Software updates for business

Keeping your organisation’s computers and applications up to date is one of the best ways to protect your business from being hacked.

Hackers, along with malicious programs or viruses, find weaknesses in software (called vulnerabilities) that they exploit to access computers, smartphones or tablets. Installing updates fixes these vulnerabilities and helps keep these devices secure.

Why is it important to install updates as soon as possible? To limit the amount of time hackers have to find and use these weaknesses. The longer a vulnerability is open (or 'unpatched'), the more hackers will know about the weakness and how to use it.

Use this guidance to learn how to update your organisation’s software.

Remember: Hackers use weaknesses in software to access computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices (Internet of Things). Protect your business by keeping your operating systems and applications updated automatically.

Make installing updates a top priority

Many software providers release patches and updates for their products to correct security concerns and improve functionality.

Most modern software and applications update automatically, but make sure you agree to install updates when prompted. The common software to keep updated are:

  • operating systems, for example Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android
  • antivirus and security software
  • browsers, for example Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer
  • web plugins, for example ActiveX, Flash, iTunes, Java, Quicktime, Reader, Skype
  • other types of applications, for example Microsoft Office.

When your business purchases a new device, check for updates straight away as part of initial set up, ensuring you enable automatic updates.

Automatic updates for Windows

Microsoft provides free regular automatic updates for Microsoft Office 10 and Windows 7. If your hardware or software is too old it may no longer be supported and may not auto-update, leaving your business susceptible to technical, software and security issues. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recommends upgrading your device or software.

For more advice on what end of support is, why it is important to be prepared and when to update, upgrade or make other changes, read the ACSC’s Quick Wins for Your End of Support guide.

Refer to Windows Update for information on how to turn on automatic updates.

You can also download our Step-by-Step guide for Turning on Automatic Updates for Windows 10.

Updates for Apple

Apple generally provides updates for the latest and immediately previous versions of their operating system, but not for older versions.

For detailed information visit the Apple website:

Use our Step-by-Step Guide for Turning On Automatic Updates If You Use iMac, MacBook, iPhone or iPad.

Updates for Android

Notifications are sent when updates for Android are available. Please note that Androids update notifications can sometimes be delayed.

For detailed information on Android updates visit:

Updates for anti-virus software

Anti-virus software requires regular signature updates to remain effective. Anti-virus updates generally occur daily and most applications will default to installing automatically.

For more information on your anti-virus signature update settings, contact your vendor. Learn more about protecting your business using anti-virus software.

Updates for plugins and other software

It’s very important to regularly download and install updates for web plugins and other vulnerable software too – such as Adobe products and Java. Vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash, for example, are some of the most popularly-targeted by hackers for exploitation. Automatic updates are available for these products, but ideally uninstall Adobe Flash in your organisation to limit this risk.

For detailed information on updates for plugins and other software visit your vendor’s website, or select from some of the popular plugin vendors below: