System Patching Reduces Vulnerabilities
Have you ever questioned the security of your company’s data? Keeping systems patched will help ensure the integrity of a company’s data. Patching protects systems by fixing known vulnerabilities in network, server and workstation systems. Every business should have a regular “Maintenance Window” for the updates to be installed. A maintenance window is a designated day and time where company productivity is the lowest. This reduces production downtime and still accomplishes the task. It is customary to notify employees, as a reminder, to keep their computers on during system patching. The updates are typically pushed from a centralized system to all nodes on a network. There are many questions that come with patching but the two most common are:
- What happens if patching fails?
- What can patching prevent?
What happens if patching fails?
If patching does not install, contact the IT department or Managed IT provider to notify them of the failure. System Administrators will troubleshoot the issue to determine the root cause and will push the patch again once resolved.
Compatibility is a major factor in system patching. Some applications have issues with newer system patches and may not be compatible, so System Administrators do a significant amount of work testing and validating patch compatibility prior to a patch being released into production. Easier said than done. Finding the right application/patch can be a grinding process but finding the right mix is crucial to successfully patching a system. Many organizations do not patch systems or only partially patch systems due to the massive effort.
What can patching prevent?
Patching can prevent vulnerable openings for potential hackers to enter a network. They can exploit the known vulnerabilities that allow them access to business data. Crazy to think the smallest cracks can create the biggest potential problems for a business. That is why patching is so important. Patching is a baseline security measure and industry standard practice.
Patching helps avoid viruses, malware, spyware and ransomware……otherwise know as business interruption. Ransomware is no one’s favorite word, right? Hackers will install code, a program or files, on a system. They will time the activation of the data encryption program roughly 203 days after install. They do this to get past a typical data backup retention. At the point of activation, the hackers own your data. They will likely demand payment to release the data. If not paid, the data is sold on the Dark Web. Makes you think about how your business is patched, doesn’t it? Having company data exploited or held for ransom is never on the top of any business’s priority list.
Patching will keep networks & systems running smooth, secure and keeps those hackers out of your data. Constant vulnerability monitoring & management will help identify systems that require patching and assists with avoidable risks.
For more information on how Patching helps business security, check out these posts: