Patch Management Definition
Patch management is the process that helps acquire, test and install multiple patches (code changes) on existing applications and software tools on a computer, enabling systems to stay updated on existing patches and determining which patches are the appropriate ones. Managing patches thus becomes easy and simple.
Patch Management is mostly done by software companies as part of their internal efforts to fix problems with the different versions of software programs and also to help analyze existing software programs and detect any potential lack of security features or other upgrades.
Software patches help fix those problems that exist and are noticed only after the software's initial release. Patches mostly concern security while there are some patches that concern the specific functionality of programs as well.
What is Automated Patch Management?
Patch management process features to detect missing patches, install the patches or hotfixes that are released from time to time, and provide instant updates on the latest patch deployment status.
Budget pressures continue to be high on IT organizations, and so automating day to day routine tasks is critical. Patch management software can be automated to enable all the computers to remain up-to-date with the recent patch releases from the application software vendors.
It is critical to take necessary steps to enhance the security posture of enterprises – large and small. Therefore, consistent patching of operating systems and applications with an automated patch management solution is important to mitigate and prevent security risks.
How does an Automated Patch Management Solution Work?
- The automated patch management is used to automate the various stages of patching process
- Scan the applications of devices for missing patches
- Automate the downloading of missing patches that are released by the application vendors.
- Automated Patch Deployment ensures to automatically deploy patches based on the deployment policies, without any manual interference.
- Once the patches are deployed, reports on the status of the automated patch management tasks are updated.
With automated Patch Management solution, each enterprise is equipped to update its endpoints with latest patches irrespective of what OS they run and where they are located.
What is the Purpose of Patching?
Patching is a process to repair a vulnerability or a flaw that is identified after the release of an application or a software. Newly released patches can fix a bug or a security flaw, can help to enhance applications with new features, fix security vulnerability.
Unpatched software can make the device a vulnerable target of exploits. Patching a software as and when the patch is released is critical to deny malware access.
Some of the best practices of patch management that will allow the organizations to enhance cybersecurity are
- Understanding the importance of patch management –
Knowing why patch management is an important aspect of cybersecurity solution is critical. Quick response to latest patch updates would deny and protect vulnerable systems from zero-day threats.
- Outcome of delayed patch application -
Delayed patch application creates a severe impact causing major security breaches. The latest Wannacry attack revealed the vulnerability of not updating the software with patch fixes. The victims of Wannacry were those who delayed in updating the patch released by Windows to fix the SMB v1 protocol vulnerability – this resulted in loss of data, and business.
- Availing the services of managed service providers
Managed service providers offer patch management software to fit the requirements of the business – big or small. MSPs take full control of the patch management process – while the businesses can focus on the management and revenue-generating aspects.
- Deploying patch testing
Some patches are incompatible with certain operating systems or applications and leads to system crashes. It is good for IT admins, to run a patch test before the patches are deployed on to the endpoint systems.
How to choose the right patch management software?
How do you know which patch management software is best for your organization? The demand varies from business to business, however there are few common traits, which most of the organizations look for in a patch management software
A patch management software should be capable to:
- Apply patches across different operating systems that includes Windows, Linux and Mac
- Apply patches on different endpoints like desktops, laptops, servers, etc.
- Provide automated patch management to save time.
- Offer instant reports on latest patch update statuses.
If you are looking for a patch management solution that can offer all the above-mentioned features – ITarian offers efficient patch management solution with robust features to keep your network patched with the latest patch updates.
Patch Management Life Cycle
- Update vulnerability details from software vendors
- Scan the enterprise network for vulnerability
- Examine the Vulnerability and identify the missing patches
- Deploy patches and validate patch installation
- Generate Status Report on the latest patch updates
Patch Management for Cyber Security
Software vendors release patches to fix vulnerabilities identified after the release of a software or application. Patch Management enables patch testing and deployment which is a critical aspect of cyber security. Quick and instant responses to patch updates would mitigate the chances of data breaches that can cause due to unpatched software.
ITarian Patch Management software offers future-proof and scalable patch management solutions and strategies to protect and secure your business endpoints with quick and latest patch updates.
ITarian Patch Management allows you to:
There’s a lot of software running in your organization, and none of it is flawless. Which means a lot of patches from multiple sources get released on an ad hoc basis, Patch Tuesday notwithstanding. You can’t simply wait to deploy patches when it’s convenient, because leaving those security flaws and major bugs unpatched leaves your business vulnerable. And while managing patches can be complex and tedious, the alternative of getting hit with a security breach is infinitely worse.
- Identify which endpoints contain vulnerabilities and need to be patched
- Create policies to automatically apply updates to groups of tagged endpoints at scheduled times
- Remotely deploy operating system updates for Windows and Linux machines
- View dashboard statistics for breakdowns of available updates for endpoint machines