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Best Practices For Patch Management

Updated: Jan 15

Table of Contents

  • What is patch management?

  • Best practices for patch management

  • Key takeaways

  • Conclusion

Software patching is crucial for safeguarding your company and avoiding cyberattacks. If you or your company undervalues the significance of software patching, you could be leaving it vulnerable to attacks and suffering the consequences.

It's crucial to implement a sound patch management strategy. In order to keep your organization secure and safe, make sure to apply patches quickly and effectively.

Fortunately, iBovi Cybersecurity is here to assist you. We have covered all the essential information about patch management best practices in this article.

Patch Management Service

What Is Patch Management?

Systematically distributing software patches (updates) to computers is known as patch management. In order to ensure high patch compliance in the network, the patch management process includes scanning the computers for missing patches, deploying them manually or using patch management solutions, and generating reports.

Identifying, obtaining, testing, and installing patches—or changes to the code—meant to fix bugs, plug security gaps, or add features—represents the subset of systems management known as patch management.

Patch management entails keeping up with newly released patches, selecting the ones required for particular software and hardware, testing the patches, verifying their installation, and documenting the process.

Best Practices For Patch Management

Take a System Inventory

Starting by taking an inventory of your systems is a crucial best practice you should implement with patch management.

You should have a clear understanding of the hardware and software you're using, as well as the precise state of your environment. You should keep track of your systems' configuration and know which hardware, software, and versions of operating systems are currently in use.

After you have a firm grasp of the material you're dealing with, it will be much simpler for you to keep an eye out for vulnerabilities and find out about available patches.

Classify And Apply Risk Levels

Your inventory's findings suggest that several patches might be overdue. Organize your assets into categories first to ensure effective deployment. In order to determine which patches are the most important to deploy, assign risk levels to each category. This procedure aids in determining which systems require patch deployment right away and which ones can wait.

You can prioritize the order of your patch deployments by assigning risk levels. Applying patches to high-level issues first wastes time and jeopardizes the security of your system.

Have A Patch Management Policy In Place

Making sure you have a clear patch management policy that you'll steadfastly adhere to is another thing to do when handling patch management.

A patch management policy should specify what needs to be patched when it should be done, and under what circumstances. You should include a note in your patch management policy if some systems need to be patched more frequently than others.

You might also want to think about how involved each system's patch rollout process will be. For instance, you should decide whether non-critical updates need to be installed.

In order to minimize downtime and make sure that systems can be used as needed, you should also think about when the patches will be installed.

Test Patches Before Applying Them

You must also exercise caution if you want to manage patches effectively. Prior to installing any necessary patches on all of your systems, make sure you test them thoroughly.

Each environment is unique, so a patch might interfere with particular configurations. Prior to implementing patches across your entire system base, you should test them out on a small subset of your systems.

When you have successfully patched a small portion of your organization's systems, you can then patch the remaining systems with greater assurance.

Put Patches In Soon

You can begin applying patches in accordance with your company's patch management policies once testing and backups are finished. Prioritize installing operating system patches because ignoring system flaws can disastrously affect your company's operations and sensitive data.

Subsequent patches will be applied in accordance with your established business priorities and protocols.

Key Takeaways

  • By following the above patch management best practices you can fix cyber-attack vulnerabilities in your software and applications, lowering the security risk for your company.

  • Patch management makes sure your programs are up to date and function properly, promoting system uptime.

  • Organizations are frequently required to maintain a certain level of compliance by regulatory bodies due to the continued increase in cyberattacks. Patch management is a crucial component of following compliance standards.

  • Patch management can include feature/functionality updates in addition to software bug fixes. Patches can be essential for ensuring that you have access to a product's most recent and greatest features.

Act Quickly To Mitigate The Biggest Risks By Patching Them Up.

Businesses are right to be proactive in their patch management activities in a world where a patch for a known vulnerability was available but not applied in a large number of data breaches. However, many businesses still find it difficult to track whether vulnerabilities are being patched in a timely manner or who are reluctant to shut down vital applications in order to patch them.

At iBovi we offer patch management solutions for all systems. Our solutions are available at competitive prices and you can even get a 30-day free trial of our services! Visit our pricing plans section and check them out now.

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