When software is released, it’s not always perfect. You may not see anything wrong, but there may be flaws somewhere in the code. These flaws can be exploited by hackers. Fortunately, they can be fixed with patches, which are pieces of code tailored to repair code errors. A patch management strategy is an essential part of keeping your IT secure.
Why Is Patch Management Important?
Why is patch management important?
- Security: One of the main goals of patch management is to fix vulnerabilities in your software so you’re less susceptible to cyberattacks. 57% of data breaches are attributed to poor patch management, according to the Ponemon Institute.
- System Uptime: By implementing patches as soon as your technology is ready, you can keep your software up to date and running smoothly.
- Compliance: Certain industries are subject to cybersecurity regulations. Regular patch deployment can help your company stay compliant.
- Feature Improvements: Patches address more than just vulnerabilities. They can also add new features and functionality to your applications.
- Cyber Insurance: Cybersecurity insurance policies typically require you to keep your software patches up to date
What Is Patch Management?
Patch management is the process of updating your devices through the regular deployment of patches. Patches are small installation packages or files that contain pieces of code tailored to repair code errors. These can remove software exploits and provide application stability so your programs continue to run without issue. Patch management is an IT project that can be handled manually or automatically.
How To Automate Patch Management
Manually patching all of your computing devices is tedious and time consuming. But patch management is important and shouldn’t be ignored. Automating patch management frees up your IT resources and helps keep your data safe.
For automated patch management, most businesses rely on patch management as a service from a managed service provider (MSP) like 42, Inc. We’ve helped numerous businesses in the Berkeley, California, area deploy patches. Our patch management services work by:
- Scanning applications for missing patches
- Automatically downloading missing patches
- Deploying downloaded patches based on established policies
- Creating reports on the status of tasks in the automated patch management checklist
Automated Patch Management Best Practices
It’s not always a good idea to install patches as soon as they’re released. You need to consider the impact the patches may have on your business. In addition to automated patch management, you should also have a strategic plan that’s cost effective and security focused. The key steps of such a strategy include:
- Updating Inventory: Every month or quarter, inventory is taken to identify what assets you have, along with their operating systems, version types, and IP addresses. This allows for more accurate monitoring.
- Standardizing Systems: Assets and operating systems should be standardized to the same version type. Doing so makes patching faster and more efficient.
- Listing Security Controls: It’s important to keep track of firewalls, antivirus software, and vulnerability tools to know what these solutions are protecting and what devices are associated with them.
- Testing: Apply patches to a small batch of devices, then stress test to ensure there are no issues.
How Your Business Benefits From Patch Management
You now know why patch management is important, but how does this service benefit your business? By using a MSP for patch management services, you can:
- Improve Security: By taking a smart approach to patch deployment, you can reduce risks by eliminating vulnerabilities throughout your network.
- Avoid Unnecessary Costs: Falling out of compliance with cybersecurity regulations can lead to costly fines. You could also end up having to pay for much more than just fines, including court costs.
- Continue Product Improvement: As mentioned earlier, patches can be used to install updates that improve performance and add functionality and features.
- Keep Customers Happy: If you provide a product or service that requires customers to use your technology, patches can fix issues that might impact their experience.
Keep Your Systems Patched With 42, Inc.
At 42, Inc., we fully understand why patch management is important. Our team can help you develop a patching strategy and distribute the updates accordingly. We handle everything so you can focus on more important business matters.
Contact us today to learn more.