Why You Need to Evaluate Your Patch Management Right Now
Patching is at the heart of every business’ security processes, Technopeadia defines patching as ‘a strategy for managing patches or upgrades for software applications and technologies’. Having a patch management system in place means that your business technology will always be up to date, and most importantly more secure. Shockingly, only 31% of companies running Windows are on the latest version of the operating system, or even worse, an unsupported OS.
Reasons why patching can be difficult:
- Organisation: Patching is something that needs a high level of organisation, if you patch on an ad-hoc basis you may leave your business susceptible to newly discovered attacks, as many businesses discovered with Meltdown and Spectre, as well as the KRACK WiFi attack. This level of organisation and monitoring is even more difficult for SMEs, who often don’t have a dedicated IT team or outsourced solution whose job it is to keep on top of these updates.
- Time consuming: Patch management is very time consuming, and very difficult to maintain. Moreover, patches will need you to restart servers and systems, which can be hard to carry out during a 9-5 day when everyone is working. For this reason, it is helpful to use an outsourced company that can carry out this patching when in house staff have gone home and the office is empty, so that it causes minimal disruption.
- Needs of end users: This is similar to the last point but just to reiterate how severely patching can affect an end user if you only have IT teams that only work during office hours. IT is often something that is invisible while it is working, and for this reason it will not be seen as a priority to an end user. However, patching is incredibly important and is a line of defence that stands between the company and a cyber criminal, or a huge system error that sends the entire office to despair. For this reason, it is important to keep the end user happy but also to prioritise patching for their long-term interests and you can do this by using an outsourced team that can either visit on-site or carry out the patching remotely as outsourced companies will be working different, and often longer hours that your office hours.
Actions to take:
- Patch Tuesday: This is a date often on the second or fourth Tuesday of every month in which Microsoft releases the most up to date patches for its products. This is a good reminder to regularly check that your systems are all up to date, the week following this can be a good week to run through all your systems and schedule any updates needed, as well as planning when you will carry out updates on servers that cannot be rebooted during office hours.
- Craft your own strategy: Think about the best option for your business, if you cannot commit to keeping up with the ever-growing number of updates it may be a good idea to consider outsourcing. Part of Xenace’s outsourced IT package includes patching management: Security updates and firmware are patched through whenever it is required to ensure your business is protected well, keeping the data of your clients safe and secure.
If you are interested in finding out what our Managed IT Solution can offer you to help you keep on top of your patching, as well as giving more of a priority to your IT services in general, please get in touch! As we have said, IT is an integral part to any business and it should not be something that is sidelined and only looked at when something goes wrong.