There is one common thread that is always cited when cybersecurity and protecting your business network against cyber-threats is the topic (which it often is these days). That thread is the importance of keeping your software and operating systems up-to-date, and how you accomplish that is with a good patch management strategy.
While keeping your systems current with patches isn’t a foolproof method (since hackers have other means of entry), it is a critical one that closes the door to known vulnerabilities.
While there is that long-held belief that pushing these updates will only disrupt systems for end-users or "break" the network, those risks - which are minimal - simply don't outweigh the risks of ignoring security patches that are fixing known holes in your system.
Doing nothing is a risky strategy because by not deploying the patches, you are leaving the door wide open to hackers who are fully aware of the security hole and are happy to exploit it for their own benefit.
Take the WannaCry ransomware outbreak that we recently experienced. Over 200,000 PC’s in nearly 200 countries were affected solely because they were running an unpatched version of the Microsoft operating system.
That is far from the only example of hackers gaining access as a result of outdated software and applications or the use of legacy systems, and it certainly won’t be the last. Unprotected Wi-Fi networks and outdated firmware are also favorites of cybercriminals.
Outdated Systems Are Leaving Your Network Vulnerable to Attack
The real takeaway is that outdated systems and applications are a serious security risk, and that risk needs to be properly managed in order to protect your business network.
Absent this component, the best security tools money can buy still won't protect you. Because anti-virus software and your Wi-Fi routers and your firewall still need to be kept up-to-date with security patches and someone has to manage that so it doesn't get missed.
So the real point is that good network security requires ongoing management and attention. It’s not a “one and done” proposition anymore.
This holds true for every layer of modern network security, including keeping your systems and software applications up-to-date. Doing so requires a good patch management strategy – one that is properly managed. And that means having a process for testing and deploying patches, as well as reporting on them.
WATCH NOW: Why a Good Patch Management Strategy Matters
We’ve put together this brief 3-minute video on patch management, covering what it is, why it’s necessary and what your patch management strategy should look like. (Note to Corsica customers: patch management is one of the pillars of your Managed IT Service plan. You can download this overview document to better understand the patch management process we have in place for your systems.)
Corsica's managed IT service customers all benefit from our industry-leading network security tools and practices, including bare metal backups for all servers and desktops on the network, patch management, managed firewall security solutions, anti-spam and anti-virus that integrates with our monitoring software, and more. To learn more about Corsica's Network Security solutions, click here.
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