Everyone in a business has set
responsibilities that they need to fulfill, one major one being proper security
maintenance. A failure to uphold this responsibility could have serious
consequences, including the very real potential of a security breach. It could
be argued, in fact, that if you aren’t patching your systems, you’re inviting
A recent survey found that, despite the
increased awareness and investment into cybersecurity concerns, sixty percent
of interviewed organizations had been breached in the past two years - often
via vulnerabilities that had already been patched. Approximately one-third of
the organizations surveyed didn’t even know what hardware or software they were
It is pretty obvious that this isn’t an ideal
Patch Mismanagement Isn’t a New
You may recall the WannaCry and NotPetya
attacks that created a significant stir back in 2017. Technically speaking,
these attacks shouldn’t have been nearly as newsworthy as they were, as the
vulnerability they relied on (the EternalBlue exploit) had been patched by
Microsoft two months before WannaCry struck.
Unfortunately, the responsibility for this
falls squarely on the organizations that were ultimately affected by these
attacks and the fact that patches simply aren’t being applied as they should be
to these business’ endpoints. All it takes to create a sufficient vulnerability
is a single device that hasn’t been properly updated.
How Can This Be Improved?
There are a few practices that you can endorse
in your business to ensure that your patches remain well-managed.
Have a Patch Management Policy
Let me ask you something: would you rather an
emerging cyberthreat catch you on your laurels and make you stressfully scurry
around to apply a patch that you just found out about, or, would you rather
have a strategy laid out ahead of time so your team can efficiently test and
apply the needed patches when they are published?
A patch management policy allows you to accomplish the obviously preferable
second scenario, outlining processes and responsibilities so that everyone
knows what they need to do, and when they need to do it. As a result, your
patch management becomes much, much simpler.
Test Your Patches
While properly patching your solutions is
serious business, you need to go about it in a collected way. Shooting from the
hip (or in other words, just deploying the patch and forgetting it) could
potentially create some problems with your other components or solutions.
Instead, test new patches as much as you are able, and if you don’t have the
resources to do that, roll out the patch gradually to help catch and minimize
the damage done by any issues.
Automation can help with the efficacy of many
business IT processes, and your patch management is no exception. Some patch
management tools offer automation capabilities built in that allow you to cover
more of your bases with less worry on your team’s part.
Remember, Time is of the Essence
look behind the curtain for a moment: the developers of your IT solutions and
hackers are always in a race, developers to secure the solutions they have
created against threats, and hackers to find new methods of getting attacks in.
As a business who uses these solutions, and should be trying to avoid threats, promptly
patching should be a priority.
Do You Need Help Managing Your
Business’ IT Solutions?
When it all boils down to it, proper patch management is just one facet of a sufficient IT security strategy. Emerge can help you identify and deploy any other security needs your company may have, keeping your data and overall success rate protected against threats. Have concerns about your security? Reach out to us by calling 859-746-1030.