Patch management is a cybersecurity discipline that involves the acquisition, testing, and installation of new codes to administered computer systems. Examples of basic patch management tasks include installing security updates, figuring out which patches are appropriate for specific systems, and performing system installations. 

It is a vital tool for organizations because it helps them maintain healthy and secure network systems. Patches are also essential when you want to configure the software to work well with the latest hardware versions. To identify vulnerable endpoints and resolve them, organizations need to prioritize patch management and use cybersecurity services.

Automated Patching vs Manual Patch Management

An automatic patch management process is designed to detect critical errors, fix broken patches, and install updates on systems on a routine basis. It also enables computer systems to stay in sync with the latest patch releases without any manual prompt.

Manual patch management is where technicians test and research the patches before they are applied to avoid faulty security. Automated patching often skips this process which leaves your IT systems exposed, and can set back your IT systems temporarily once the fault is discovered, unless you employ a managed service provider to implement tested and proven patches.

Talk to a Managed Service Provider with good cybersecurity services about which option would be a good fit for your company, and with an assessment, they can give you advice for your business uniquely. 

How Does Patch Management Really Work?

There is no single mode of operation for patch management tools; they work differently based on how they are configured. For automated patch management this could depend on whether the patch is deployed to a stand-alone unit, or a corporate network system. For manual patch management, the technicians actively research for the new patches and test them for durability.

In the corporate setting, patch management software may work differently because companies typically want to maintain uniform software versions across their computer systems. As a result, some organizations do centralized patch management configurations instead of allowing individual computers to download their own patches. 

With centralized patch management, centralized servers download patches and distribute them to other computers on the network. This is done in line with an organization’s patch management policy. 

Centralized patch management servers don’t only automate the patch management process; they give organizations more control over the whole patching process. For instance, if one patch becomes faulty, a managed IT service can configure its policies to prevent that defective patch from being implemented until the coding is repaired.

Patch Management vs. Vulnerability Management

Your endpoint cybersecurity solutions may become overwhelmed by alerts. These can arise as a result of vulnerabilities that are engineered to attack and infect your infrastructure. But when you reduce your attack surfaces through effective patch management, you can cut down the burden on the organization.

The number-one step to minimize your attack surfaces is to understand risk assessment and response. At the heart of this initiative lies vulnerability management, and patch management. Vulnerability management deals with the identification, cataloging, and mitigation of vulnerabilities in software and hardware architecture. 

For the most part, organizations work on software vulnerabilities; these can sometimes be resolved via network isolation and patch management. The bad news is that you may never detect vulnerabilities if you don’t scan for them.

To summarize, vulnerability scanning is an automated act of searching for existing threats to your systems. Penetration testing, on the other hand, involves ethically exploiting vulnerabilities to find them before an outside source does. Also, network patching is the process of fixing bugs that have been identified in computer networks. 

For cybersecurity services and managed network solutions, you can reach out to Cenetric