Skip main navigation

Application Reduction: Why You Should Slim It Down

This video explains why it is important to keep applications up to date and warns against neglecting updates for unused applications.
6.4
In this video, we’re talking about application reduction and why you should slim it down. So when it comes to application software, it is important, as important, to update your application software on a regular basis as it is your operating system. So application software typically has a lot of different flaws that come out over time. And as such, the application software tends to get a lot of updates, just like your operating system does. It’s simply just another piece of software. Zoom, Adobe, WhatsApp, every application software will generally have updates for it, or at least it should have updates.
54.1
Now, when we think about what’s loaded on our computer, some users may have a lot of things on there that they haven’t used in a long time. Say for, this example, this user used Zoom for a meeting with a vendor a month ago. It’s not something that they use in their everyday work. However, it was kind of a one off meeting that they had. Now, Adobe, they have Adobe Illustrator on their computer to make a flyer a year ago and they never used it again. So we tend to have all these different programs on our computer that we never use. However, the problem with this is, as we saw in the previous example, software over time starts developing bugs.
104.4
People find more and more bugs in the software. So the more of these programs we leave dormant on our computer, the more that we leave ourselves open to attack, especially if you don’t use these for a long time. Again, in this example, this person has Adobe Illustrator software on the computer that they haven’t used for a year, which means it hasn’t updated in a year most likely, which means it has a lot of old flaws sitting on that piece of software that could be an attack vector for a malicious hacker, making it very, very easy because all these updates that should be applied to fix these are just sitting there.
144.7
So they can kind of cherry pick which exploit they want to launch on this computer.
152.6
So reducing your attack surface. So reducing your attack surface essentially means making the area that you can be attacked from much smaller, making you a smaller, harder target to hit. So unused programs on your computer can be just as vulnerable on your computer. So we do need to keep that in mind. Most programs will not attempt to update itself if it’s not ran. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but a lot of programs don’t have an auto update in there sitting on your computer constantly running. So by uninstalling programs that we no longer need we can help reduce an attack surface.
194.5
Also, that could help with obviously how much space is being used by our computer, how cluttered our system is, and the overall health of our computer. Application software that we do need to keep, we should be checking for updates on a regular basis.
214.3
So in wrapping up, your application software is just as important to update as your operating system. We always need to keep which application that we’re deciding to remain on our computer up to date. And finally, audit your software from time to time. If you don’t need it anymore, remove it. That’s the best thing you can do for that. So this was about application software. In the next video, we’re going to take a look at a VPN, what it is, and why they’re important. Thank you for watching. I’ll see you in the next video.

This video explains why it is important to keep all applications up to date to enhance security, and it warns against neglecting updates for unused applications.

In previous videos, we discussed the importance of patching and keeping all your applications up to date. You probably have several applications on your device that you either do not use or only use now and then. In this video, you will learn how these applications pose a security threat and why you should review all your current applications.

Over to you: Check your applications on your computer and see how many are unused and can be removed.

This article is from the free online

Advanced Cyber Security Training: Network Security

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education