What Is Patch Management And Why Is It Important?
Any device that runs software can contain security flaws, known as vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities are regularly discovered in all sorts of software. Once discovered, malicious individuals or groups move quickly to exploit vulnerabilities to attack computers and networks in organisations with these weaknesses. Product vendors provide fixes for vulnerabilities identified in products that they still support, in the form of software updates known as 'patches’. With the threat of Ransomware increasing almost daily a good patch management process is more important than ever. Protecting your businesses IT infrastructure against cyber attacks is your top priority, this is often overlooked by some IT departments due to time demands and budget constraints.
When software applications are released, some software errors are only found out after release, so the software vendor will rollout updates and “patches” to enhance the usability, performance and of course to repair the security vulnerabilities.
Ransomware attacks and cyber attacks in general will continue to be a threat to SMB’s and experienced hackers will know software and system vulnerabilities and will exploit any unpatched weaknesses. Patch management might be a another tedious job or nuisance and time consuming to update, but burying your head in the sand and ignoring this, is a major threat to your businesses IT infrastructure and ultimately be costly to your business in the long run.
Windows operating systems will automatically update itself, but programs or software applications from 3rd party vendors, for example Adobe, Java or Chrome will not have this ability and this can and create holes within your company’s IT infrastructure. You should create a policy within your organisation to keep all 3rd party apps up to date and one way of doing this is creating a software inventory of all software that you use within your business or alternatively make sure your IT department or MSP ( Managed Service Provider) are on top of this.
A Patch management policy should include which patches are critical and which are non-critical and applied during maintenance. Patch management can be time consuming but at the end of the day necessary to protect you, your staff and your businesses infrastructure.
Some patches that are released are known to cause a few issues with the stability of your system and one way around this is to test patches in a sandbox environment before releasing them to all the devices on your businesses network, which will give you peace of mind.
A patch management system in place will save your business time and money by being proactive with regards to your security and maintenance of your systems.
What can you do?
By outsourcing your patch management to a MSP or Managed Service Provider who will have the processes in place to make sure your businesses IT infrastructure are kept up to date by installing patches and maintaining the security for the smooth functioning of your business. Here at Control IT Solutions we offer small and medium size businesses a proactive Managed IT service solution which includes patch management. If you would like to contact us to find out how we can improve your security, please drop us a line on 01738 310 271
With our RMM tool we can fine-tune all patch management policies to prevent cyber-attacks which will also optimise your system.
Patch management set to automation of new releases
Heightened security for all vulnerable programs
Customise and the scheduling of patching