A patch for a software update may include new features, fixed bugs, improved usability and increased application stability. Applying a software update in the form of a patch is one of the basic security principles. Yet, completing the patch update can result in a complicated process.
Challenges with Patching
- Time consuming and costly.
Effective patching can cost your organisation. Deployment of the updates is time consuming.
- Unable to patch all equipment.
Technology is obsolete or is no longer supported by manufacturer updates. Sometimes patching is prohibited i.e Medical equipment.
- Failed patch roll-out.
For organisations, a failed patch roll-out can restrict employees from undertaking fundamental day to day activities. The resource required to fix the failure may outweigh the objective of patching.
- Other risks are introduced
Patching can inadvertently introduce new risks which are difficult to detect.
Developing a comprehensive patching plan
Patch management is dependent on a patching plan covering various facets of cyber security. Each organisation has a unique cyber security approach and a tailored costing arrangement. The finest cyber security plans cover a wide variety of security defences designed to reduce business risks.
Creating a detailed patching strategy can assist with mapping priority for vulnerabilities. Where patching is practically impossible or difficult, the best approach is to apply defence in depth tactics. The following tips can aid cyber security management if patching is not a possibility:
- Prioritise and manage operational risks.
- Increase your capacity for security monitoring.
- Back up critical business data.
- Improve configuration of systems and networks to reduce probability of exploit attacks.
- Create business continuity plans and implement incident response.