In this week’s New + Now piece, we discuss the importance of patching software vulnerabilities and being patient at work to allow your data security colleagues to patch those vulnerabilities, which are coming more frequently and are taking longer.

When I conduct employee data privacy and security education sessions for clients, I am surprised at the number of people who do not understand patching and how important it is for your company and for you personally. In your personal life, basic cyber hygiene includes patching vulnerabilities on your smart phone when prompted.

What does this mean? It commonly happens when you get a prompt on your phone that you are to update your operating system (like iOS) and the prompt asks you to install the new version. When you get that prompt, it means that they are updating features on your phone, but it also means that it is applying patches to fix known vulnerabilities. Many people click on the “later” button, but the longer you wait, the more frequently the prompt appears. This is because the manufacturer is urging you to apply the patch because it is important. They aren’t pushing the patch to inconvenience you—they are pushing the patch because the vulnerability needs to be fixed.

When you get a prompt to update your software, try to apply the update as soon as possible. If you wait, you are not fixing a known problem and putting yourself at risk.