Patch management is the process of managing a network of computers by regularly performing patch deployment to keep computers up to date.
Why is Patch Management Important?
Patches are created by software companies when they know of an existing vulnerability and ensure that hackers do not use that vulnerability to break into your corporate network.
Manually monitoring and applying security updates is not only difficult but dangerous; even a slight delay in installing security updates could put your systems in a vulnerable position.
Are Patches Really Necessary?
Patches are necessary to ensure that the systems are fixed, up to date and protected against security vulnerabilities and bugs that were present in the software. Failure to patch makes a network doubly vulnerable - not only is the vulnerability there, but it has now also been publicized, making it more likely to be exploited by malicious users, hackers and virus writers.
What is Automated Patch Management?
Budget pressures continue to be high on IT organizations, and so automating day to day routine tasks is critical. Patch management software can be automated to enable all the computers to remain up-to-date with the recent patch releases from the application software vendors.
Patch Management Allows You to:
Identify which endpoints contain vulnerabilities and need to be patched
Create policies to automatically apply updates to groups of tagged endpoints at scheduled times
Remotely deploy operating system updates for Windows and Linux machines
View dashboard statistics for breakdowns of available updates for endpoint machines
Patch Management Best Practices:
Some of the best practices of patch management that will allow the organizations to enhance cybersecurity are
Know why you're doing it - Knowing why patch management is an important aspect of cybersecurity solution is critical. Quick response to latest patch updates would deny and protect vulnerable systems from zero-day threats.
Always run a test - When deploying patches without properly testing them out, you risk that one of the patches might conflict and cause issues on the organization's infrastructure. It's a good idea to test the patch on a handful of computers before applying it to the entire network.
Monitor the patch status of all your applications - Always be aware when new patches are needed. The easiest way to accomplish this is by employing a solution that monitors your network patch status and notifies you automatically when patches are available. Managed service providers offer patch management software to fit the requirements of the business - big or small.