Vulnerability and Patch Management
What is vulnerability Management?
Vulnerability management is the process of identifying, evaluating, testing, and reporting on security vulnerabilities in systems and the software that runs on them. This, implemented alongside with other security tactics, is vital for organisations to prioritise possible threats and minimising their attack surface.
Security vulnerabilities refer to technological weaknesses that allow attackers to compromise a product and the information it holds. This process needs to be performed continuously in order to keep up with new systems being added to networks, changes that are made to systems, and the discovery of new vulnerabilities over time.
What is Patch Management?
Patch management is the process that helps acquire, test and install multiple patches (code changes) on existing applications and software tools on a computer, enabling systems to stay updated on existing patches and determining which patches are the appropriate ones. Managing patches thus becomes easy and simple.
Patch Management is mostly done by software companies as part of their internal efforts to fix problems with the different versions of software programs and also to help analyse existing software programs and detect any potential lack of security features or other upgrades.
Software patches help fix those problems that exist and are noticed only after the software’s initial release. Patches mostly concern security while there are some patches that concern the specific functionality of programs as well.
What is Automated Patch Management?
Patch management process features to detect missing patches, install the patches or hotfixes that are released from time to time by IT vendors, and provide instant updates on the latest patch deployment status.
Budget pressures continue to be high on IT organisations, and so automating day to day routine tasks is critical. Patch management software can be automated to enable all the computers to remain up to date with the recent patch releases from the application software vendors.
It is critical to take necessary steps to enhance the security posture of enterprises – large and small. Therefore, consistent patching of operating systems and applications with an automated patch management solution is important to mitigate and prevent security risks.
How does an Automated Patch Management Solution Work?
- The automated patch management is used to automate the various stages of patching process
- Scan the applications of devices for missing patches
- Automate the downloading of missing patches that are released by the application vendors.
- Automated Patch Deployment ensures to automatically deploy patches based on the deployment policies, without any manual interference.
- Once the patches are deployed, reports on the status of the automated patch management tasks are updated.
With automated Patch Management solution, each enterprise is equipped to update its endpoints with latest patches irrespective of what OS they run and where they are located.
What is the Purpose of Patching?
Patching is a process to repair a vulnerability or a flaw that is identified after the release of an application or a software. Newly released patches can fix a bug or a security flaw, can help to enhance applications with new features, fix security vulnerability.
Unpatched software can make the device a vulnerable target of exploits. Patching a software as and when the patch is released is critical to deny malware access.
Patch Management Best Practices:
Some of the best practices of patch management that will allow the organisations to enhance cybersecurity are
- Understanding the importance of patch management –
Knowing why patch management is an important aspect of cybersecurity solution is critical. Quick response to latest patch updates would deny and protect vulnerable systems from zero-day threats.
- Outcome of delayed patch application –
Delayed patch application creates a severe impact causing major security breaches. The latest Wannacry attack revealed the vulnerability of not updating the software with patch fixes. The victims of Wannacry were those who delayed in updating the patch released by Windows to fix the SMB v1 protocol vulnerability – this resulted in loss of data, and business.
- Availing the services of managed service providers
Managed service providers offer patch management software to fit the requirements of the business – big or small. MSPs take full control of the patch management process – while the businesses can focus on the management and revenue-generating aspects.
- Deploying patch testing
Some patches are incompatible with certain operating systems or applications and leads to system crashes. It is good for IT admins, to run a patch test before the patches are deployed on to the endpoint systems.
GA Systems Services
Our service provides Vulnerability and Patch management as a service handling the configuration, scanning, detection, and remediation of vulnerabilities for your organisation.
We provide vulnerability scanning and patching based on major operating systems and third-party apps, using your selected vendor including Rapid7, Qualys, Tenable and others, or we can provide an appropriate vendor. Integrated patch management if provided using customer selected products or again we can provide a suitable vendor.
- 24/7 real-time continuous vulnerability scanning.
- Vulnerability scanning and detection.
- Detected vulnerability validations and prioritisations.
- Integrated patch management to remediate discovered vulnerabilities.
- Deploy patches to all major OS and third party apps including MS Patch Tuesday.
- Comply with industry benchmarks and compliance.
- Effortless rollback for error prone software.
- Standard and customised reporting.
- Using customer existing tools if available.