Patch management is the process of tracking security bug(s) and applying updates (code changes) on them in existing applications, software, or programs on a computer and other technologies to improve the functionality and security of already released programs installed in systems.
The objective of an organization when implementing cybersecurity controls is to eliminate risk, but this oftentimes involves settling for managing risk at an acceptable level. Each organization defines what that acceptable level is depending on several factors including the environment, the criticality of function, the asset type, etc. There are many methods and techniques that an organization can then use to manage this risk. One of the most commonly used methods is patching.
Security researchers at Google have claimed that a quarter of all zero-day software exploits could have been avoided if more effort had been made by vendors when creating patches for vulnerabilities in their software.
Over the last few years, the idea of patching systems to correct flaws has graduated from an annoying business disruption to a top priority. With all of the notorious vulnerabilities that can wreak total havoc, the time it takes to patch becomes a minor inconvenience when weighed against both the technical challenges and possible regulatory penalties of not patching.
Many software developers tend to see patch management as another tedious security task that gets in the way of the development process. However, considering Forresters’s recent State of Application Security Report for 2020 predicted that application vulnerabilities will continue to be the most common external attack method, patch management is a critical part of the vulnerability management process that organizations can’t afford to neglect.
Patch management is the process of analyzing the systems within your network for missing updates. This process shines a spotlight on the vulnerable systems within your network, allowing you to apply the necessary patches to those systems. This ensures that any vulnerabilities or bugs present in the software gets fixed.
Microsoft has partnered up with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to create a guide designed to make enterprise patch management simpler. Microsoft originally worked with partners from the Center for Internet Security (CIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), as well as customers.
New research from Forescout found that healthcare organizations are increasingly at risk from legacy platforms, device complexity, and the use of frequently exploited protocols. Forescout analyzed 75 healthcare deployments running over 1.5 million devices across 10,000 VLANs (virtual local area networks).
Vulnerability management and patch management are not products. They are processes, and the products are tools used to enable the process. You cannot buy a hammer, nails and wood and expect them to just become a house, but you can go through the process of building the house or hire someone to do it for you as a service.