Understanding Application Patch Management

November 28, 2022
Understanding Application Patch Management

The process of providing and implementing software updates is known as “patch management.” These fixes are often required to fix software bugs.

Operating systems, applications, and embedded systems are typical domains that need patches. A patch may be used to correct a vulnerability that is discovered after a piece of software has been released. By doing this, you may assure that none of the resources in your ecosystem are open to exploitation.

In particular, patch management is crucial for the reasons listed below:

Security: Patch management repairs holes in your software and apps that may be exploited by hackers, lowering the security risk for your company.

System uptime: Patch management makes ensuring your programs are current and function properly, supporting system uptime.

Compliance: Due to the ongoing increase in cyberattacks, regulatory authorities often demand that firms maintain a specific degree of compliance. Patch management is a crucial component of following compliance rules.

Patch management may involve feature/functionality upgrades in addition to just fixing software bugs. Patches may be essential for ensuring that you have access to a product’s most recent and finest features.

How a successful patch management program helps your company

Patch management may help your business in a number of ways:

An environment that is more secure: By routinely patching vulnerabilities, you control and lower the risk that exists in your environment. This shields your company from unexpected security lapses.

Happy clients: You understand how crucial it is that the technology truly works if your company provides a product or service that consumers must utilize. The technique of patch management helps keep your systems operational by correcting software issues.

No needless fines: Regulatory authorities may punish your firm financially if it fails to patch and then violates compliance criteria. Compliance is ensured through effective patch management.

Product innovation: You may add patches to your technology to upgrade it with better features and functionality. This may provide your business a means to widely implement your most recent software advancements.

The patch management method’ essential stages are as follows:

Create a current inventory of all of your production systems: This is the only method to accurately track which assets are present in your ecosystem, whether it be on a quarterly or monthly basis. You will have an educated perspective of the operating systems, version kinds, and IP addresses that are in use, as well as their geographical locations and organizational “owners,” via careful asset management. Generally speaking, the more regularly you update your asset inventory, the more knowledgeable you’ll be.

Create a strategy for bringing all systems and operating systems under a single version type: Standardizing your asset collection makes patching quicker and more effective while also being challenging to do. To speed up your remediation process when new patches are published, you should standardize your assets down to a reasonable quantity. You and the technical teams will both benefit from the reduction in remediation time.

Make a list of all the security measures in place at your company: Monitor your firewalls, antivirus software, and vulnerability management software. You should be aware of where they are located, what they are guarding against, and what assets are connected to them.

Compare your inventory against documented vulnerabilities: Understanding your organization’s security risk requires using your vulnerability management solution to determine which vulnerabilities exist for which assets in your ecosystem.

Classify the risk: You may simply manage whatever assets you believe to be crucial to your firm using vulnerability management solutions, and you can then prioritize what needs to be remedied in accordance with that priority.

TEST! In your lab environment, apply the fixes to a representative sample of the assets. To be sure the fixes won’t create problems in your production environment, stress-test the computers.

Apply the patches: Start patching to truly lower the risk in your environment after you’ve selected what needs to be remedied first. Additionally, more sophisticated vulnerability management technologies provide users the option to automate the laborious steps in the patching procedure.

Even if you tested in your lab environment, there can still be unexpected outcomes in production if you don’t send out the updates to batches of assets. Make sure there won’t be any significant problems by dipping your toes in a little before diving right in.

Follow your development: Verify the success of the patching by reevaluating your assets.

Enroll in cybersecurity training in Toronto. Get more information at https://www.cybercert.ca or by calling 416 471 4545.

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