Today’s Cybersecurity hackers and threats are more creative than ever when it comes to web hacking. Managing your software patches is one of the best ways to make sure your business safe from any threat. But patch management doesn’t have to be overly technical or only for the IT savvy.
Patch management has many benefits and can be vital to a company’s software functionality. It protects your software from outside threats and attacks. Managing patches prevents the loss of important data and information that pertain to your company.
One of the most important things you can do to find the best practices is by researching the topic online. Luckily, it has been done for you. Read more to learn the ten best patch management practices.
10 Patch Management Practices to Follow
As stated above, learning ways to manage your patches is a great step towards protecting and perfecting your software. These practices range from things so simple like testing your patches to practices you would have never thought of such as creating a fallback policy.
Listed below are patch management tools and practices that guarantee the protection of your software:
1. Complete a device inventory
Your company should conduct an inventory of all devices used or connected to your network. You can find out how many devices are being updated by your employees. Or you can find out how each device reacts to software updates and so on.
By failing to check the software on company devices, you risk outside threats taking advantage of the old or outdated software on the device.
Smaller businesses can guarantee every device being updated and patches being applied to the software by scanning devices in your inventory. This will provide a quicker sweep of the software and better reliability of the intended function.
Scanning your devices should be done regularly to ensure everything is being kept track of and updated. Be sure to also replace any device that becomes outdated or unable to withstand the software patches.
2. Organize your resources
This can follow the completion of device inventory since you will need to begin focusing your attention on faulty or broken equipment. Organizing your resources can be a long process since it is not able to be done electronically.
The priority devices would fall onto the ones that risk your company more. These devices would have sensitive information such as company bank information, private files and more. Making sure these devices are categorized by risk factor lets you cover all your bases in protecting company information.
This patch management tool is simply making sure all company devices are essentially the “same” when it comes to what system, hardware and software are being used. You can also make sure that each device is limited to what features are used and what apps are accessed.
This allows for an easier time processing the vulnerability within each device the company is responsible for. The only downside to this is that it may be difficult to completely standardize every single device.
So, it is best to try your best to standardize as many devices as you can. Whether that be scheduling automatic updates to make sure each device is being held up to the appropriate restrictions.
4. Gather Information on your patches and updates
With every patch release, there are release notes that come with it. These release notes are what tell you about the details in the patch release, what the latest adjustments were as well as additions to the last release.
5. Analyze said patches
You can analyze the way you manage your patches by doing the following:
Make sure to decide how applicable your patches are
- You should make sure an in-depth and cautious analysis is done on the patch you wish to implement. By doing so, you are able to identify any defects that need to be reassessed.
Have a ticketing system in place
- Ticketing system software can be put into place. The system’s main responsibility is to create customer request tickets. Ticketing systems usually tell of any defects within software. Tickets also track customer requests.
Find versions of software that could be impacted negatively
- This tip can help you pick out which devices have properly installed new software and which are more vulnerable and in need of a patch. These problems can be triggered by certain settings within your software.
6. Assign risk levels
One of the best ways to really ensure the smooth running of your software is through risk assessment. Without running a risk assessment you take the chance of your patches having instabilities in the software.
These high-risk devices can allow outside threats into your company device. With that access, they dive into all your private information. Assigning risk to company devices allows work to be done on the necessary equipment patches to run smoothly.
7. Test your patches
Testing one of the most important things you can do before installing patches into your system. Patch testing ensures that you avoid complications within your new patch. This also allows for productivity to continue as other patches are deployed.
A simple way of testing a patch is by re-reading the descriptions placed into release notes of the patch. allows users to read through the notes easily and understand what the new features are.
Patch testing is an important patch management tool that in the end can help you feel confident in your patch.
8. Reporting and auditing
When you finally deploy a patch, you tend to assume nothing more needs to be done with your software. You assume that your work is perfect and there won’t be a need for any more patches. Fortunately, there is always room for improvement when it comes to software.
When it comes to the patch, it needs to be watched for what happens after its release. Patches can fail, or have difficulty being installed into the software. At times, patches can even cause problems to the software or create bugs after its installation.
Be sure to check on these reports consistently to create efficient patches.
9. Create a fallback policy
Fallback policies are for the users of your patches. Whether that be company employees using company-funded devices or simply a company selling software. Patches have their vulnerabilities or problems.
It is important to provide users a way to respond or do give reports on anything that may cause them trouble. Having a communication line set in place for anyone with urgent problems can be helpful for both your company and the user of your patch.
Another helpful tip is having a plan in place if one were to request the removal of your patch from their software.
10. Follow-up on all the adjustments made
Following up with patch adjustments or releases has its similarities with a fallback policy. Though follow-ups are exclusively for the following patch management tools:
Updating your ticketing system: this creates a quicker tracking process when it comes to the way your system handles reports on your patches. Overall updates on this system, in particular, should make follow-ups easy.
Conducting re-assessments periodically: As mentioned previously in the article, testing and retesting your patch is a vital tip when it comes to perfecting its function and how it works with certain devices. Reassess your patch to create the ideal experience.
As shown above, patch management practices take many procedures and a lot of time to perfect. without taking the proper measures in managing your patches you allow for bugs, problems, and more to infiltrate your software.
Contact RSI Security for a consultation on your patch management system.