Improve Your Digital Workflows Through Automated Patch Management Deployment Software tools

Companies have now turned to their trusted technology partners for support with future-proofing their business. Companies are looking for solutions that equip employees with easy IT and security and it’s important for technology companies to collectively develop solutions that drive change and support people.

This article addresses the growing importance of technologies and how they inevitably translate into ever more work-related technology-intensive matters: digital HR and talent management, digital/social collaboration, smart offices, agile work models, all those new required skills, the changing job market, you name it.

What is a patch management process and how does it work?

Patch management is the process of testing, acquiring, and applying updates on computer systems, mobile devices, or any other machines on a network to correct errors referred to as “vulnerabilities” or “bugs”. This process is necessary to ensure that the systems within an organization are fixed, up to date and protected against security vulnerabilities, patching also prevents networks from being exposed to malicious users, hackers, and virus writers.

In patch management, automated software will determine which tools need patches such as Wide software patching for tens of dozens of stand-alone third-party applications, like Adobe product, Linux, or browsers like Opera, Safari®, Chrome and Firefox.

Why is patch management crucial for organizations to deploy?

Updates and patch management is crucial to network function for a variety of reasons, the main three being security, performance, and compliance.


Security patches:

Patch management fixes vulnerabilities on your software and applications that are susceptible to cyber-attacks, helping your organization reduce its security risk. Having out-of-date software can pose a huge security threat and reputation damage, if one device gets infected, the user could easily pass this on to others. Patching and updating work to close off those security holes, so they cannot be targeted by malware.


Performance patches:

Patching also improves the performance of software tools by going beyond software bug fixes but also includes newer and better feature/functionality updates, to improve the user experience thus improving organizational efficiency.


Compliance Patches:

Organizations are now required by regulatory bodies to maintain a certain level of compliance and adhere to compliance standards, especially for companies that require sensitive or private data from their workers and clients such as ensuring health and financial data is kept secure. Patch management tools can produce patch reports to help demonstrate compliance to auditors

Key steps to the patch management process include:

Patching is the core component of securing business, so it takes persistence, planning and ongoing effort to get it right. These several high-level steps can assist you in creating an effective patch management program.


Develop an up-to-date inventory:

A quarterly or monthly automated inventory scanning should be developed on all production systems to monitor and have an informed view of operating systems, version types, and IP addresses that exist, along with their geographic locations and organizational “owners. The more frequently your asset inventory is maintained the more informed you’re going to be.


Standardize systems to the same version type:

Since patching can be a complex exercise on a large inventory with many different versions of operating systems, standardizing your asset inventory down to a manageable

number as possible makes patching more faster and efficient for you and technical teams.


Document security controls:

Understanding what controls are in place will assist you in identifying which patches need prioritization. This would include firewalls, IPS, antivirus, etc. In this case, Internet- facing devices should always be prioritized first for patches.


Compare vulnerabilities against your inventory:

Using vulnerability scanning tools complements a patch management process – it allows for regular scans of the IT environment to highlight and assess any gaps, and serves as a safeguard in the event a patch is missed.


Classify or assess the risk:

Through vulnerability management tools you can easily classify which assets you consider to be critical to your organization and, therefore, prioritize what needs to be remediated. If there is no risk determined for a patch, there is no need to apply that patch.


Test, and Approve the Patch:

Validate that the patch causes no harm to your environment by applying it to a test environment first and including it in the change control process. Once done proceed to roll out.


Apply the patches:

Once patching is started advanced vulnerability management tools can be used to offer the ability to automate the time- consuming parts.


Track your progress and repeat:

Reassess your assets by implementing patch management metrics to ensure patching was successful.

Automating patch management

IT environments for large corporations can contain hundreds of systems installed on multiple devices operated by large teams requiring thousands of patching and configuration changes for countless hours. Over the last few years, automated patch management tools have emerged to take this pressure off administrators and to improve the overall efficiency of downloading and installing patches across different devices manually which was strenuous and time- consuming. These tools can help simplify the process by generating clear reports on which systems need patching, and also improve patch accuracy while reducing errors.

There are many different paths to enterprise agility, successful transformations start with an effort to aspire, design, and pilot the new agile operating model.

Older organizations will tend to change their business models to agile models, An organization will introduce agile work models to fundamentally transform the company to compete in the future. They need to transform to embrace enterprise agility. Such transformations vary in pace, scope, and approach, but all contain a set of common elements across two broad stages

How do organizations benefit from an efficient patch management program?

A more secure environment:

The most prominent benefit the patch management serves is constant security. Patch management protects your organization from malicious activities, theft, and long-lasting reputational damage, or even legal penalties. This in turn assists organizations in keeping their costs low in terms of security.

Happy customers:

Applications used by customers will ultimately provide a better experience to them. If proper bugs are fixed, vulnerabilities or security loopholes are filled that will ultimately provide a better experience to end customers.

No non-compliance fines:

There are now stricter laws and regulations that are imposing security best practices on companies and having the systems

fully patched is one of the most important security rules. companies offering financial services and healthcare organizations are among the most affected by these regulations, but the trend is that all companies will need to be secure enough to be able to protect the privacy and data of their employees, customer and partners. If your organization is not patching and, therefore, not meeting compliance standards, you could be hit with some monetary fines from regulatory bodies.

Continued product innovation:

Patches can contain new features, adding new functionality or extending support for additional platforms. For organizations, this often translates into opportunities to improve or extend their services.

Patch management is a never-ending cycle and a critical core component of an organization’s security posture. The OGT team strives to continuously implement successful patches across organizations using quality tools, without incurring any unexpected impacts.