If You Aren’t Patching Your Systems, Breaches are On You
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.
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 running. Let’s briefly go through what it takes to avoid data breaches.
Patch Mismanagement Isn’t a New Problem
A couple examples from a couple of years ago are the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks that wreaked havoc with business networks. These attacks shouldn’t have been nearly as newsworthy as they were, as the vulnerability they relied on had already 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 their business endpoints. All it takes to create a sufficient vulnerability is a single device that hasn’t been properly updated.
How to Improve This
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 your business off-guard, 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 preferable scenario, outlining processes and responsibilities so that everyone knows what they need to do, and when they need to do them. 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 that are 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
The developers of your IT solutions and hackers are always in a race against a river of threats. If you don't want to be a victim, you should prioritize updating and patching of your software.
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. Ferrum Technology Services 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 847-697-3282.