The operating system faced these issues due to the lackluster approach from Apple to patch their software in time. As a result, it led to risking the data of personal users. It shows that irregularities in the patching of computers affected users adversely without any fault of their own (Daily Tech, 2012).
In addition to that, the operating system of Apple is now considered as one of the most favored platform for hackers due to loopholes in the framework. Similarly, social networks such as Facebook have also been guilty of retaining an obsolete database, which led to one of the biggest security breaches in the recent era of internet (Chabrow, 2013). Thus, it can be said that personal computers are affected due to the negligence of the software vendors but its impact cannot be ignored.
Addressing the impact:
a) Software Vulnerability:
In order to address the impacts that unpatched systems have on cyber security, Lin (2006) has stressed that it is essential for organizations to develop efficient access controls as well as install regular updates for their quarantine antivirus software and firewalls. When an organization attains effective security against external access, coupled with creating increased awareness among the employees to take precautionary measures while using the internet, the impact of unpatched systems can be greatly decreased. In addition to that, the operating system providers should provide timely updates as soon as a new threat emerges (Lin, 2006).
In this regard, software developers are required to provide the enterprise consumers with timely updates and patches for the security software. As soon as a new threat is identified, developers or the hired staff should be able to provide security against the threats in the form of patches (Lin, 2006). In addition to that, the employees should be directed to use the internet in a responsible and defensive manner. They should not be allowed to visit infected websites from their workplace. In the end, it is advised that the threat of unprotected or unpatched systems should not be taken lightly by organizations and they should be given due importance.
b) Hardware Vulnerability:
The impact of system updates with regards to hardware should also not be underestimated. Older chipsets, which are near the end of their cycle, are exposed to security breach from the external environment. Organizations can overcome this problem through hiring a dedicated IT staff, which would overlook the transition from older hardware to current or next generation hardware (Villasenor, 2011). It has also been stressed that hardware vulnerability is greater as the size of the organization increases. Thus, organizations with greater resources should allocate larger resources to improving the hardware vulnerability as compared to smaller organizations (Villasenor, 2011).
Villasenor (2011) also stated that a number of steps can be taken in order to minimize the underestimated vulnerability of hardware. The first step is that the semiconductor manufacturers should adopt a change in design. The reason for this is that a changed semiconductor would eradicate the hardware vulnerability for a considerable amount of time till the hackers familiarizes themselves with the new hardware. The second step in the removal of hardware vulnerability is to establish a capability on the national level for responding to attacks in a timely manner. Thus, he has stressed the importance of a central body against cyber crimes, who would track the perpetrator and make him accountable for his actions.
The third step mentioned by Villasenor (2011) is that the chips manufacturers should carry out extensive testing on the new hardware in order to ensure that the chips are not corruptible for the foreseeable future. Such an action would prolong the useful life of hardware in terms of their vulnerability towards attacks. The fourth and final step is that there should be in0built capability in the new chips, which would enable them to identify external threats and eliminate them before they cause any damage. The aforementioned steps should be considered as a standard in the industry, which would support the objective of eliminating weakness pertaining to hardware in the cyber security of organizations.
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