings? Do any of your employees use Macs? If so, your employees’ Macs could have their cameras activated by malicious websites.

Does that sound scary? It should. Zoom is a commonly used application, and this vulnerability is a result of its programmers prioritizing ease of use over security. Jonathan Leitschuh at Medium estimates that there are about four million Mac users of Zoom in the U.S.

What should you do?

While Zoom is working to find a way to eliminate this security issue, there are a couple of things Mac users can do to secure their Zoom usage.

  • Update Zoom on their Macs. The company is under pressure to eradicate this vulnerability, and it has created a few patches that are temporary fixes at this point. A permanent fix is hopefully forthcoming.
  • Change user preferences, so that the video camera does not automatically connect when you use Zoom to join a meeting.

Here’s more information about how to perform these updates and changes, from the Infosec Writeup at Medium.

If it happened with Zoom, can it happen with other apps?

The short answer is “yes.” Applications of all kinds, on all devices, can act as security gaps. Loading apps can make your device susceptible to hackers even if your operating system is up to date.

If your company doesn’t have an app policy on bring-your-own-devices that connect to your business network, it’s a good idea to create one. And, if users are granted authority to download any app of their choosing on company devices, it’s a better idea to limit their control.

But, even if you are careful about using only reputable apps, it’s still possible that a vulnerability may be exposed down the line. After all, Zoom was considered one of the top two business video conferencing choices last year.

So, how do you maintain a secure environment?

Your IT team should be actively engaged in the discovery of security vulnerabilities, continuous security event monitoring, and reaction to threats. That can be a daunting task, so many organizations choose to work with consultants who have the ability and expertise to administer comprehensive security recommendations and protection.

BNC Systems provides a wide range of solutions to companies of all sizes, suited to their particular needs. Its experts even provide a complimentary initial consultation to help companies understand their options and select the best solutions for their situations.

This time it’s Zoom, and this time it’s Mac users. This time it’s camera access. What will it be next time? The possibilities are myriad and unpredictable. That’s why it’s not enough to cross your fingers and hope that nothing happens.

Apps can cause gaps in security. Figure out the best way for your company to close those gaps, so you can continue to be productive and efficient and use the tools you need.