Definition: Publishers frequently offer updates or patches for existing software packages. Armies of crackers await every new application that reach the marketplace as well as for the updated versions of software that already exists. Very little time usually passes before "holes" are discovered in new releases. Weaknesses, also called "exploits", are published on the Internet for crackers and other malicious users. Corrective updates from reputable publishers are free and usually very effective.

Patches plug holes in your software and network.  A system of "patching" requires a disciplined procedure and is ideally part of your information security plan.

Its Relevance: Computer users or infrastructure owners must investigate and routinely check for software updates to the software applications that are installed on their machines. Publishers discover vulnerabilities through hard earned experience from cyber criminals and nefarious users. Most reputable publishers rush to get "fixes" related to their products out to users. Ignoring the need to install updates may be considered reckless and negligent.

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