Considering that Interplay is a managed services consultant and we wrote this blog ourselves, it may seem odd to you that we’re admitting we don’t fully understand software. Let us clarify.
We actually understand software quite well, along with servers, networks, and business continuity services… but no one in the world understands software 100%. Not even developers. That’s because software is extremely, needlessly complex.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals have recently discovered the fact that no one understands software, and they’ve used that knowledge to nefariously worm their way into the systems and networks of thousands of small businesses.
How do they get in? A lot of the time, it’s through software bugs.
Luckily, even though your computer software is guaranteed to be filled with bugs (everyone’s is), there is a way to keep your business data secure. Learn more in today’s article.
We could get into a long, technical description here about software abstraction… but we won’t. That would be boring.
Instead, we’ll give you the fast and simple explanation…
No one understands software because each program is composed of millions and millions of lines of code, usually in a few different coding languages.
…as well as the really interesting explanation:
To understand this, imagine you were told to edit a typo-riddled copy of War & Peace with each chapter written in a different language. That would be a long, tough book to read and edit. Now imagine you were given a tower of 910 multi-language, typo-filled editions of War & Peace, each of which were ever-so-slightly different, and you were told to edit them all, perfectly, within a single month.
Even if your small business is an editing business, we’re pretty sure there would be some typos left over in those books.
That task pretty much describes what the Windows 10 developers have to deal with: enough lines of code to fill approximately 910 copies of error-filled War & Peace copy. (It’s important to note that this number is an educated guess, because the exact number of lines in Microsoft’s code is not public knowledge.)
Developers’ jobs are actually harder than the task of editing 910 books at once because their edits never end. Instead (to continue the metaphor), new pages are added to their books all the time, and each new page affects the previous pages.
How many “pages” are we talking about? Well, as of March 12, 2018, the dev team had completed around 4million edits (called “commits”) on the latest Windows operating system. Each of those commits has the potential to create new bugs. A lot of new bugs.
Industry averages suggest there are approximately 15-50 errors per thousand lines of production code, which means that with an estimated 65 million lines of code, Windows 10 has at least 975,000 potential errors. However, the Microsoft developers are pretty amazing. They claim their products only average 0.5 bugs per thousand lines (we’re not sure about that), but even that incredibly low number means that Windows 10 has at least 32,500 bugs.
Remember, however, that your business computers must also run integrated programs. Each program and integration may add millions more lines of code and thousands more bugs. Multiply that by the number of computers and mobile devices in your office, plus IoT, and you’ve got a lot of potential entry points for cybercriminals.
The worrisome part of this is that, while the rest of us are using our buggy computers to innocently create spreadsheets, send emails, and organize client lists, cybercriminals spend their days focused on finding bugs and creating horrific malware that exploits those bugs.
Keeping your systems up to date and secured against most attacks is actually pretty easy to do. You must download updates as soon as they’re available and back up your system on a regular basis, such as every day or every 5 minutes.
However, although the actual steps are pretty easy to accomplish, it can be nearly impossible for busy business owners—and all their busy employees—to perform these steps consistently, hour after hour and day after day.
As proof, check out this chilling fact: Even though the patch for the WannaCry ransomware virus was released two months before the attacks, and even though companies and individuals across the world realized the importance of the patch in May 2017 when WannaCry brought down 230,000 computers across 150 countries in a single day, a large number of companies still haven’t installed the patch to this day (including Boeing, which was infected by WannaCry on March 28, 2018).
This is where your managed services consultant can help.
Cybercriminals understand how much work it is to run a small business. They know that small business owners rarely have enough money to hire an in-house IT staff, and they know that SMBs never have enough time to keep up with all the small details.
This is why, on average, small businesses suffer cyberattacks far more often than large companies. In 2017, 61% of attacks were on companies with less than 1,000 employees.
We may not hear about those smaller attacks because the newspapers don’t consider them to be big stories, but they happen. Every single day. Luckily, you have the power to prevent attacks at your company.
When you work with a managed services consultant, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you always have the latest updates and patches, and that, even if your company is attacked, you have the option to erase the attack from your systems by “rewinding” to an earlier backup.
Sure, a managed services consultant may not know everything about software because no one does, but they do know a lot about protecting your system from malware, viruses, scammers, cyberattacks, and even natural disasters like floods and hurricanes.
Even more importantly, a good managed services consultant can use their know-how to prevent issues and to restore your systems quickly and reduce your downtime if disaster strikes.
If you’re looking for a managed services consultant in the Seattle area, consider Interplay. Since 2001, we’ve helped hundreds of small businesses keep their companies running strong, no matter what.
With Interplay on your side, you’ll have reliable help securing your system against attacks with around-the-clock network monitoring, patching, and software upgrades with tested backups that are performed as often as every 5 minutes.
And our services are far more affordable than you think – most people are surprised by how little it costs to secure their systems.
Go ahead and contact Interplay so you can get your free quote. We look forward to talking with you.