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Security patch

(also software update, hotfix)

Security patch definition

A security patch, known as a software update or hotfix, represents a software module crafted to resolve vulnerabilities, bugs, or inconsistencies in existing software infrastructure. The primary goal of these patches is to bolster system security, rectify software glitches, and boost functionality. The consistent deployment of security patches is essential to ensure a resilient shield against cyber threats.

See also: firewall, VPN firewall, network intrusion protection system, tunneling, antivirus,

Security patch examples

  • Operating systems: Companies like Microsoft and Apple frequently release security patches to fix vulnerabilities in their operating systems, such as Windows or macOS.
  • Web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and other web browsers often deploy security patches to correct issues and bolster defenses against potential security breaches.
  • Software applications: Applications like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, or various antivirus programs routinely push out security patches to address bugs or potential security risks.

Advantages and disadvantages of security patches


  • Improved security: Security patches mend software vulnerabilities, reducing the chance of a cyberattack.
  • Enhanced functionality: Some patches also come with minor upgrades, improving software performance or adding new features.


  • Installation issues: If not correctly installed, patches might cause the software to malfunction or fail.
  • Compatibility concerns: In some cases, security patches might conflict with other software or system configurations, leading to system instability.

Using security patch

  • Regular updates: Keep your software and operating systems updated to stay protected against known vulnerabilities.
  • Verified sources: Only download security patches from official, trusted sources to avoid fake patches that may carry malware.