As IT environments become increasingly sophisticated and subsequently complex, ensuring secure and protected systems has become more complicated. IT environments today include a multitude of workloads and networks. As these environments grow, complexity and risk increase with reduced visibility and control, making manual security and compliance monitoring increasingly tricky, after all, you cannot control or secure what you cannot see.
“Patch management is the process of installing and managing the latest patches – code changes which improve the system or fix security vulnerabilities – on various systems within a network” – Comodo
Unsurprisingly, inconsistent patching and configurations are hard to manage in the complex modern IT environment, with Windows and Linux operating systems, virtualised infrastructure, public and private cloud infrastructures, and containers. Many would agree that the only way to stay on top of patching is through automation.
Automated patching can help ensure you can quickly address and get ahead of potential software, operating system, and application vulnerabilities. Automated patching can help reduce the risk of unpatched software, systems, and applications leaving your network vulnerable to malware and cyber threats.
Through automated patching, you can automatically scan networks to determine which devices need patching. This is done without you even realising, and most importantly, before there is an opportunity for a threat to infiltrate your systems. The benefits of automating patching go without saying; however, we are going to discuss the primary advantages to your business:
1. Improve IT Productivity
When vulnerabilities are identified, it takes time to resolve issues and automate fixes, and issues that linger are the ones that get organisations in trouble. Addressing a threat quickly is the only way to protect your organisation, and with a team member doing so manually, you are putting yourself at risk. TechTalk stated that “For companies that have more than 20-25 computers in their network, the headaches and time required to perform manual patching are so high that, if the company does not have a solution to automate patch management, they probably do not do it all or it is limited to critical servers only”. Through automation, you can free up time and resources, feeling confident that issues will be resolved quickly and effectively.
When fixes are eventually manually applied, organisations often struggle with the documentation needed for what was remediated, when, by whom, and the issues that were resolved. Service providers must also adhere to industry security standards, such as PCI-DSS, which requires scanning, maintenance, and remediation processes to be in place and documented for compliance. With automated patching, all of the required documentation is automatically generated for you, alerting the necessary people. Advent One has developed dashboards, accessible to our clients 24/7, through our customer portal for real-time reporting.
With the rise of cyberattacks, particularly with more people working from home, organisations are often required by industry bodies to maintain a certain level of compliance. These industry bodies impose security best practices on companies to ensure security guidelines are being met. Patch management technology is a necessary piece of adhering to compliance standards.
Arguably one of the most prominent and vital reasons why organisations use a patch management tool. If your systems are infiltrated by a potential threat, ensuring your response is quick and effective is crucial. The risks of taking too long to respond to a threat include data theft, data loss, repetitional damage and in some cases, legal penalties. By automating new patches, you can respond to the threat quickly before you are even alerted that it has happened. While patching is not the best long-term solution to security issues, they can quickly fill the gaps while organisations determine the better solution. Regardless, when the need to react to threats as soon as possible is so high, patching is the only solution, reducing the amount of time an organisation is exposed.
Automated patching keeps your desktops, laptops, servers and work-from-home staff up-to-date with security patches and the latest in software updates. We partner with Red Hat and leverage their Satellite technology to protect ourselves and our customers from security threats. We have implemented this technology for many customers across various industries including telecommunications, finance, media and retail, and lean on our expertise in automation to ensure the entire end-to-end patching process is automated.
If your organisation is interested in learning more about automating patching management or beginning your security journey, please Advent One. A member of our team will phone you for a free, no-strings conversation to learn more about your environment and tailor a solution for you.