What Is Patch Management and Why Is It So Important to Your Cyber Safety

October 11, 2023

Vulnerabilities are inherent in the cyber world, posing significant risks to organizations. These vulnerabilities, often arising as software bugs, can serve as entry points for cybercriminals, granting them unauthorized access to your systems. To effectively address these vulnerabilities, timely and efficient patch management is key.

Understanding Patches
Patches are operating systems and software updates that are typically placed into three categories: security, bug fixes, and feature updates. Neglecting to patch vulnerabilities exposes your organization.

Testing & System Backup
Before deploying patches, testing is crucial to prevent the unintended introduction of other security vulnerabilities. Additionally, it’s advisable to create a full system backup in case unforeseen issues arise during the patch deployment process.

Prioritizing Patch Management
In cases where organizations rely on multiple software or firmware programs, prioritizing patch management is essential, considering potential system downtime during implementation. Sometimes, immediate implementation of security patches isn’t possible. In such cases, protecting the unpatched software from internet exposure or restricting user access is recommended.

Establishing a Patch Deployment Schedule
Designating a weekly “Patch Day” for planned system downtime is strongly suggested. This promotes user readiness and enables organizations to establish a personnel schedule for managing updates. Delaying the deployment of major security patches due to employee overtime expenses or potential unplanned system outages is not recommended. Time is of the essence when it comes to implementing security patches.

Staying Informed
Staying informed by regularly monitoring industry news and actively participating in online forums to stay up-to-date on the latest threats and vulnerabilities will serve you well.

Conner Strong and Buckelew’s Cyber Portal has additional resources on patch management. Contact your account representative to learn more about our cyber services or to help setup your cyber portal account.


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