Every so often you’ll be notified that there is a new patch available for Magento. Your web development partner will usually contact you to recommend this is actioned, and this usually has a cost, which will automatically make it something you don’t really want to do.

We all know that keeping within an operating budget is not easy, and anything that involves an additional expense is moved to the bottom of the list, but making sure your website is kept up to date with patches is not something that should be de-prioritised, especially in this day and age.

For those of you who are new to this side of running an online store, patches are changes to the Magento core files that fix any identified security issues. Magento always work to ensure the platform is secure, but as we all know, the people out to get your customer data are coming up with more and more imaginative ways of getting at it. Any new launches of Magento include the latest patches to make sure they are fully up to date with security, but if there’s a problem identified in between new releases, you need a patch to keep your site secure. Just as it’s important to have a good security system installed on your physical premises, you need a good security system for your digital one too. You can keep on top of what patches are available yourself by subscribing to the Magento Security News page.

If this isn’t something you’re aware of, or if you’re unsure of the status of your site, you can check which patches have been applied using something like Mage Report. This is a great tool because it will also give you insight to the wider status of your site and any potential risks.

Installing a patch is not something we recommend doing yourself, but it’s definitely something we want to include in this diagnostic series to avoid larger, and much more serious problems for you and your customers in future. Think of it as a preventative measure - a patch is a safeguard against digital burglary. If you combine this with wider measures such as keeping your site up to date with the latest version of Magento, the risk factor will drop significantly We can also run a full site audit to highlight any potential problems with your core code build if you are concerned.

It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but trust us when we say it is definitely worth the cost. It’s also worth noting that some shared hosting providers may move to terminate your contract if your site is not deemed as secure, so it’s definitely something to be aware of. The bottom line is that a patch is a preventative measure to keep you and your customers protected. If you keep on top of your patches, your site will be less at risk of an attack, which could be extremely costly long-term.