Why Do I Always Have to Update My Firmware?

Firmware is a set of programming blocks written into the nonvolatile memory of any computerized device. Nonvolatile memory is a classification of static random access memory whose contents are saved automatically every time a device loses power (voluntary or accidental shut down).  It is important, then, that your firmware always be up to date to ensure the proper restoration of materials and information upon restarting your computer.

In today’s complicated modern—and often mobile—devices, firmware is essential.  As we are more prone to “sleep” and “hibernate” devices these days, it can sometimes be jarring when we come to find that a device is completely off.  Sometimes your computer, for example, loses power because the power brick has disconnected from the source. Sometimes your phone just dies because you forget to charge it.  And this is where firmware comes into play.

Firmware is added to the device’s memory during the manufacturing process. Essentially, it is the set of software specifically designed to help hardware run optimally. Firmware helps to control the various functions of an operating system or its many software applications.  Firmware can be written into the flash memory or the read-only memory (ROM), or the erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM).  Flash-based firmware is more easily updated than ROM or EPROM firmware, which is why flash-based memory is more desirable in mobile devices like tablets.

With all that in mind it should not be too difficult to understand why firmware updates are so important.  As smartphones continue to change and evolve—even daily—firmware has to keep pace. More importantly, though, as more and more people turn to mobile computing, cybercriminals are putting more focus on these types of devices—and that means we need up-to-date security to ensure more  consistent and better protection from potential backdoor threats. Hikvision, a major surveillance camera manufacturer, is one company investing heavily in cybersecurity, and protecting its customers from such threats.

And that means constant firmware updates. Firmware updates fix bugs and add new features.  They also improve security. As a matter of fact, some internet-capable devices are constantly searching and updating in order to provide the best security available. From mobile phones to smart watches to web-connected security cameras, firmware plays a vital role in our daily lives.

About Ralph Pierce