As with adding data, the choice to use <cfupdate> or SQL UPDATE is yours. The following guidelines as to when to use each option are similar as well:
Whenever appropriate, use <cfupdate> to update data.
If you find you need to update specific form fields—not all that were submitted—use the <cfupdate> tag with the formfields attribute.
If <cfupdate> can’t be used because you need a complex UPDATE statement or you are using fields that aren’t form fields, use SQL UPDATE.
If you ever need to update multiple (or all) rows in a table, you must use SQL UPDATE.