Written by: Jay H.
You’re at work and you get a pop-up notification for an app update. Without much thought, you quickly click on ‘Remind me later,’ knowing that you’ll repeat this when the notice reoccurs. Sound familiar? Although it may not seem significant, patch management is one of the most critical IT tasks in an organization. In fact, neglecting to upgrade software can have serious business consequences.
What Is Patch Management?
Patch management is the process of applying new patches, or updates, to software. These updates mitigate security flaws and optimize applications with new features. Although this process may seem simple, many SMBs neglect to patch releases as they occur. Considering 12,174 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) were reported in 2019, it is unsurprising that businesses cannot stay on top of patch management. Software patching is time-consuming and difficult; however, it is a necessary task. To illustrate, according to polls conducted by Automox, 81% of companies had suffered a data breach in the past two years. Of the 81%, missing application patches and OS patches accounted for 60%! Therefore, we cannot stress the importance of patch management enough.
The Importance Of Patch Management
- 37% of organizations admitted that they don’t even scan for vulnerabilities.
- 46% of organizations took longer than ten days to apply patches.
- Almost 70% of businesses are still using Microsoft’s unsupported Windows 7.
- 60% of data breaches in the last two years could have been prevented with application and OS patches.
- 12,174 CVEs were reported in 2019.
Best Patch Management Practices
- Prioritize critical updates to patch exploitable vulnerabilities as soon as possible.
- Utilize automated patch management to apply updates automatically.
- Test patches in non-production machines to check for performance or compatibility issues. If a test environment is not possible, first apply the updates on a small number of devices.
- Ensure remote employees are applying patches on their work devices as well.
- Maintain a disaster recovery plan with details on reverting bad patches or what to do if reverting a patch is impossible.
Protect Your Business From Software Vulnerabilities
Patch management is virtually impossible for SMBs. Without the personnel, software, and expertise needed, patch management is an endless task for many organizations. That’s why many businesses trust a patch management partner like Design2Web to perform patch management and other IT services on their behalf. Contact us today and discover how our patch management solutions can protect your organization from becoming the next victim of a data breach.
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