Patch management processes help test and install code changes on a computer programme or its supporting data to update, fix, or enhance it. It determines which patches are appropriate and fixes security vulnerabilities, with these patches often being called bug fixes.
What’s important to note is that you shouldn’t install new patches straight away without considering their impact. A strategic, smart approach should be taken to keep costs low and keep security high.
Firstly, an inventory of your production systems needs to be developed. It should be up to date to monitor all the assets in your system. Through this asset management, you will be more informed on your operating systems, IP addresses, and version types that exist.
Next, you need to create a plan for standardising your systems and operating systems to the same version type to make patching more efficient. Your technical team can save valuable time with this approach, with a manageable number of assets accelerating the remediation process when new patches are available.
Analyse your vulnerabilities against your inventory. Using a vulnerability management tool to analyse the vulnerabilities that exist for certain assets will help you understand your overall security risk. Classifying this risk is also important. Vulnerability management tools will help you manage your critical assets and sort out which needs to be remediated first.
Testing the patches in a sample of assets is crucial to see that they won’t cause any issues in your production environment. Once the patches have been tested, you then need to actually apply them to reduce risks in your environment. It might be worth applying them to small batches of assets before applying them to everything first since there still may be unexpected issues in this process. Finally, you’ll need to track your progress continuously to ensure that the patching process remains successful!
The importance of patch management
Adopting a patch management process is very significant for security. It will fix vulnerabilities in your software to minimise the risk of cyberattacks and your company’s overall security risk. This will help your company flourish with no loss of repair and response costs and no damaged reputation.
Patch management also ensures that your applications and overall software are up to date and run smoothly for ease of use. It can often go beyond simple bug fixes, helping you ensure that you have the right feature and functionality updates to help you get the most out of a product.
Patch management is also vital in helping your company reach compliance standards, which are necessary to adhere to due to the increasing rise in cyberattacks.
How you can benefit from patch management
With patch management, you will be placing your company in a more secure and safe environment, continuously reducing cyber risks and security breaches. You’ll also reduce the risk of getting fined for not meeting the compliance standards.
With patch management, you can also benefit from happy, satisfied customers. Being reassured that your technology actually works with all the necessary bug fixes will be necessary for customers if they use your technology services.
Results of not using patch management
Without patch management, you may be leaving your data exposed and could be putting yourself at greater risk of a cyberattack. This can lead to response costs and a damaged reputation – something that no company wants! Therefore, hopefully, you can see the importance of patch management to keep both your information and company safe, secure, and very efficient.