Technology is a crucial part of business, but corporate IT systems rely on so many different pieces of software that keeping everything fully up-to-date can become an impossible task.
This year, two major global malware outbreaks WannaCry & Petya targeted out-of-date IT systems by utilising exploits created by the National Security Agency (NSA). Organisations that had implemented rigorous, fully automated patch management systems were protected against both outbreaks. However in most cases, this basic process wasn’t in place – resulting in massive global disruption for many businesses.
Unpatched systems are one of the easiest attack vectors for criminals looking to gain access to corporate networks. Hackers and security researchers are constantly discovering new vulnerabilities, and companies are constantly issuing patches to deal with them. If those patches are not applied, cyber criminals have an easy job.
Richard Kennedy, Director of IT Infrastructure and Cloud at Xperience Group, comments, “Staff are becoming increasingly mobile, using multiple devices and consuming more data than ever before. All the while, cyber criminals are getting smarter, which means it’s of exceptional importance that regular operating system and third party application updates are applied to prevent known vulnerabilities from being exploited. That’s where Patch Management comes in.”
For SMB’s, manually checking for and applying software patches would be a Sisyphean task. Rather than forcing IT staff to manually update critical systems, patch management automatically handles the update process for every node on the corporate network.
Patch management tools should be a crucial part of any IT manager’s arsenal to ensure that all equipment keeps working as it should. Technology is notoriously fickle beast and even minor software bugs can lead to major headaches, so the importance of implementing a regular patching schedule can’t be underestimated.
Did You Know? Research from Info Security highlighted the patch that could have prevented the WannaCry attack was released 59 days before the outbreak occurred. Patching should be your businesses’ first line of defence, it’s not uncommon for organisations to take 100 or more days to patch an update. With a fully automated patch management solution, these updates take place daily, removing the threat to your business and taking the ownership away from the IT department.
Patch Management solutions fully automate the patch management life-cycle for desktops, laptops and servers. It does so by identifying, testing and deploying operating system and 300+ third party application service packs, security fixes and patches on a daily basis.