The term patch management refers to the control of updates for operating systems, platforms, and applications. It includes the identification, improvement, and correction of system functions. At the same time, patching entails software updates and system reconfiguration, which are important components of lifecycle management.
The terms patch management and vulnerability management are often used as synonyms. However, while patching is a vital component of vulnerability management, it is primarily aimed at managing software updates. This means that patching must be part of a comprehensive vulnerability management process. Modern patch management is certainly a good starting point for comprehensive vulnerability management.
Advantages of Modern Patch Management Strategies
Modern patch management software is indispensable for enterprises. Combined with the right strategy, patch management can help you achieve the following goals:
- Compliance: Patching makes it easier to comply with legal regulations. As cyber-attacks have become more and more common recently, patching helps you meet compliance standards.
- Functional improvement: Patching is also crucial in the context of bug fixing or to improve the functionality of software in general. This way, companies can guarantee that they will always offer the latest and best software product.
- Customer satisfaction: For customers to be able to fully use products, programmers must constantly fix software bugs. An up-to-date status and better functionality increase user satisfaction.
- Security: Patch management helps to fix vulnerabilities in applications. This makes the software more robust and less vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Patching additionally ensures high system availability.
Four Steps to Effective Patch Management
Thoughtful Windows patch management requires administrators to consider numerous aspects and potential impacts. This necessitates a strategic approach with a close look at the business processes at hand. Companies need to implement various processes into this flow:
1. Introduce inventory of production systems
Careful inventory management is particularly important for a good overview. This reveals which assets are available in the ecosystem. It also shows which operating systems, version types and IP addresses need to be considered.
2. Standardization of systems
Operating systems and version types should be identical. This facilitates patching and enables automated patch management, as standardization eliminates the need for manual intervention.
3. Record security measures and assess risks
Knowing which firewalls and antivirus programs are used within the company allows you to evaluate which assets have sufficient protection. This makes vulnerability management much easier. In this context, it is wise to record the potential security risk in the company. This classification helps you to address the most serious vulnerabilities first.
4. Apply patches
Once you have determined where the biggest problems lie, patching begins. To minimize the risk of security vulnerabilities, you can apply updates via a patch manager. Automation plays a key role here, as the processes themselves are very time-consuming. Modern patch management solutions offer the necessary functionality.
TeamViewer’s Solution for Effective Patch Management
To make patching as effective as possible, you need the right software. After all, vulnerabilities encourage cyber criminals to infiltrate. With appropriate remote patch management, on the other hand, the security of your system, including 3rd party applications, increases. TeamViewer’s patch management software offers all necessary features:
- Automated patching, including centralized remote management of the resulting patches.
- Easy roll-out thanks to the complete integration of the software. This means that with one click, patches can be rolled out remotely directly.
- Install operating system updates and keep an eye on 3rd party applications.