Patch Management refers to the process of acquiring, testing, and implementing patches (software updates) on computing hardware across your network. Patch Management might include operating system (OS) patches and updates for Microsoft, Apple, or Linux, or third-party software applications such as Chrome, Firefox, Adobe Flash, or Java. Patch Management may also include patches and updates for more specialized software (such as your Teller or Payroll applications) or firmware updates for your network hardware (routers, switches, or printers).
At the core of the maintenance phase of the software development life cycle are the issuance of patches (software fixes) and updates (a collection of fixes and improvements) to resolve system faults, flaws (bugs), and security holes in an attempt to extend the functional life of a software product. Due to the time and effort required to assess, locate, and acquire these updates, this on-going effort is often delayed or over-looked by users and system administrators until some urgency or incident occurs that prompts a swift response.
The CERT Coordination Center maintains statistics on the number of vulnerabilities reported that can potentially be / have been exploited through malicious acts, virus infections, and self-replicating worms, among others. For the past three years, the vulnerabilities reported have continued to nearly double from the previous year.
Operating system and network vendors will regularly release and distribute information on product security issues and patches. Microsoft issues its security updates on the second Tuesday of every month, which is commonly referred to as patch Tuesday. Vendors will continually release patches depending on what glitches they find so it’s important for organizations to keep in close contact with these vendors to stay up to date on the latest updates. Skafos Consulting LLC takes the initiative to support companies with services including patch management and Remote monitoring and management (RMM) please contact us to learn more about our affordable services.