Patch Deployment: A Key Aspect of Any Good Cybersecurity Strategy
On Patch Deployment and Patch Management Software. Learn about Their Benefits and the Risks You Face Without Them.
Patch deployment is related to patch or update management, designating a key aspect of any proper cybersecurity strategy. Read on to find out how it can benefit your business and why you should never whitewash it away.
Patch Deployment: Necessary Definitions
To make sure the concept of patch deployment is completely understood, let us clarify the notions it implies first:
- Patch – as mentioned in our Cybersecurity Glossary, a patch “is a small software update released by manufacturers to fix or improve a software program. A patch can fix security vulnerabilities or other bugs, or enhance the software in terms of features, usability, and performance.”
- Software – software represents “a collection of instructions and data that tell a computer how to work. Computer software includes computer programs, libraries, and related non-executable data, such as online documentation or digital media. Computer hardware and software require each other and neither can be realistically used on its own.”
- Software deployment – software deployment represents “the mechanism through which applications, modules, updates, and patches are delivered from developers to users”.
- Patch deployment – patch deployment refers to the process of deploying updates or patches. This process is also known as patch management.
Patch deployment is essential for the cybersecurity of any company. More than 50% of data breaches occur due to poor patch management, so closing vulnerabilities is crucial to any good cybersecurity strategy.
Patch Deployment: Benefits of a Patch Management Software
A patch management software can greatly enhance the cybersecurity of your endpoints and, therefore, the (cyber)security of your company. Here are a few remarkable benefits:
- Automation – this is a huge benefit because it will allow your IT team to focus on other important tasks.
- Customized scheduling – another benefit linked to automation is the possibility of scheduling the deployment of updates. This will save time and ensure that the updates are installed precisely when the IT team considers them necessary.
- Efficient deployment – an efficient patch management software will ensure that all your endpoints receive patches and updates in time, which will allow you to avoid up to 80% of online threats.
- Compliance – maintaining your software up to date is a question of compliance too because you must be able to prove that you can keep your database – and, consequently, your clients, partners and employees – safe.
Patch Deployment: What to Look for
Now that we’ve seen how a patch management software can help you, let us see what you need to look for when choosing a solution:
You need patch deployment on all operating systems – Windows, Linus, Mac. Therefore, you should consider choosing a patch management software that deploys patches cross-platform.
Multiple endpoint support
Especially in these work from home times, a patch management solution should allow you to deploy updates on BYOD like smartphones, tablets, endpoints.
Since we’ve said that this is the major benefit of patch management solutions, it’s clear that automation is a sine qua non-functionality.
When it comes to patch management software, status reports regarding the latest patch updates are welcome too.
Our Heimdal™ Patch & Asset Management, for example, can be used on its own or can be found in our top EPDR software, and will provide you with a detailed software asset inventory, inventory reports, and deployment of Windows, 3rd party and custom software to your endpoints anywhere in the world, according to your time preferences. Everything can easily be controlled from the intuitive dashboard of the solution.
Heimdal™ Patch & Asset Management
Patch Deployment: Risks of Poor – or Absent – Patch Management
If your company does not handle patch management properly, some of the biggest and most dangerous online threats might be just around the corner:
a short version for “malicious software” and it works as an umbrella term that refers to software that is defined by malicious intent. This type of ill-intentioned software can disrupt normal computer operations, harvest confidential information, obtain unauthorized access to computer systems, display unwanted advertising, and more.
a type of malware (malicious software) that encrypts all the data on a PC or mobile device, blocking the data owner’s access to it. After the infection happens, the victim receives a message that tells him/her that a certain amount of money must be paid (usually in Bitcoins) in order to get the decryption key. Usually, there is also a time limit for the ransom to be paid.
As DNSstuff says,
[…] at the most basic level, a data breach is defined as the unauthorized access of otherwise private digital information. What cybercriminals do with that data varies depending on their intent, but what’s key is the illicit nature of their access to personal information that doesn’t belong to them. Data security breaches can also include the exfiltration of information bad actors have access to but shouldn’t or data they have access to without explicit approval to disseminate.
You can find some more details about specific attacks that occurred because of poor patch management in one of my previous articles, What Is Update Management and Why Do You Need It.
Patch Deployment: Best Practices
When it comes to patch deployment, there are some key aspects and actions you can apply to ensure your company’s cybersecurity:
- First of all, you need to understand and bear in mind the importance of patch management.
- Second, you should create an inventory of your IT assets, which should include “what operating systems you’re using and which versions, and native and third-party applications. You should also be aware of what security systems you have in place, such as firewalls and anti-malware programs, including their configuration and latest version.”
- Apply patches as soon as possible. Patch deployment is a very time-sensitive issue, because operating system vulnerabilities can bring serious problems with critical consequences.
- As DNSstuff notes, “Regularly scan and audit your systems for any vulnerabilities missed the first time around. The longer these security holes stay open, the more likely it is you’ll be the subject of an attack.”
- Try to obtain regular reporting and reviews regarding the applied patches to make sure everything works as expected. They will also help you with compliance.
Patch Deployment: Wrapping Up
Patch deployment is, if done right, a simple and efficient method that any company can use to avoid the unpleasant consequences of a cyber attack and ensure compliance.
However you choose to proceed, please remember that Heimdal™ Security always has your back and that our team is here to help you protect your home and your company and to create a cybersecurity culture to the benefit of anyone who wants to learn more about it.
Drop a line below if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions related to the topic of patch deployment – we are all ears and can’t wait to hear your opinion!