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Patch Management 101

August 21st, 2019 by admin

stethoscope on keyboard

One of the important services we provide clients here at ICX is patch management. But what does that even mean? A patch is a change to a computer program that is designed to update, fix, or improve it by securing vulnerable areas.

Patches aim to:

  • Fix security vulnerabilities
  • Implement bug fixes
  • Improve the performance of applications and programs
  • Improve the usability of applications or programs

Without patches, a network’s software and operating systems become vulnerable and are at risk of security breaches. To ensure patches are deployed consistently, we regularly monitor customer’s networks and apply patches as updates become available.

Why is patch management so important?

Consider this recent example. Do you recall the 2017 Equifax data breach? More than 143 million U.S. consumers were affected by the breach, and personally, identifiable information was stolen in troves.

This massive data breach included:

  • Credit card numbers
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social Security numbers
  • Date of birth
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses

As a result of the breach, Equifax paid roughly $1 billion in legal fees , criminal charges were filed, and the reputation of the organization has been irreparably tarnished. Now, while this was a large-scale attack and a much larger organization than many, the attack was a result of an unpatched web application that acted as a backdoor for hackers. Had Equifax been on top of their application patches and updates, this breach may have never occurred. It was reported that a patch for the hole was available for a full two months before the breach occurred, but due to cybersecurity mismanagement, Equifax failed to detect, identify, or update the software in time to stop the breach.

Here’s the bottom line. As soon as a security update is released, especially for widely-used computer programs, cybercriminals are ready to move in and take advantage of any vulnerabilities. That is why the most important reason to implement a patch management process is to protect them from the latest cyber threats that can terrorize critical business data.

Are you unsure if your data is protected by a smart patch management protocol? Find out now by contacting info@icxmsp.com to learn more about adding this critical service to your IT managed services solutions.

Posted in: Security, Solutions, Support

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