When we discuss patching or updating your network, most casual users assume that you are talking about updating your computer software. This is certainly something that should be done regularly, but did you know that your router, access points, network switches, and other networking hardware need to be regularly checked for updates as well?
Finding these updates – often referred to as firmware – can be a little bit more complicated for inexperienced computer users. You often need to go into the specific model’s settings interface to find out if you have a firmware update that needs to be patched. It’s still critically important that you do so. The basic reasons why?
Resolve Potential Exploits
Insecurity at any point in your network makes your entire network vulnerable. Because users who are not familiar with the ins and outs of networks are less likely to remember to update firmware, these can be the points of the network most vulnerable to attack by an outside hacker. For a personal computer user, this may look like someone stealing free WiFi from you; for a business, it’s possible for an entire network and its computer to be accessed. This can cause a disaster in terms of data loss.
Enhance Staff Ability To Work Remotely
For staff to connect remotely to your network, their laptops, tablets, and other systems must be able to interface efficiently with your network. Keeping your software on those devices up to date is important, but keeping firmware up to date will also make sure that connections are safe and secure. Since remotely accessing a network (versus connected through wired connections) is inherently insecure, doing everything possible to protect the connection is important.
Make Sure All Hardware Connects Properly
Newer hardware uses newer protocols to connect. Just like with patches on software, support for newer protocols is released through firmware updates. Eventually, your device will be unsupported, although many modems and switches receive updates for longer than computers, as the hardware tends to have a longer life cycle.
If you aren’t sure how to access firmware updates for your networking equipment, contact Nerds 2 You. We are experienced with many different types of switches, routers, modems, and other gear, and will help you make sure that everything is secure and safe. For both personal and business computing, it’s important to protect your information. We’ll help you make sure that everything is working just right.