Updating Ancient Wisdom for Modern Computing

Blog / Updating Ancient Wisdom for Modern Computing

If it ain’t broke, be proactive about preventative maintenance.

Way back in the early 1900s, a pair of European immigrants found their way through Canada’s pristine wilderness and settled in Alberta’s Leduc county, where they farmed the land for several years. They brought with them the knowledge and experience needed to tend their fields, and of course, they weren’t the only ones. There’s a reason why seemingly everyone has heard the old phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” a maxim my grandparents ensured was ingrained in their children and grandchildren alike.

Alas, not all ancient wisdom ages well, particularly when trying to apply it to modern computing technology. Yet the attitude that once a computer is working it should be left alone lest it potentially breakdown is still all too common. Computers are just not that simple and in fact invert that traditional advice. Operating systems, software applications, and device drivers can and will eventually fail if not updated, presuming they’re not hacked and hijacked because of unpatched security flaws.

On the other hand it only takes one glitchy update to ruin everything and thus prove the proverb. Even if you’ve never experienced taking a software update that wound up breaking it’s own application or device, then you know someone who has. Faulty updates are rare, but not as rare as you might think, thereby breaking that which was not broken and creating more credence for the claim. The rub is that it’s virtually impossible to predict when an update is going to break an application, or how. Even the big players can’t foresee everything a major change will affect.

Take for example, Microsoft’s upcoming disabling of both TLS 1.0 and 1.1. It’s not just an update that’s coming soon; it’s an extensive change to default TLS settings and is virtually certain to at least temporarily break some applications and other parts of your system. Microsoft currently maintains a list of software that will be affected, but even they admit the list is not exhaustive and implore users to conduct tests.

In other words, things are going to break but they’re not broken yet, which brings up a simple but important question; will your organization simply wait for this change and do nothing, hoping that everything will be fine, or will you develop a plan now for when things do go off the rail later?

We know which we’d choose, and will be more than happy to help you develop your own plan in advance of radical changes in the future. Just contact a TRINUS cybersecurity professional to get started right away, and get yourself some stress-free IT.

This week’s Shakespeare quote comes from Henry V: “Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.”

Be kind, courtesy your friendly neighbourhood cyber-man.

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