Sunday, September 24, 2023

Best Patch Management Strategies

By Nikhil Sonawane - June 13, 2023 5 Mins Read

Best Patch Management Strategies

Patch management plays a crucial role in an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Hence businesses must have the best patch management strategy to develop a smooth process without compromising security.        

The Role of Patch Management

The process of designing, developing, and deploying updates to software, applications, and hardware is called patch management. Businesses must have the best patch management strategies to correct software code errors, vulnerabilities, or bugs. In this article, let’s explore the best practices to manage the patches throughout the organization. Operating Systems (OS), applications, network equipment vendors, and patch management tools will enable organizations to remediate vulnerabilities.

A few common aspects that require patches are operating systems, applications, and other embedded systems on the business network. If the IT or security teams identify a vulnerability after the application or software deployment, they can utilize a patch to fix it. Patch management is one of the most effective ways to ensure that assets in the business network are not exploited for malicious intent.

Security, system uptime, compliance, and feature improvements are the core reasons businesses need patch managers.

Patch management helps enterprises fix vulnerabilities in the software and applications prone to cyberattacks and minimize their security risk. Regularly updating patches ensures that all the software and applications on the IT infrastructure are updated and running smoothly. As the cybercrime industry is growing tremendously, businesses have to comply with various cybersecurity compliance requirements.

Efficient patch management is the key to improving adherence to enforced compliance standards. Managing patches on the IT infrastructure will go beyond fixing bugs to ensure all the users are using the updated functionality or features. Here are a few best practices to ensure an efficient patch management strategy to improve business resilience:

Develop Patch Management Guidelines

Creating patch management policies enables the decision-makers to set workflows, processes, and timeframes for efficient patching. Decision-makers must understand what, when, and how they will implement patches.

Enterprises can consider deploying patches during weekends or when the team is not working to rescue the business disruption. Organizations other than focusing on regularly updating patches should be ready for emergencies. Moreover, sending notifications to users about the deployment times is crucial to deal with system failures efficiently.

Also Read: Top AI CEOs, Industry Veterans Raise ‘Risk of Extinction’ from Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Centralize all Assets and Create an Inventory

Organizations must create an entire inventory of all the software, applications, and hardware integrated into the IT infrastructure to streamline the patch management process. Enterprises should list all the software, tools, operating systems, devices, and technologies integrated across all the departments.

While making an inventory, businesses can determine the legacy assets which need to change with newer technologies. Furthermore, business leaders should understand that not all applications or software update by themselves, and using third-party applications on the tech stack can magnify the risks.

SecOps teams need to update the security application list, such as antivirus and firewalls, with their versions and configurations regularly. Businesses can consider centralizing an enterprise-wide user strategy. Integrating multiple tools that intend to do the same thing will require teams to deploy more patches. Organizations must revamp their needs and limit the utilization of company-approved tools to avoid application sprawl.

Assign Risk Level

Depending on the inventory results, there will be various patches that might be overdue. Organizations that want to ensure effective deployment should categorize the assets, so the IT team can assign risk levels to every category to understand which patches need deployment on priority.

This approach allows teams to prioritize the orders of the patch deployment. Implementing patches to low-priority issues will waste time and threaten the system’s security. Regularly updating security and operating system software, internet browsers, and apps will help to reduce the possibilities of phishing attacks.

Track Vendor Patch Announcements

Modern enterprises must monitor and keep pace with vendor patch announcements. For instance, on “Patch Tuesday” (the second Tuesday of every month), Microsoft deploys large patches for their systems. Other vendors like Adobe and Oracle have started utilizing Patch Tuesday to deploy updates.

All software vendors notify all the administrators through email once they release patches. The best patch management tools maintain a separate database to look for available patches quickly. Organizations that do not have in-house resources can partner with managed service providers to stay on top of vendor patches.

Also Read: KIO Plans to Double Their Data Center Capacity by 2025

Embrace Automation to Manage Patches

Integrating automation to manage patches is one of the most efficient ways to match the pace with the current software patches. Patch management tools with inbuilt automation are one of the simplest ways to ensure the patches are implemented in real-time once they are made available.

Test Patches Before Deployment

Even though patches help businesses stay updated with the latest functionalities and reduce bugs, deploying bad patches will disrupt the system and expose the business network to new sophisticated security vulnerabilities.

Hence, DevSecOps leaders should test the patches before deploying them to ensure they operate as intended. Developing simulations that replicate real-world production environments will help organizations to test patches safely in a live setting. Organizations can deploy the entire patch batch once the small patch tests are successful.

IT decision-makers should design and embrace the best patch management strategies to ensure their applications are always running without being exposed to various security threats.

Check Out The New Enterprisetalk Podcast. For more such updates follow us on Google News Enterprisetalk News.


Nikhil Sonawane

Nikhil Sonawane is a Tech Journalist with OnDot Media. He has 4+ years of technical expertise in drafting content strategies for Blockchain, Supply Chain Management, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT. His Commitment to ongoing learning and improvement helps him to deliver thought-provoking insights and analysis on complex technologies and tools that are revolutionizing modern enterprises. He brings his eye for editorial detail and keen sense of language skills to every article he writes. If he is not working, he will be found on treks, walking in forests, or swimming in the ocean.

Subscribe To Newsletter

*By clicking on the Submit button, you are agreeing with the Privacy Policy with Enterprise Talks.*