Security Patching- Ask any good IT tech about software, and you’ll get the same answer. All software systems have open, critical vulnerabilities all the time. This is where Patch Management comes into play, but what is it? What does applying software patches protect against? To keep your business protected you need to know what Security Patching is.
What Is Patch Management?
Patch Management is a technique of applying and distributing updates to the software that keeps your business running.
Almost every business uses technology to operate. Undoubtedly, the use of computer technology has enhanced business efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity.
However, businesses have also been confronted with the extensive and difficult tasks of maintaining this technology properly. This is where Patch Management comes into play.
Patches are an important part of maintaining your software’s usability and the security of your network. Some of the most common areas where security patches can be included are:
- Operating Systems
- Embedded systems such as network equipment.
What does applying Software Patches protect against?
Whenever a vulnerability appears in software, patches are released to fix them. With properly maintained patches, you can rest assured that the assets in your digital environment are less prone to disaster or exploitation.
In short, the term “patch” refers to a set of changes for a software system that must be applied in the form of an update. Patches improve, update, or fix software. For example, a patch may make a software application run better on older machines. Alternatively, a patch may make it harder to hack an application or fix bugs.
Overall, patch management is a process of applying patches to different computers within your organization’s network to keep them running correctly. Patching also protects against the multiple, evolving security hazards out there.
So, you can simply say that software patching is nothing but a security solution to effectively correct the vulnerabilities already existing in your software.
SecureTech Patch Management Solution
SecureTech’s patch management services are what you need to ensure enhanced efficiency, uninterrupted productivity, and improved security for your network. Using our security patching solution, we can ensure the security of your network without any interruption to you or your team.
With extensive training, years of experience, and proper knowledge about patch management, our IT professionals will provide you with the security patching schedule that best fits your needs.
If you want to know more about patch management solutions, feel free to get in touch with our professional team.
Why do we need Patch Management?
The basic purpose of using a patch management solution is to repair any identified vulnerabilities after the release of a software or application. In addition, newly released and distributed patches can help fix and enhance your applications and software with new features.
In 2017, American data analytics and technology company, Equifax suffered a data breach. Cybercriminals used this breach to access the data of 148 million Equifax customers. The reason for the Equifax data breach: a vulnerability within Equifax’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
Cybercriminals compromised 1.7 billion records during January 2019 alone. This statistic reflects a drastic uptick in cybercrime worldwide. As a result, businesses need to focus on cybersecurity and patch management now more than ever.
Besides these statistics mentioned above, there are important reasons that make security patching an important aspect of your business.
Patch management is a quick solution to fix vulnerabilities on your applications, software, and systems in a more prone to cyber-attacks digital environment. An effective patch management solution can easily help reduce security risks to your organization.
As the risk of cyber-attacks is rising continuously, business organizations are needed to maintain a specific level of compliance by regulatory bodies. To keep your business protected from any penalties, it is necessary to adhere to these compliance standards.
- System Uptime
With a properly managed security patching plan, your network is less at risk for data breaches and software crashes that result in expensive downtime.
- Feature improvements
Patch management is much more than just bug fixes. It can also help add new functionalities and feature updates to an application.
Security patching is a critical way to ensure that you have the greatest and latest features your software has to offer.
Patch Management Benefits
There are many benefits to having a security patching solution in place. The key benefits of patch management are:
Get a more environment for your business
Building a secure environment for your business is priority number one. Network security breaches are one of the most common problems caused by missing patches in any operating system, software, or business application.
Keeping a comprehensive patch management solution can help you guard against vulnerabilities. It can help you manage your business applications and let you develop a secure environment with different operating systems, business applications, and even third-party software.
Overall, updating your patches regularly can help you in managing and reducing the risks that are in your environment. All of this will help protect you from potential cyber-attacks and security breaches.
Keep your customers happy and satisfied.
Whenever you buy a product, you want it to operate to a certain standard. When that standard isn’t met due to rushed releases, poor quality control, or a host of other problems you’ll be unsatisfied with the purchase. In this vein, to make sure that software is running as expected and customers are happy with their product, tech companies will release patches to fix any known issues
While Software Patching may not seem like the most obvious choice for keeping your own customers happy, making sure your business runs without interruptions is. Consistency keeps customers loyal and when they can consistently expect the same experience from you, they’ll stick around. Ultimately, when your system works smoothly, you will build a happier, more satisfied, and loyal customer base.
Avoid paying unnecessary costs.
Since patch management is necessary for compliance, it is easier for you to meet the requirements of compliance management. Without properly patched networks, chances are higher that you will be fined for being unable to meet basic security requirements.
Ensure continued product innovation
Patches can also help in product innovation. When your software is running at peak performance, and appropriately up to date, you have access to all its latest features. This means that your tools are working harder to serve your needs and fulfill your (and your customer’s) expectations.
Still, business organizations all around the world are experiencing computer system crashes due to defective applications or software solutions. This can eventually lead to lower productivity. Patch management, on the other hand, can decrease the possibility of downtime and crashes.
This will ultimately let your teams perform their tasks without any interruption, and enhanced productivity will become easier than you think.
Patch Management Process
It is always a poor strategy to apply the patches straight as these come out for all the assets within your organization. Instead, you must consider the impact of applying a patch first and then utilize a more strategic approach for this.
To identify what needs patching first, businesses should create a vulnerability remediation process. Here’s a three-step template for creating an effective remediation process:
Code analysis and inventory
Keeping an accurate inventory of software components is a must for businesses. It helps keep software secure and up to date. Use SAST, DAST, and Pen testing to figure out what code may be vulnerable before a product or service ships. Security advisories and databases should also be consistently referenced. This helps businesses remain up-to-date on the status of open-source and vendor software.
IT teams should focus on vulnerabilities they know are open. Use a third-generation Software Composition Analysis (SCA) tool. SCA tools let you understand which vulnerabilities are critical.
In-house IT techs should patch any critical vulnerabilities in internal software applications. For compromised vendor applications, the team will have to contact the vendor. Addressing open-source vulnerabilities is almost impossible. For this reason, it’s good to use an automated SCA tool. These tools can track when patches for open-source components are published.
Test and apply patches
Firstly, you must apply patches to selected assets in your digital environment for testing. Enlist all the security controls which are present within your organization and keep track of them. Stress testing the representative set ensures that the latest patches will not cause any problem.
Once you have tested your patches and prioritize what you should remediate first, patching all your assets can be completed. You should wait at least a month before applying a patch or update from the vendor.
SecureTech’s patch management solution is meant to integrate with your business’s current IT system and update patches as per a schedule that is suitable for you. We work with you to set software application security patching plan and update windows at times that have the least effect on your business.
Patch Management Best Practices
Security Patching For Small Businesses Vs. Large Businesses
Large businesses often have millions of software vulnerabilities open at any given time. That’s more issues than they can realistically address. This problem scales down to smaller businesses as well. The lack of IT techs in small businesses has made patching vulnerabilities difficult. Patching isn’t just a convenience that makes software easier to use or more secure. Patching can mean the difference between success and or failure for businesses.
Patches that affect modern software often have a habit of breaking legacy applications. This problem is particularly important for small businesses. Many small businesses have been using outdated software systems for a long time.
These organizations lack the funds to replace legacy applications, so they simply don’t.
For all businesses, the reality of software systems is the same. There are too many open vulnerabilities and not enough time to patch them. Patching can be overwhelming due to how it can complicate inter-application communications.
The result is “patch paralysis.” Research shows businesses wait up to three months on average before patching vulnerabilities.
Patch Management is more often one of the highest priorities of any administrator. However, if you do it incorrectly, then it can lead you to various issues. So, you must know the best practices for patch management to avoid any unwanted consequences.
Here are some of the best practices for patch management to consider:
- Security patching is essential for your business; therefore, you must communicate patch management’s essential nature to understand why you are doing it.
- Before applying patches to your overall system, make sure to test it. It can help you to avoid any unwanted problems.
- Don’t forget to apply a disaster and recovery plan when you are considering patch management.
- Keep monitoring the patch status of all the running applications to stay updated.
If you want to work with a managed service provider for security patching, SecureTech can be the ultimate solution for you. WE offer personalized patch management solutions as per your business’s specific requirements.
Patch Management Services
Businesses and IT professionals understand the need for Software Patching to enhance the security of their systems, even if it isn’t their favorite thing to do. Therefore, it is always important to find the best patch management solution for your business.
Leaving the tedious and time consuming task of software application security patching plan in the hands of trained IT professionals opens you up to focus on what really matters, growing your business! When looking for an IT vendor’s Software Patching solution, it is important to consider the following:
- Patch testing on multiple endpoints to make sure the patch won’t cause any major breakdowns.
- Provides a plan on issue remediation after a patch set is launched
- Provide you instant reports on the installed patches.
Get Help from San Antonio’s Top Security Patching Experts
SecureTech is San Antonio’s Top Security Patching Services provider. The Software patching process is an important part of the services we offer. Get in touch with us to learn more about the best Security Patching practices we use and the best software application security patching plan we can provide you.