Manage Patching Before Patching Manages You - A Reality Whose Time Has Come
Systems management contains a concept known as patch management, which involves acquiring, testing, and installing multiple patches (code changes) to an administered computer system. Patching is an unavoidable fact of life for organizations that want to stay secure, and it is a never-ending task. It has become as synonymous as death and taxes. Patching everything is impossible, so it’s important to identify everything on a given network, as this allows an organization to prioritize and make informed decisions on what gets patched and when.
According to a March 1, 2016 report by Gartner, patch management mitigates risk by eliminating domain-specific activities and applying standard processes across all enterprise systems. IT operations leaders can use best practices to balance the needs of security and business stakeholders, as well as their own.
By adopting a solution that integrates automated patch management with continuous monitoring, an organization can improve its effort to mitigate the risk of vulnerabilities being exploited by hackers. The recent "WannaCry" Global Ransomware attack could have been prevented if the latest Windows updates had been applied to unsupported Windows operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003.
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Michael L. Woodson is Taino Consulting Group's expert on cybersecurity and security risk management. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.