While the patching of a business’s IT products and services is essential, it is not an easy task. Most business owners dread the process and the uncertainty that comes with it. It takes hours to complete, and there’s a risk of system failure should the patch be incompatible. The workforce and resources dedicated to testing and putting the patches in place are detrimental to other IT security services. Nonetheless, it has to be done.
According to a report by the Ponemon Institute, about 57% of successful cyberattacks could have been prevented by applying a patch. Over half of the victims detected the leakages but refused to have them fixed. Patch management is demanding, but how much are you risking by turning a blind eye?
What is Patch Management
Patch management is the systematic process of using a custom code to fix software issues, update an OS, or introduce new additions to an existing app. They are minute installation packages important in preventing cyberattacks and ensuring that your security software is regularly updated. Patches eliminate bugs and improve software effectiveness. There are different types, and all are specially designed to serve specific purposes.
Manually patching your devices is applicable if your company only has a few. An automated process is required for most of today’s organizations as manual patch management will be hard to achieve and almost ineffective.
What Can Happen if Patch Management is Not Conducted Regularly
Loss of Funds to Remediation
Some organizations decide against patching, hoping their existing security strategies will help prevent breaches or manage the attacks to some extent. However, cybercriminals are constantly updating their skills towards successful attacks, and regular antivirus software finds it hard to keep up when the threats become sophisticated.
The company spends a fortune to remediate these attacks, and the cost keeps increasing yearly. This ends up leading to a total shutdown for small companies.
Security Leakages Will Be Exploited.
Cyber invaders always look for a gateway to a company’s valuable data. Lack of regular patching means the existing ones will go out of date, leaving them vulnerable to cyber threats. Once companies are known to be vulnerable at specific endpoints, the perfect malware is introduced by hackers to exploit the weakness. Cybercriminals know how toilsome patch management is and how long it takes for an organization to test and apply new patches. This helps modify their plans and gives them an upper hand.
Business Difficulties After an Attack
The aftermath of an attack is challenging and frustrating. The absence of patch management has been established to open doors to cyberattacks, leading to a massive loss of financial resources. While this is disastrous, it is not the victim’s worst nightmare.
The company ends up with little or no funds for the smooth running of business operations. Even the existing security products and services become harder to manage, leaving them a lot more susceptible to threats like reply-chain phishing. Settlements and the need to repay loans become high. Customers also lose their trust in the organization, and gaining that back usually takes time.
High Cost of Catching Up with Patching
New patches come up daily, and they are usually quite a few. Failure to implement the latest patches means carrying it over to the next, and then the next, till they become almost impossible to manage. An outdated system and software left unsupported for that long take extra time to fix when there’s an urgent need to.
Ignoring patching will cost a lot should you, for some reason, decide to return to its management. This cost constantly increases, but that will be limited if you’re lucky to bypass potential cyber threats successfully.
Practices Towards Improving Patch Management
Patching is time-consuming, but here are a few things you can do to ease and improve its management.
Automation of Patch Management
Patch management doesn’t necessarily have to be done manually, especially when dealing with many devices. You will be stuck with it for hours or even weeks. Automating the processes makes it easier and gives you more time to work on other IT operations. You will bid your non-ending downloads farewell and detect missing or outdated patches faster. You can be sure to get the best out of your security solutions with this practice.
Update Important Patches First
While all patches are essential, some are more vital. Giving these patches priority and fixing their issues first will improve your patch management. Using a hierarchy to update your patches will also go a long way in reducing your response time to cyberattacks.
Organize Automated Deployment Tools
Using tools that will automatically deploy the codes, ensure that your systems’ entry points are updated immediately after a new patch is available. This can be done two to three times a week for best results. You can also make the practice flexible by providing an option to postpone should more important tasks pop up.
If you prefer handing over the whole process of patch management to IT experts or need tips on other IT services, contact Connect2Geek at 208-468-4323 or reach us through our contact form.