Did you know that many computer networks are vulnerable because one simple thing is being overlooked? You may believe that if your anti-virus software and firewall are up to date and your passwords are secure that your computer is safe. However, the biggest threat has nothing to do with any of that – it is down to a lax attitude towards patch management! It is believed that as many as 85% of successful attacks on computer networks can be attributed to poor or non-existent patch management.
If this sounds like you, then let’s look at what you could be doing to solve your current patch management crisis!
Why is Poor Patch Management So Bad?
First, we need to understand why failure to keep up to date with patch management is so dangerous. When it comes to your standard viruses, they are a nuisance, but most of the time they can be resolved relatively easily. However, when a computer is unpatched it becomes so much more vulnerable and the sort of malicious attacks that are targeted at them are far worse than any virus. These kinds of attacks can result in real damage and serious security breaches. In a business setting this can lead to not only downtime while the damage is repaired, but also a loss of reputation and bad publicity. Your customers do not want their personal information to be stolen by cyber criminals, so if they feel you are not taking their privacy seriously then they are likely to take their business elsewhere.
Patches and other updates are designed to close loopholes and vulnerabilities in your system so that criminals are unable to exploit them in order to gain access to your network and all of the data stored there.
Why is Bad Patch Management so Common?
Since patch management is so important, you might wonder why so many people are overlooking it. The simple reason is that for most people it is just too time consuming. The more computers there are connected to a network the more complicated the whole process becomes. Manually downloading and deploying these patches on a weekly or even a monthly basis can end up being a full time job. For small businesses who do not have an IT department let alone a spare person to work only on patch management it is just too much to keep on top of. That is why only around 36% of small to medium businesses have their patch management up to date.
How to Solve the Problem
The easiest way to address patch management issues is to put a patch management policy into place that ensures updates are carried out in a timely fashion. An automated patch manager program is the ideal solution. You can easily schedule patches to be downloaded and deployed across multiple computers simultaneously and you could even choose to do so outside of normal business hours so as not to disrupt day to day operations. This also cuts down on the amount of time and money that patch management tasks. With an automated system a single person can update the entire network in just a couple of yours. If doing this manually you would likely need a dedicated member of your IT staff working on it full time.