Why is Patch Management Necessary?

 

Today more and more companies rely on their information technology infrastructure to enhance their business, save money, and increase their profitability. The threat of malicious virus and worm attacks has been increasing, thus forcing businesses to re-investigate their security needs to better protect their environment. Research has shown that the most efficient way to be protected against attacks is to ensure that every machine in the environment has the latest patches installed. If one computer in the environment is not patched, it can threaten the stability of the entire environment and possibly inhibit normal functionality.

Patch management is one area where many IT organizations struggle. The operating systems vendors have done a good job with providing easy patching solutions for their products, but there are so many third party applications out there to patch that it can become an impossible task. With new vulnerabilities announced each week, keeping up with all the patches is a problem in itself, and even if handled in bursts, you may have large time periods where your network will be vulnerable. A good patch management solution can fix this for you.

 

Why is Patch Management Necessary?

As soon as software or an operating system get released, there are hackers out there looking for holes and vulnerabilities that will let them in. Sometimes patches get released because unfortunately the hackers were successful in identifying and then exploiting the weakness and so the vendor goes back and patches it up to shut them down. In order cases, the vendors themselves find the glitches first and then issue the patch that is needed to correct it. Or possibly it’s just to strengthen overall security, because they found a better way to do that.

Here are a few other reasons why you need good patch management:

  1. Compliance

Whether you are dealing with internal policies, or external requirements like PCI, a good patch management solution makes it easy to remain in compliance, assuring all systems are kept up-to-date.

  1. Reporting

Good patch management applications provide robust reporting, so you know at any point in time what your security posture is and the state of any system.

  1. Supportability

Many companies find that their networks are no longer in a supportable state if they fall too far behind on patching and service packs. A good patch management solution helps ensure that this doesn’t happen to you.

  1. Vulnerability scanning and remediation

One of the most important reasons to have patch management is to keep up with security updates. Good patch management applications can scan for and report vulnerabilities. Administrators will then be able to test these patches and push the updates quickly.

  1. Third party application patching

One major challenge for IT shops is how to deploy patches for the third party applications across their systems. Patch management applications can handle third party apps just as easily as they do operating systems.

 

Patch management exists in order to protect business networks and systems from these ever-present cyber threats. In specific terms, it’s a best practice towards protecting your data and avoiding hacks that can be very costly for any business.

 

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