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News | Oct. 30, 2023

CSAM 2023 Week 4: Importance of updating software

By DCMA Information Technology

The Defense Contract Management Agency’s Information Technology Cybersecurity team champions Cybersecurity Awareness Month, or CSAM, to ensure good cyber habits. One of the easiest ways to protect accounts and information is to keep software and applications updated. Updates are periodically released to fix software problems and provide security patches for known vulnerabilities. For this CSAM, don’t hit the “remind me later” button. Take action to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.

Week four focuses on the importance of updating software.

DCMA Cybersecurity Tips and Advice

Keeping software up to date is an easy way improve your digital security. For added convenience, turn on the automatic updates in your device or application security settings. Set it and forget it.

1. Check for notifications

Devices and applications will usually notify you when the latest software updates become available, but it’s important to check periodically as well. Software updates include devices’ operating systems, programs, and apps. It’s important to install ALL updates, especially for web browsers and antivirus software, or apps with financial or sensitive information.

2. Install updates as soon as possible

When a software update becomes available, especially critical updates, install them as soon as possible. Attackers won’t wait, and you shouldn’t either.

3. Turn on automatic updates

With automatic updates, devices will install updates as soon as they become available. The feature to turn on automatic updates is found in the device settings, usually under Software or Security.

How does a DCMA computer get updated?

Remember: DCMA team members are required to reboot computers at the end of each workday to ensure the system is ready to receive patches.

DCMA computers are on a periodic patch cycle that updates the software and operating systems automatically. Therefore, it is very important to leave laptops powered on and connected to the internet so the automatic updates can be pushed and applied during a patch cycle.

In a DCMA office, systems automatically connect to the network during these reboots. In a telework environment, users should log back into their systems after an end-of-day reboot to ensure your network connection is reestablished. Once verified, remove your common access card, or CAC, to lock the screen without opening any applications. This action will ensure the system stays connected and can receive patches. DCMA IT will send email notifications with directions when it’s time to update DCMA-issued cellphones.

Additional Facts and Figures

A study from the National Cybersecurity Alliance found:

  • Thirty-six percent of survey participants reported installing the latest updates and software as soon as they became available.
  • Of those who reported installing the latest updates to their devices, 62% had turned on automatic updates.

For more information about software updates and other cybersecurity topics, visit the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency website or the Cybersecurity Awareness Month webpage on DCMA 365 (employee login required).