When you implement a new device, operating system, or security feature, you might assume that this update will promote strong cybersecurity. This may be true at the outset; however, bugs are bound to appear over time. When they do, your approach will determine whether your system becomes plagued by security problems or continues to function as usual. Patch management could make all the difference.
Unfortunately, the concept and execution of patch management are poorly understood. As such, many business owners haphazardly apply patches when they get the chance. This approach provides little in the way of targeted security and could leave enterprises vulnerable to attack. To address this problem, we’re explaining the need for patch management below:
What Is Patch Management?
Before you can understand the concept of patch management, it helps to grasp the basics of patches. An often forgotten or neglected aspect of digital security, these consist of software updates that take place periodically.
Patches are meant to address concerning errors (otherwise known as vulnerabilities), which may not have been discovered until after the software’s original release. As a stop-gap measure, each patch aims to keep problems at bay until new software releases become available.
Over time, your system may acquire a variety of patches meant to mitigate problems. Unfortunately, devices and networks often lack critical patches – and users may not realize that vulnerabilities exist until it’s too late. With so many patches to handle, it’s simply too difficult for busy administrators or everyday users to keep track of every potential bug and its associated patch. Therein lies the value of patch management, in which systems are thoroughly scanned for missing patches.
Patch management handles updates across a vast array of network components. From routers to firewalls and even antivirus software, various elements can become less effective if not properly maintained. Patch management solutions can be called upon to analyze, install, and test patches, improving overall security. These options may also be effective for remote devices that might not be physically accessible for updates at any given time.
Why Is Patch Management Important?
While cyberattacks seem to come out of nowhere, they can be avoided with the proper precautions. Unfortunately, security oversight is often lacking, to the point that hackers can easily take advantage of common vulnerabilities. With an effective patch management system, these issues can be detected long before they lead to breaches.
Patch management is also beneficial because it saves small business owners and their employees a considerable amount of time. Without the right software or a trusted resource to implement it, entrepreneurs who lack access to dedicated IT departments may waste their time scoping out vulnerabilities they are ill-equipped to address.
When the patching process occurs manually, it forces business owners and workers to shift their attention away from other needs. Despite dedicating so much time to patching devices and network components, they ultimately experience diminishing returns and may remain as vulnerable to breaches as ever.
The automated nature of patch management means that devices can be adequately protected without sacrificing valuable time. With the right patch management system, the return on investment can be considerable.
Getting Started with Patch Management
If you’re like many small business owners, you’ve largely neglected patch management. Now, it’s time to examine your network and determine where the greatest risks lie. You may be surprised by the extent to which vulnerabilities currently lurk. Thankfully, it’s not too late to address these issues. A variety of patch management solutions are available to keep your security protocol in check.
With patch management software, you can automate an otherwise complicated process to deliver long-term security. Under this approach, a single system can handle patches across an array of devices, even scheduling patching based on departments and other factors.
Dedicated patch management can be a great option, but it helps to survey a variety of solutions to determine which approach best fits your unique situation. An expert at a small business IT company can provide guidance as you select a trusted system that keeps your devices and network properly updated – all while remaining within your preferred budget.
How NerdsToGo Can Help With Patch Management
At NerdsToGo, we’re well aware of how difficult it can be to stay on top of patches and other security measures. We also know that a failure to maintain sufficient patching could prove devastating if vulnerabilities give way to security breaches.
To mitigate these risks, we are happy to help you select and implement patch management software. This is just one of several business IT services we provide to ensure the most comprehensive security possible for your devices and network.
As you examine your options for developing a more secure system, don’t hesitate to chat with our certified Nerds. We can steer you in the right direction, so you feel confident and fully protected. Contact us today to learn more!