In a perfect world, IT departments and software development teams could launch company software or information systems with little to no errors. Unfortunately, the current world is everything but perfect, and flaws are bound to occur on IT assets. The bad thing about this is that these vulnerabilities are often the reason why most firms have a high risk of experiencing data breaches.
In fact, 90% of data breaches arise from vulnerabilities that were well known by the affected companies. As a result, it makes sense to patch vulnerabilities in your IT assets as soon as you notice them avoid such unwanted results. Doing this can also assist in eliminating any functionality loopholes in your application.
Here is some more information about patch management and how it can help your company:
The Best Analogy for Patch Management
The best home security systems will help you identify a thief whenever they approach your premises. However, they will not prevent them from getting into your property if you have left your gate or door wide open. Vulnerabilities are the door that you have left wide open.
Regardless of how sophisticated your home CCTV is, adding extra layers of it will not help prevent theft. Unfortunately, that is the same thing with the modern security threat landscape. IT professionals are always looking to invest in the latest and most sophisticated threat prevention technologies whereas simply closing the door (patching vulnerabilities) could suffice in preventing a data breach.
How Patch Management Works
The detailed method of how companies approach to patch management will mainly depend on the type of IT infrastructure that an organization has. Companies with sophisticated IT infrastructure will mainly invest in an automated patch management solution to help reduce the level of human resources needed in the activity. On the other hand, other will outsource the patch management task to other more experienced IT companies.
An automated patch management platform allows IT professionals to control patch distribution through a web-based interface. With the information that they generate from log servers among other sources, it can be easy to determine the health of the entire IT infrastructure while determining the areas that need to be patched. It can also be set in the different levels of the organization to cater to applications and devices that are typically used in accessing information from IT assets.
What Happens When Patch Management Is Ignored?
The fact that it is borderline impossible to release applications and software that are perfect into the market makes patch management even more important. The number of vulnerabilities that can be discovered from the period of release can compromise the integrity of your IT infrastructure. In case you discover a vulnerability whose patch has not yet been discovered, it might be tough to prevent it from being exploited before you patch it if you do not have a patch management solution.
Simply put, patch management can be vital in preventing these zero-day attacks, which are attacks that happen between the period of the discovery of vulnerabilities and the production of a patch. Such an attack can easily take down your entire company if left unattended to.
Patch Management Should Be Supported By C-Suite Leaders
Yes, it is the role of IT departments to deal with patch management. Furthermore, they have the knowledge required to champion the achievement of this task. However, patch management can only be successful with the support of the executive leaders of the organization.
For instance, in case you choose to patch the vulnerabilities in-house, it is up to the executive leaders to ensure that there is enough manpower to achieve this. On the other hand, it is the role of these leaders to champion the investment of patch management solutions to prevent any issues down the line. As a result, try to have the executive leaders of your company on board to ensure the success of your cybersecurity goals.
Leaving vulnerabilities unattended to is careless and a recipe for the failure of your organization. As long as you have an effective infrastructure in place, it becomes easy to deal with these threats. Consider the tips above to prevent any damaging data breaches from affecting your organization.