Ensuring every device on your network installs the latest patch for its software is an extremely important step in keeping a small business’ network secure. Malicious actors are constantly looking for businesses that have failed to patch the devices or applications they use to get work done, and many wide-net cyberattack campaigns will leverage unpatched systems to successfully steal information or infect devices. This is why every business needs to think about patch management and the best ways to ensure every employee is regularly patching the systems and software they work with. Fortunately, patch management doesn’t have to be difficult if your business plans ahead and uses the right tools to enforce policies!
What is Patch Management?
Patch management refers to a group of processes focused on reviewing new device and application patches, deploying those patches to devices on the network, and monitoring devices on the network to ensure they are satisfactorily up to date. Patch management does not have to be a complicated process, but it does emphasize the necessity for employees to patch their devices and implements a way to automatically install patches or monitor devices and applications to follow up with employees on patching. Small businesses can improve their cybersecurity posture by enforcing patching policies to ensure devices meet compliance and safety standards and give employees the most up to date experience with their tools.
Planning Patch Management
Patch management planning begins with strong cybersecurity policies that outline why patching is important and provide detailed guidance to employees for when and how often patching is expected. New patches should also be reviewed to ensure software changes will not interrupt workflows or conflict with tools and services necessary for work to get done. With the right communication and testing, small and medium businesses can enforce their patching policies while keeping employees informed on how new patches will affect their workflows. This way, everyone can prioritize patching and take the steps necessary to prevent downtime after a new patch has been deployed.
Automation and Monitoring
Small businesses will need the right tools to enforce patching policies and monitoring device health across the network. By working with a knowledgeable IT consultant, SMBs can improve their patch management plans and get the advice they need to choose the right services to deploy and manage new patches. Many security services, such as DUO, allow for device health monitoring and can even make proper patching a prerequisite for logging into the network. In some circumstances, businesses can automate the patching process and roll out patches to the entire company in small groups to ensure every company device is patched in a reasonable timeframe.
The best way to go about patch management will change from company to company because no two IT environments are the same. By working with a trusted small business IT consultant, SMBs can develop strong patching policies and implement the tools needed to keep every device and application on the network up to date. Our team here at Robinett Consulting believe small businesses deserve the same high-quality tools and services that big businesses have access to, so we want to offer your business a complimentary consultation to see how we can help you implement strong patch management strategies on a small business budget!
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