Software updates help to ensure data security
Updates are an integral part of the IT world, and hence it is important to be aware that regular updating of anti-virus and firewall software, browsers, as well as other applications and entire operating systems that we use on a daily basis is one of the key conditions for ensuring the secure and stable work of our computer.
The Personal Data Protection Office recalls that in accordance with Article 32 of the GDPR, the controller and the processor must implement appropriate organisational and technical measures to ensure an adequate level of data security. The measures listed include, for example, the ability to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and resilience of processing systems and services. The controller and processor are responsible for the security of data processed in computer systems and should provide up-to-date software and regular testing of security measures.
IT security has to be addressed in a multifaceted manner. Criminals often introduce malicious software into systems, which blocks access to them after encrypting the data. It is important to pay particular attention to the three important elements of building and maintaining a high level of security — processes, technology and, above all, the people responsible for the protection of the systems — said Tomasz Soczyński, Director of the IT Department of the Personal Data Protection Office.
The above principles apply not only to the controllers, which are large companies, corporations or authorities. Those rules should also be observed by natural persons who, in connection with their activities, sometimes non-professional ones, process the data of other persons which should be protected.
Whereas in many companies, any update of software is carried out by the IT department, which ensures IT security, we need to take care of updates of our private equipment ourselves.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the need to regularly update the operating system and the software installed on it. It should be stressed that users of regularly updated programmes are less prone to attempted fraud.
Our data can end up in the hands of cybercriminals through loopholes in web browsers, e-mail or office programmes. And although not many updates consist in improving the functioning of certain functions, they still include updates concerning security issues.
Producers are making new versions of the system available from time to time, regularly withdrawing support for older versions. In such a situation, we can either switch to a more recent operating system of the same producer or use open source solutions ( which are usually free of charge).
The work done on the current operating system is important, since some of the amendments do not relate exclusively to the security of the software but also to the closing of the loopholes identified in the design of the computer components. There are solutions that, due to errors (for example in the processors of our computers), make it possible to take control over the whole machine . In such a situation, all you can do is to replace a processor with another one (which sometimes requires the replacement of a larger number of components) or to install an update if available. Unfortunately, old operating systems that are no longer supported by their producers are vulnerable to such attacks. Therefore, from the point of view of the security of personal data, it is important to use up-to-date software, both commercial and open source.