How-To Guides

How-To Guides

The Benefits of Patch Management

Posted on Aug 09, 2021 2:40 pm

It has been found that out of all cybersecurity breaches, 95% are caused by human error. Cybercrime is a constant threat to those who use internet access for their business. All companies, and people in general, will have information that they wish to keep secure. With the rise in technology comes the increase of hackers. They are constantly increasing their abilities to gain access to this information. By implementing solid patch management, this information will remain safe from hackers.

Please keep reading for more information on patch management and its benefits.

What Is Patch Management?

The term ‘Patch Management’ refers to the process of keeping track of security bugs. It will then update any existing application, program, or software on the computer. These updates will raise the functionality and security of all technology within the system. 

A great way to think about it is to imagine a pair of jeans that have gained a hole in the knee from wear. You can either throw the jeans away or patch up the hole with a bit of material. 

Patch management is essentially patching up the holes within your system with a bit of material. But, the material is a code, and the hole is any vulnerabilities within the system’s security. 

Why Do We Need Patch Management?

Your company is the pair of jeans which will grow holes over time. These holes are what hackers will be looking for to attack your private information. Cyber attacks are being reported each year at an alarming rate. 

With the creation of the cloud, there has since been a steady increase in cloud security. Patch management can offer security as a service for the cloud. It will also protect all the information stored within it. 

Having extra layers of security is one example of why companies should invest in patch management. Companies should reinforce those weaknesses that hackers aim to exploit. 

How Does It Work?

Do you have a public cloud, private cloud, or any other style of storage? If so, you will want to have a patch management policy. Doing this will allow the whole patching process to roll out patches efficiently. This is done by listing all the mandatory requirements. 

The mandatory rules include the guidelines needed to reinforce all the vulnerable end-points. If these end-points are left broken, they are at a far higher risk of cyber attackers slipping through.

Each policy should cover a range of basic needs, for example:

  • Find the vulnerable areas
  • Set a timeframe to reinforce these vulnerabilities
  • Decide the responsible team and who they can contact
  • Prioritize the whole process
  • Test all patches
  • Complete reports about patches
  • Maintain all patches

What Are the Benefits?

There is a range of benefits from using a patch management system within your business. Security was covered above, but let’s take a closer look at it along with the other benefits.

Security

Having a strong level of security as a service should be one of the top priorities for all companies. Patch management offers a constant level of protection for all who use it. 

Each time a company purchases the latest release of a program, software, or application, it may encounter bugs. These bugs could be lead to a severe breach within your system which cyber attackers could find. The last thing you want is to find someone who has dropped some ransomware within your system. 

Patch management will ensure that such vulnerabilities will be reinforced. This allows your company to avoid any malicious activities, such as theft of data, can be avoided. 

Features

As the constant wave of technological advances continues, so too should your software. The patches within your system will need to evolve alongside the software advancements. 

The patches undergo regular updates that contain brand new features for your system. These features allow your technology to keep up with the software companies. For example, the latest technological trends. 

By linking the patches to the developer’s technology, you gain many benefits. The main advantage is that your products are the most unique and latest versions available. 

Compliance

Throughout recent years, there has been a significant rise in harmful cyber incidents. These incidents can be due to things like unpatched bugs or negligence during the data protection process. 

Due to such incidents, it has become mandatory for companies to follow a set of regulations. For example, security best practices need compliance to protect data. Patch management is an excellent solution to maintaining this level of compliance. 

Productivity

Automating patch managed services allows you to detect, install, and deploy hotfixes. Hotfixes are small patches that are available to fix a singular problem. 

Due to this level of automation, the staff members will be able to focus their attention on other areas. This will drastically improve the productivity of companies working day.

Downtime

Having patch-managed services can help transform the efficiency of your entire company. It does this through the patched system alongside the automated patch management solution. 

Through this improved efficiency, companies will find themselves with reduced overall downtime. Companies will prosper in more ways than simply technological.

What Is the Process?

The process of implementing patch management can be pretty confusing to some. But, if you take a systematic approach when instigating it, you will find the process easier. 

Inventory and Discovery

The first step you should undergo during the patch management process is discovery. This step is essential as it is how you will discover all the flaws within your system.

Even when working through a private cloud system, monitoring all aspects of your data is vital. This will show the weaknesses that could place your critical assets at risk. 

If you are using a public cloud system, any third-party software or OS versions will be informed of the weakness. This will boost the remediation process and allow you to keep sight of all assets and bugs. 

Categorize and Prioritise

Once you have taken inventory of all the weaknesses, now it is time to categorize them. Split all the bugs and assets into different groups depending on their risk level. 

By perfecting this step, you are able to tackle each problem in order of severity for the company. Because of this, there isn’t a set rule on how to separate them as it will change depending on the company.

Security and Management

Before creating a patch, you will need to identify the potential vulnerabilities. You can assess these by sending them through the vulnerability management tools. You may also wish to protect them with the security controls your company already owns. 

Creation

It is now time to develop the patches requirements. You can do this by assessing the vulnerable assets. To do this, you need to list all the criteria, conditions, and frequency of the patches. 

Compare the list against the technology. This comparison should identify the flaws which could harm your data. This can be anything that could affect or come between the environment.

Testing

Create a tester environment to run and verify the patch. During this, you will need to track how the patch works within it. Track such things as the behavior, performance, and security issues that may arise. 

Doing this will allow you an insight into how the patch will work once you have officially released it. If any problems should arise, you have time to fix them before the release.

Release

Once you have run a successful patch test, you should have a substantial surety of your developed patch. The next step is that you will release the patch to the desired location. This location is decided according to the prioritization in the patch management policy.

Monitor and Maintain

The final step is everything that comes after the rollout of the patch. This covers assessing the patched assets to verify if the patch is working as desired. If it is not, then you will want to recall and make the necessary changes. 

Maintain a frequent monitor of all new patches you roll out. This will keep you up to date with any potential new weaknesses that could develop in the future. This data can help you create the updates needed.

Reap the Benefits of Patch Management

Implementing and maintaining solid patch management within your company can prove worthwhile. Don’t let the hackers out there gain access to your private information.

Keep your company within the high level of security that patch management can provide. Keep your companies overall downtime to a minimum while boosting productivity. 

Please contact us with any questions you may have. Or let us know your comments on this article. Also, why not head over to our blogs page for some more exciting reads.

Tags

Contact Us

/** * Pardot script * */