Patch Management

Patch Management

What is a Patch Management program?

Software applications, operating systems, network devices, and other digital assets will receive patches throughout their lifecycle. Patches are released by vendors to provide additional functionality, improve performance and, most importantly, to address security vulnerabilities.

A Patch Management program formalises and streamlines the process of procuring, testing, and implementing patches across your environment.

Are there any prerequisites for implementing a Patch Management program?

Implementing a robust patch management program requires careful planning and consideration of various prerequisites

A thorough understanding of the software and hardware assets within your organisation is crucial. Establishing an accurate inventory allows you to identify which systems require patching and track their status effectively.
Conducting regular vulnerability assessments helps identify vulnerabilities and prioritise patching efforts based on the severity of risks they pose. It allows you to determine which patches are most critical and require immediate attention.
Establishing clear change control processes ensures that patches are thoroughly tested and validated before deployment. This helps minimise the potential for unintended consequences or disruptions to critical systems.
Maintaining a dedicated testing environment allows for thorough evaluation of patches before deploying them to production systems. This ensures compatibility, functionality, and minimises the risk of patch-related issues.
Developing a well-defined deployment strategy helps streamline the process of applying patches across your organisation's infrastructure. This strategy should include considerations for timing, prioritisation, and the use of automation and orchestration tools to enhance efficiency.

What are the dangers of not installing security updates?

Failing to install security updates can expose your organization to significant risks and vulnerabilities. Here are some dangers associated with not promptly installing security updates:

Security updates often include patches for known vulnerabilities that cyber criminals can exploit. By not installing these updates, your systems remain susceptible to attacks such as malware infections, data breaches, and unauthorised access.
Many industries have regulatory requirements mandating the application of security updates to protect customer data and maintain compliance. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal consequences, financial penalties, and reputational damage.
Dealing with security incidents and recovering from successful attacks can be far more expensive than investing in proactive security measures. The cost of incident response, forensic investigations, data recovery, and potential legal actions can be substantial.
Security vulnerabilities can lead to system crashes, unexpected downtime, and operational disruptions. In the event of an attack, your organisation may suffer from data loss, extended downtime, and the costs associated with recovery and remediation efforts.

What is the Difference between Patch Management and Vulnerability Management?

Patch Management and Vulnerability Management, while closely related, each provide very distinct functions within an organisation:

Vulnerability Management programs enable the identification, assessment, and remediation of vulnerabilities. In many cases, remediation of vulnerabilities involves applying patches – and that is where Patch Management comes in. A robust Patch Management program allows for the controlled procurement, testing, and application of patches. In these cases, the Vulnerability Management program feeds into the Patch Management program.

So why do you need both? Here are two reasons:

Where can I learn about the latest patches for my assets?

Always download software updates and patches directly from vendor. Here is a list of official repositories of updates and security patches for common products:

Contact Endure Secure!

Endure Secure is available to answer your Patch Management enquiry within 8 business hours. Please include as much information as possible for your request.

Please contact us using the form below, email us at [email protected], or call us on 0420 231 893.