One area where many IT organisations and companies that use computers and computing systems extensively struggle with is patch management. Fortunately, most operating systems come with easy to implement patching solutions/ However, there’s also so many different pieces of third-party software and applications that it can feel like a continuous battle in vain trying to keep them all updated.
As new weakness and vulnerabilities seem to be announced on a weekly basis, it’s vitally important to get a handle on patch management. In the past, you may have handled the updates on a specific day or time of the month. The problem with that is there will be periods of time where your IT systems are vulnerable to the most recent threats.
What’s the solution? Having patch management in place. In the following post we look at some of the ways patch management helps and why it’s so important. First, we’ll explain what patch management means.
What is Patch Management?
Patch management, although it may sound complicated, is very straight forward in principle. It’s basically a strategy that is put in place to manage the upgrades/patches of technology and software.
Scanning and Remediation of Vulnerability
Primarily, the reason why patch management is so crucial is that enables you to stay up-to-date with the latest security updates and keeps you in the loop about vulnerabilities. When you have a good patch management strategy in place, applications can run scans for any vulnerabilities and report them upon discovery. As a result, administrators can test the patches and provide essential updates much quicker.
When you carry out better patch management, you have access to more detailed and improved reporting. The reports can tell you how secure your systems are and if there are any problems that need to be dealt with.
Compliance may not be the first thing you think of when you consider patch management. However, when you have a consistent patch management protocol, you can always ensure that your systems are up-to-date and fully compliant. This applies to external requirements such as PCI or more internal company-related policies.
Third Party App Patching
One of the biggest challenges that most companies that rely on IT systems, as noted at the outset, is dealing with numerous third-party applications they may use throughout their systems. These all need to be kept up-to-date, but how do you effectively and efficiently follow through on that? With patch management. Patch management applications work just as effectively at ensuring third party apps and software is updated as they do when it comes to operating systems.
Ensures Your Systems Remain In Support
It’s often the case that when a business or organisation falls behind with keeping their computer networks updated that their systems are no longer in support. This can obviously leave their IT systems and software in a vulnerable state. With a robust patch management solution in place though, this is something that can be easily avoided. Your systems will always be kept updated and always be supported by the vendor.