Less than 1% of organizations have the latest Java update, reports Bit9 in a recent study. As of 2013, 9% of these businesses are running Java version 6 update 20, which is incredibly vulnerable (96%). Of course not all organizations need to worry about having Java installed unless it is needed.
So why is Java so important to stay on top of and why does it require so many updates?
- Java is everywhereThe Internet uses Java as a foundation for displaying dynamic content such as videos, 3-D images, games, and applications. However, it also blocks suspicious code from accessing your nonprofit's data and systems. Test if Java is enabled in your browser.
- Java protects your office computer
Java verifies code before running it and allows users to run untrusted code in an isolated environment. These important security features keep viruses, malware, and data mining code from accessing certain parts of your computer. In fact, hackers are attacking a recently patched weakness in the Java Platform, "The exploit targets a critical vulnerability identified as CVE-2013-2465 that affects all Java versions older than Java 7 Update 25 and can enable remote code execution," reports Network Word, as recently as August 16.
- Java patches
The patches are the reason for frequent Java updates, because they provide vital security fixes. These updates are meant to keep your nonprofit organization protected from hackers. Therefore, set up alerts on your computer to make sure you are running the latest version of Java.
- Older versions of Java
The average business has 50 different versions of Java installed. Having older versions of Java on your nonprofit's office computers can be just as bad as not having Java at all! Even if you have the latest version installed, older versions might still remain on your system, allowing hackers to get in that way.
In summary, make sure every computer at your nonprofit is using the latest version of Java to protect your donors, sponsors, staff, and organization's information.