A Step-by-step Guide To Patch Management

Guide to patch management

Table of Contents

Do you want your computer and other mobile devices to run smoothly and perfectly?
Do you constantly face various technical issues while running your electronic systems?

If your answer to any of those questions was ‘Yes’, then consider patch management software. In this article, we are going to talk about Patch Management and how it can help you solve your problems.

So are you ready to acquire, test, and apply new patches to your software and systems? Then let patch management do this job. Here is a comprehensive guide to patch management.

What Is A Patch?

Normally many software developers apply a set of updates to fix several technical issues. This set of updates is together known as a patch. It also includes the addition of new features and functions to the application.

The areas that require most of the patches include operating systems, applications, and embedded systems. A patch can be used to fix a part of software if any vulnerability is found after its release.

What Is Patch Management In Cybersecurity?

Patch management is the process of identifying and deploying software updates, or “patches,” to a variety of endpoints, including computers, mobile devices, and servers.

An automated patch management tool is used by most organizations to carry out the patch management process. Here are the following elements used by an effective patch management system:

  • Reviewing security patch releases
  • Prioritizing patching efforts based on the severity of the vulnerability
  • Testing patch compatibility and installing multiple patches across all affected endpoints

Why Patch Management Is Important?

Next in our guide to patch management is understanding why patch management is necessary. The following reasons make patch management a very important solution-

  • Security: Do you know that your software can contain several vulnerabilities which make it susceptible to cyber-attacks? Hence patch management reduces the security risks by fixing vulnerabilities.
  • System uptime: Your software and applications are kept up to date under a patch management system.
  • Compliance: Patch management follows the rules of the regulatory bodies to maintain a certain level of compliance.
  • Feature improvements: With the help of patch management you can ensure that you have the most efficient feature, a product can offer.

4 Best Practices of Patch Management

An organization can easily improve its cybersecurity if it manages to follow these best practices properly:

1. Understanding The Importance Of Patch Management

A company must quickly respond to the latest patch update to protect itself from threats.

2. Outcome Of Delayed Patch Application

Major security breaches are brought on by patch application delays. The danger of not applying patch fixes to outdated software was exposed by the most recent Wanna-Cry assault. The victims of WannaCry were those who put off installing the windows patch that fixed the same V1 protocol vulnerability; this led to data loss and economic losses.

3. Availing The Services Of Managed Service Providers

Many businesses receive automated patch management from managed service providers. As a result, the business can concentrate more on the management and revenue-generating aspects.

4. Deploying Patch Testing

Some patches cause system crashes because they are incompatible with specific operating systems or programs. Before applying fixes to endpoint systems, administrators should execute a patch test.

How Your Organization Benefits From An Efficient Patch Management Program?

There are many ways, through which an organization can benefit from patch management:

A More Secure Environment

You can eliminate the risks in your organization’s environment by regularly patching vulnerabilities.

Happy Customers

If your enterprise is in the business of selling technology to the customers then patch management fixes your software bug which helps keep your system up and running. As a result, your customers would be happy.

No Unnecessary Fees

With the help of a successful patch management strategy, you don’t need to pay any fines to regulatory bodies since you comply.

Continued Product Innovation

To provide your technology with new features and functionality, you may apply patches. This can give your business a means to widely implement your most recent software advancements.

How To Choose The Right Patch Management Software?

Some of the common traits which an organization looks for in patch management software are:

  1. Patches are applied across different operating systems including Linux and mac.
  2. Patches are applied on different endpoints like desktops, laptops, servers, etc.
  3. Provide automated patch management to save time.
  4. Offer instant reports on the latest patch update statuses.

Common Patch Management Problems

Although the patch is very important in cybersecurity, there are many problems in creating a smooth patch management process.

In our guide to patch management, let’s look at the common problems businesses face in optimizing patch management process-

Disconnect Between The IT Department And The Security Team

Software companies often provide patches to fix well-known security flaws. They thus rank highly on the information security team’s list of priorities. Patch testing and deployment, however, frequently come under the purview of the IT patch management system.

Many IT firms may give system operations a higher priority than security, which frequently leads to a focus on actions that would increase system efficiency right away rather than looking for possible weak points.

Ambiguous Patch Priorities

IT departments are frequently presented by information security teams with a huge list of systems that require patching. The IT personnel can get overburdened by this. Organizations find it difficult to repair everything. Teams from it and infosec must collaborate to decide where to spend often-limited resources.

Ordinary Patch Policy

Many businesses lack specific patching guidelines or enforcement methods to make sure that required upgrades are applied. To make sure that the IT staff prioritizes these activities and is responsible for associated action, businesses should create a compelling patch policy and hire patch managers.

What Is The Future Of Patch Management?

  • Integrated: One-off solutions that only scan for vulnerabilities or only provide patch updates will probably be incorporated into more complete solutions.
  • Automated: Automated processes will be used in patch management in the future to speed up recurring and routine chores.
  • Accountable: To implement a successful patching strategy, the business must create a transparent patching policy and identify patch managers who are in charge of monitoring relevant activities and making decisions.
  • Collaborative: The it department, infosec team, and leadership must collaborate to create a fair and practical action plan for patch management.

Conclusion

In this guide to patch management, we have discussed various practices and benefits of patch management.

To effectively manage software updates, a reliable automated patch management system is essential. It should be as thorough but also quick and easy to maintain the security, integrity, and accessibility of the data and systems of any firm.

Still confused? Need help understanding and setting up patch management software?
Talk to our team of experts today.

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Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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