In 2019 the top 5 fastest growing technologies were cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality. We can all agree that the pace of technological advances has increased exponentially, and it is almost impossible to keep track of the latest technological innovations.
The constant influx of new advancements poses a tremendous operational challenge for any company making use of multiple technologies, equipment, and software. All of these elements are somehow connected and dependent on selective technical in and outputs to function correctly.
Think for a moment about the impact of a new surveillance camera system on all the other systems operating together within an estate. Functions like alarm notifications, strobe lighting activation, live feed recordings, functional test reports to name a few. A system like this will need to be carefully designed and installed to ensure a smooth integration with all the other systems and to ensure uninterrupted security services. This process will involve multiple manufactures, technicians, and other specialists to ensure the required end result.
If any of the other security components in this example, undergoes significant upgrades it can potentially disrupt the entire system. This clearly needs to be a well-coordinated process to ensure all the other components continue to fulfil their roles. But what happens when the different technologies and solutions simply expand and advance at their own pace without any due consideration for the impact of those advances on the other systems? We will look at this issue a bit later on in this article.
For now, let’s start by differentiating between and upgrade and an update.
UPDATE VERSUS UPGRADE
We will use software, as example, to explain these two concepts, although upgrades can also be done on stand-alone equipment, machines, or integrated systems, just to be clear.
A software update can be described as a number of small improvements and changes which software developers make to fix issues. An update requires the existing software to take effect and can be done by request or automatically in the background. We can compare software updates to typical maintenance tasks you would do on your vehicle such as to wash the windows, fill-up with gas, make sure the tyre pressure and engine oil levels are correct and so forth.
A software upgrade, on the other hand, is different in that it doesn’t build on your existing software version, but it replaces it entirely with a newer version. Upgrades contain improvements and changes to the new version, and it may include new features, better user options and a more interactive interface.
In the introduction we asked what could potentially go wrong if updates (used here as a generic term for both upgrade and updates) are not done correctly, put differently, why do we need to perform updates on our systems?
6 REASONS TO BE PATIENT AND HIT THE UPDATE NOW BUTTON
Updates can be a pain, especially when they require the even more infamous restart-now request! In an office it might give you enough time to grab a cup of coffee, but if you happen to be the estate manager these updates can take time and, if done wrong, disable perfectly working systems.
But here’s why you simply need to push through and let the updates run and takes their course:
- Updates offers protection against security threats such as malicious cyber-attacks and viruses.
- Updates provide protection against potential data breaches such as user data, performance data, user preferences and identity theft.
- Updates contain critical patches and fixes to remove any system vulnerabilities with applications, internet browsers or operating systems.
- Updates activate new software functions and features and results in improved software stability and leads to greater productivity.
- Updates ensures that all hardware and other software systems are integrated and working as a combined unit, our main example of the surveillance camera system, being a case in point.
We all agree that updates are important and that they must happen as and when scheduled. But are there any downsides we should be wary about?
5 IMPORTANT THINGS TO VERIFY BEFORE A SOFTWARE UPDATE
We highly recommend updates and upgrades throughout this article, and if they are done correctly, you will work with more stable and improved systems as a result.
But how can we make sure our updates don’t’ render us helpless or even worse, exposes us to unidentified threats? Here are a few suggestions.
- Always confirm the legitimacy of a software update. Here we don’t refer to the type of updates you would do on your mobile phone, we are referring to complete software updates involving numerous sub-systems.
- Make sure that there are no fundamental changes to the Terms and Conditions (such as privacy or personal data setting issues) as part of the update.
- Ask if the update makes any changes that might have financial ramifications such as increased subscription, call-out or maintenance fees?
- Will any of the current benefits, applications or functionalities change once the software update is completed?
- Check if there will be, or if the potential exists, for any hardware incompatibility or integration issues.
KNOW THEY SECURITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
It doesn’t matter how we look at commercial and residential estate safety and security, we always return to the important principle of understanding your security system and why you have it.
It is vital to stay on top of new improvements, updates and changes in the day-to-day technology operating in your estate. Anticipate that certain systems will advance faster than others and that you may find yourself exposed to security risks if updates are not controlled and coordinated.
One way to better manage the process is to make sure all updates are recorded, and that suppliers and service providers give you a pre-emptive warning when an update is due. It is also fair to request a breakdown of what the consequences of any software updates will entail and if it will affect any other areas of your security management system.
If updates are professionally managed you will unlock the full operating potential of the security management system and your security will operate optimally, if not, your outdated software will seriously compromise your security, or even worse render your security system completely powerless.
Hold onto the old saying that a safe estate is a happy estate when it comes to the security of your property
Their software and products affords commercial and residential estates the opportunity to take charge of the improvements, maintenance, safety and security of their assets, equipment, and property.
For more information visit www.devtron.co.za or call +27 82 604 5213 for a no obligation consultation.