Managed IT Services in Austin: Understanding Patch Management

In this article, we will talk about the importance of patching software vulnerabilities on time through a three-step patch management process and why having a managed IT services provider in Austin could work in your company’s favor.

You don’t have to be an IT-focused firm to know about WannaCrypt or even Petya— two strains of ransomware that had devastating effects on both personal and company infrastructure. One of the ways through which hackers can gain access to your company infrastructure is through vulnerable software.

What is Patch Management?

Every software comes with a potential vulnerability, which is why IT vendors regularly release software updates. Software updates often contain patches (fixes) aimed at removing these vulnerabilities so that they can’t be exploited.

Because each updated version comes with a new set of vulnerabilities (malicious actors are constantly working too, you know), patch management needs to be a continuous process.

A patch management process is, therefore, a necessity. This process outlines how companies obtain software updates and how they apply these new updates (patches) to their software and systems.

All effective patch management processes share certain elements. If a company offers managed IT services in Austin to your firm, ensure that their patch management process contains the following:

  • An inventory system to keep track of all the software in your organization
  • A monitoring system that stays alert for new software updates
  • A documentation system that outlines what vulnerabilities the new patches fix
  • A testing system that tests all new updates before they can be implemented company-wide
  • A patch installation system that obtains and deploys updates securely
  • A system to verify that all the patches have been successfully installed

Creating a Sound Patch Management Process: The 3-Step Process

Any company defining their patch management process for the first time has to follow this 3-step process:

Step 1: Create a Software Inventory

For any patch management process to be successful, you have to take account of every software in the organization. As such, having a software inventory becomes necessary.

Step 2: Create a Proactive Patch Installation System

The patch management process cannot be successful if you don’t patch vulnerable endpoints before they are exposed. You need to create a schedule that ensures patches are applied routinely.

Step 3: Create a Patch Installation Policy

While it is essential to know all the software that require routine updates, it is just as important to know the vulnerabilities being patched as well as the patches being deployed.

This requires the creation of a policy document, admittedly a time-consuming endeavor, but an important step, nonetheless. This document guides you to know which software or systems should only get critical updates, and which ones require all the recommended updates.

This policy should be enforced too. It doesn’t matter if it’s through manual remediation or by acquiring managed IT services in Austin.

We Can Help

Contigo Technology is a leading managed IT services provider in Austin. It is our job to make sure your endpoints are not weaknesses that can be exploited by malicious actors. We tailor our patch management processes to suit the individual needs of your company for a comprehensive security solution. To learn more about our services, contact us today.