Many enterprises are not giving due importance to patch management. Is this because they do not fully understand the importance of patch management? If the recent WannaCry attacks are anything to go by, the answer is most likely “yes.”
What Is Patch Management?
Patch Management is an activity that ensures all operating systems (OS), application software and security solutions in the IT infrastructure of an enterprise are kept up to date with the latest patches to ensure they function without bugs, and that the enterprise IT systems and network are kept secure from malware.
Many believe that setting up automatic updates for the OS and antivirus solution is enough. But this is a mistake that reveals a lack of understanding of the importance of patch management. Updating only your OS and antivirus can result in major vulnerabilities that cyber criminals can exploit. Analysis of cyber attacks has revealed that cyber criminals have exploited vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash, Reader, and other applications. Users would not typically suspect vulnerabilities in these applications. Even a non-updated browser is extremely vulnerable.
From a business point of view, it is a missed opportunity for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to not offer patch management along with other services, like Remote Monitoring and Management, Endpoint Security, Service Desk, Mobile Device Management and other solutions. Providing patch management can generate more revenue with just a little more investment.
Versatile Patch Management Application
There are many patch management softwares available on the market. Some are versatile enough to support OS, hardware, and applications, while some have more limited capabilities. With huge competition in the market, the cost of these solutions is quite reasonable, and that raises the question: Why do enterprises fail to place due importance on patch management solutions? When you consider the huge price paid for attacks such as the WannaCry ransomware, investing in a robust and efficient patch management system is well worth it.
The Advantages of using Patch Management
- Security from vulnerabilities
- Bug fixes updated
- Enterprises get better security with slightly more investment
- MSPs can gain more revenue from their customers
- IT administrators will be able to scan the complete enterprise network for patch update requirements for each type of OS, application, hardware, mobile device, etc
- MSPs can test the patches in a test environment before rolling them out to each endpoint and target system. This helps prevent any crashes in the case of any mismatch between updated operating systems and applications.