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July 12, 2018

What is Patch Management and Why is it Necessary?

What is Patch Management and Why is it Necessary?

In the digital age of today’s modern world, the safety and security of information systems continue to evolve far beyond what had been at one point in time considered as sufficient protection against hacking and intrusion. This is especially important when considering the fact that many companies today heavily rely on their respective IT infrastructures, and success and survival oftentimes hinges on their integrity. One way of ensuring electronic consistency and stability is through patch management.

What is patch management?

As its name suggests, patch management is the process of dealing with elements that can help reinforce certain existing system flaws and vulnerabilities once they have been discovered. These patches are generally applied to different areas of the information infrastructure from the operating system of the machines and software to the servers and routers within the network. Because of how complicated and overwhelming it can be, having a patch management process in place is essential to ensure that the patches to mitigate potential threats are applied properly.

How it works

While the patch management processes will differ and vary depending on the type of design infrastructure or information system utilized by a company, the concept is generally the same. Basically, the patch management process generally entails the installation of a client software that provides administrators with the ability to control and run the distribution of the patches with ease. This not only helps minimize the manpower that the task would need otherwise, but also reduces the chances of incurring any errors along the way.

Because patch management often requires a level of expertise and knowledge to properly achieve, many business often outsource the task to more qualified companies. However, it isn’t uncommon for others to keep the work in-house to keep expenditure lower.

Why it is necessary

No network infrastructure or any components within it are perfect upon release. In fact, they remained flawed and are susceptible to corruption and hacking long after they have become discontinued in lieu of something newer. To this end, patch management is ultimately necessary as it is a highly effective and preventative tool that keeps the information system safe from vulnerabilities that could potentially be catastrophic to the security as well as integrity of a company’s infrastructure.

Key concerns

Patch management may be a necessary asset that a company can ill-afford to have, but it is still a tool at the end of the day. As critical as it may be to not just the success of a business but its survival, it is important to ensure that the right people are in charge of it. To this end, proper expertise and support is essential in making sure that the process runs as smoothly and effectively as it possibly can. Whether you choose to leave it at the capable hands of another company that specializes on it or opt to have your business keep the task in-house, its good common practice to make sure that no stone is left unturned.

At the end of the day, having a patch management process in place and investing both the time and resources to ensure it is working as efficiently and as effectively as possible is important. It may seem like additional expenditure and a lot of work, but it’s an investment worth taking when considering the safety and security that it can yield for a company’s information system and infrastructure. But be sure not to cut corners on patch management. Keep it in-house if it’s technically feasible and if your company has the expertise needed for it, but acquire the services from another if needed.

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