Notice how your mobile phone or computer gets software updates every now and then? In the IT industry, updates or changes in the software code are referred to as “patches.” Upon software release, patches immediately fix errors to improve the security and functionality of the programs.
However, just like a patch or bandage for a wound, software patches are just a quick fix. They can sometimes generate further problems, which is why testing them on non-critical systems is suggested prior to installation.
This is where patch management comes in. It is a strategy for acquiring, testing, and managing patches to an administered computer system. Its tasks include maintaining the available patches, choosing appropriate patches for specific systems, and ensuring the proper installation and testing of these code changes. In a nutshell, it helps businesses handle issues concerning patches efficiently.
How does it work?
Installing patch management software on target computers requires an intelligent agent, a program that regularly gathers information or performs a service without your intervention. It uses the parameters you set to search the internet, gathers the information you want, and presents it to you periodically.
As for maintaining patch management software, you can choose to automate or outsource it, depending on the infrastructure of your company. In an automated patch management system, network administrators can control patch distribution from a web-based interface, configure the settings for patch distribution, and generate log reports to check the status of the patches. When you outsource it to a qualified company, they will perform the same services from a remote location.
What are the benefits of having a patch management plan in place?
#1 Network security
Security is the main purpose of installing patches in a network. It reduces potential breaches in your workplace system by fixing the weak points that hackers and cybercriminals can exploit.
#2 Consistent reports on your systems status
A good patch management application allows you to track the updates on your cybersecurity posture and systems. Reporting is an important feature of patch management because it gives the overall view of the patch status, current deployment progress, and issues that need addressing. You can even select the types of reports you need and select the tool that matches your requirements.
Keeping compliant with internal and external policies is simplified through patch management. It quickly addresses gaps, eliminates threats, denies unnecessary connections, and keeps your security and compliance policies up to date and enforced. An example is the compliance with Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI), an interconnection between a microprocessor and attached devices designed to speed up operations.
The world of technology moves at a fast pace so keeping up with the latest advancements can be difficult. Software patches have functionality and support features that allow your network to download the latest updates without much user intervention.
#5 Comprehensive scanning and correction of vulnerabilities
Patch management tools have comprehensive scanning capabilities that can sweep your network and identify missing patches. These tools can also determine if patches are properly updated or superceded, so you can avoid old data from messing up your systems.
Patch management issues
Infrastructure and security systems usually come with a number of vulnerabilities when they are initially released in the market. These vulnerabilities, if not remedied immediately, can damage the coherence and security of your data.
But with a solid patch management system, you can constantly monitor your network, pinpoint vulnerabilities, and deploy patches immediately to prevent further damage.
Do you think your small- or medium-sized company needs network patch management? Here at Netcom Solutions, we’ll keep your systems up to date by using the latest patches and upgrades. Call us now to learn how we can help you protect your network better.