Updating systems and software can be time-consuming. And updates always seem to appear at the worst possible time, don’t they? It’s easy to click ‘remind me later’ when you see update notifications.
We’ve spoken about the importance of updating software in a previous article, and the wider implications of staying on previous versions of software. The main features of software updates include:
- Bug fixes
- Additional features
- Compatibility updates
- Security issue fixes
But how can you make sure all of your business systems are kept up to date? You shouldn’t rely on your staff keeping their own tech updated. So, what should you do instead? That’s where patch management comes in.
What is Patch Management?
Think of patches as updates. They are a set of improvements software developers release to improve their systems, based on the four bullet points above. Patch management is the process of installing and managing the latest patches to systems on your network to keep them all up to date.
With patch management, you assess the available patches and decide if they’re needed and make sure they’re installed and implemented correctly. Installing the necessary patches will reduce the likelihood of system crashes and security breaches.
Automated Patch Management
The right patch management automation won’t just apply every single update. With patch management from ACUTEC, all updates are thoroughly tested, to make sure there won’t be additional issues. There are occasions when updates have bugs and shouldn’t be installed.
Certain updates can be blocked in automated patch management systems if engineers encounter problems. Once they are happy, the updates will be rolled out across your organisation – and you won’t have to do a thing!
Benefits of Managed Patching
- Security: Patch management fixes software vulnerabilities and applications that are susceptible to cyber-attacks, helping your organisation reduce its security risk.
- Productivity: Patches are designed to improve their software and reduce downtime.
- Compliance: With more and more cyber threats, businesses are facing an increase in regulations in following cybersecurity best practice.
- Remote protection: if staff are working remotely, it’s important to know that their systems are secure. Patch management should be implemented as part of a remote workforce support solution.
- Innovation: patch management means your systems are up to date with the latest features that could benefit your business.
Risks of Out-of-Date Software
It feels like security breaches and cyber threats are in the news every week. We are seeing lots of cybercriminals targeting vulnerabilities in out-of-date software. The WannaCry ransomware attack that affected the NHS in 2017 affected out-of-date systems and ended up costing £92m in disruption to services and IT upgrades.
Millions of computer users are still running Windows 7 on their systems, despite Microsoft ending support for it in January 2020. ACUTEC strongly recommend that any businesses still using Windows 7 should upgrade to Windows 10, to receive regular security updates and protect their systems.
With out-of-date software, it’s a matter of when, not if, there will be a cyber-attack.
Managed Patching from ACUTEC
Stay secure with the latest technologies. If you want to make sure all your staff have the latest updates on their systems, get in touch with ACUTEC to discuss patch management.